A Review of Gilad Atzmon’s new book, “Being In Time: The Post-Political Manifesto"
June Terpstra, PhD
Firmly rooted in the Western Intellectual tradition, Gilad Atzmon’s “Being In Time” opens the doors to shed light on the particular ideological constructs that influenced the schools and movements of Left and Right political wings which have produced a world in poverty and war offering a matrix of controlled opposition embedded in modern, Jewish, secular politics to distract and destroy from within. Atzmon’s analysis, written like an intellectual jazz composition celebrates Athenian philosophical calls to reason while urging the unpacking of political ideology to reveal the con-game being played to keep power in the hands of those who already have it.
In the first half of the book Atzmon offers a brilliant decoding of Left and Right wings of the Imperial Houses of Domination. On the left, he gives the reader Marx, Adorno, and the Frankenfurters defending principles of utopianism and what ought to be. To the right, are Breitbart, Murry and Hernnstein, playing Johnny one note for conserving the structures of power in hopes to hold on to their piece of that pie. Atzmon suggests that, “instead of looking at the world through the lens of the Right/Left dichotomy, or a particular ideological perspective, it will be more instructive to impose a meta-ideological method that juxtaposes ‘the humane’ i.e. the human condition and the political spectrum as a whole. Instead of imposing any particular ideology, be it Right, Left, Marxism, Capitalism, Liberalism, Fascism and so on I want to examine the relationship between a political system and the human condition.”
Atzmon engagingly utilizes the controversial Bell Curve of the Right Wing to show how a Jewish "cognitive elite" attempted to separate itself from the rest of society’s “unchosen” through selective breeding conflating genetic determination with heritability to fit what scientists call a power distribution so that a small group of exceptional performers overtake the rest. Atzmon poses that rather than increasing the performance of cognitive elites, the ideology of the curve has actually been constraining how all people perform.
A Return to Athens
In the post-political neighbourhood in which we live, much of humanity has been reduced to serving the interests of big money, mammon and oligarchy, with Left and Right, those two familiar poles of politics as we have always understood them to be, now indistinguishable and irrelevant. The freedom to think openly and speak clearly are but nostalgic concepts. Our Western Liberal Utopia has turned into an Orwellian dystopia. Gilad Atzmon
Atzmon, taking Hadot’s advice, models the determinate individual separating himself from the All, be they Left or Right, by adding a difference which, as Plotinus says, is a negation. The best life depends upon becoming one’s true self via the intellect, which means to step away from identity politics, which teaches us to identify ourselves by our victimhood and oppressions in a competition for least powerful giving us an excuse not to act.
“Being in Time” is a peripatetic walk, from the man who brought us The Wandering Who, through the present post-political narrative. Intended to make the ideologies driving the narrative available to all, thereby depriving it of its power, the book takes us on path to build moral courage. The chief consideration is how to popularize the walk of “being in time”, and to provide the individual, in a time of general confusion and dissolution, with a living and breathing moral basis for practical life.
My name is Dr. June Terpstra. This is my website for students every where. I began teaching at Northwestern University in 1986 until 1993 and I have been teaching ever since at a variety of universities including CSU Global, Arizona State West, Columbia College Chicago, Northeastern Illinois University and Loyola University Chicago.
Concurrent with teaching in major universities in the USA, I developed and directed a shelter program for abused women and children, abuse prevention projects for elementary and high school students, a youth center in Chicago, and anti-discrimination programs for universities in Illinois and California. My work as an advocate for justice and equity for all people led me to focus my teaching in Justice Studies and Criminal Justice for the past 15 years.
I am presently teaching Justice Studies full time at Northeastern Illinois University where I teach courses such as Justice and Inequality, Law and Terrorism and Theories of Justice and Social Change. I formally attended Governors State University in Illinois where I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Language and Literature and a Masters of Arts in the Social Sciences. I completed my doctoral degree at Loyola University Chicago in Social Science Research Methodology focusing on justice studies. Global justice, race and ethnic relations, ethics and social justice have been the primary focus of my research, teaching and community advocacy and organizing! Additionally, during the past 20 years I provided expert testimony in court cases; participated in research projects in Greece, England, Belgium, Chicago, Atlanta and Rome, Italy, and wrote for independent media outlets in the USA and Italy. I have a lot of energy and enjoy keeping very active in both work and play. I love to swim, practice yoga, travel, attend concerts, sing, and dance!
I hope you find this website helpful. DrT
WAR, NO MORE!
''The US - in just one week - has sent an 'armada' to the Korean peninsula, has threatened to invade Syria, and has bombed that same poor, suffering nation after carrying out the most pathetically obvious false flag since your dog shat in the porch and tried to blame it on the cat. It has threatened military action against Venezuela for the dual, capital crimes of practicing socialism AND having a shitload of oil. It just dropped a massive bomb on a bunch of peasants. The US say it was 'ISIS'. The US created, trained, funded and equipped ISIS, remember. Hillary Clinton even stated, in a leaked email, that 'AQ is on our side'. And she isn't talking about Anthony Quayle.
In just one week.
So I was wondering how many senior officers of the US military forces are aware of what constitutes a crime under international law, and of their obligations to refuse illegal orders. How many take seriously their oath to defend their nation from enemies foreign and DOMESTIC? Because they need to start seriously looking at the enemies in their own government who are on a warmongering spree. This is not about protecting the homeland, folks; it's about ensuring the US has no rivals in its hegemonic goals.
What is a crime of aggression under international law?
"1. For the purpose of this Statute, “crime of aggression” means the planning, preparation, initiation or execution, by a person in a position effectively to exercise control over or to direct the political or military action of a State, of an act of aggression which, by its character, gravity and scale, constitutes a manifest violation of the Charter of the United Nations.
2. For the purpose of paragraph 1, “act of aggression” means the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations. Any of the following acts, regardless of a declaration of war, shall, in accordance with United Nations General Assembly resolution 3314 (XXIX) of 14 December 1974, qualify as an act of aggression:
(a) The invasion or attack by the armed forces of a State of the territory of another State, or any military occupation, however temporary, resulting from such invasion or attack, or any annexation by the use of force of the territory of another State or part thereof;
(b) Bombardment by the armed forces of a State against the territory of another State or the use of any weapons by a State against the territory of another State;
(c) The blockade of the ports or coasts of a State by the armed forces of another State;
(d) An attack by the armed forces of a State on the land, sea or air forces, or marine and air fleets of another State;
(e) The use of armed forces of one State which are within the territory of another State with the agreement of the receiving State, in contravention of the conditions provided for in the agreement or any extension of their presence in such territory beyond the termination of the agreement;
(f) The action of a State in allowing its territory, which it has placed at the disposal of another State, to be used by that other State for perpetrating an act of aggression against a third State;
(g) The sending by or on behalf of a State of armed bands, groups, irregulars or mercenaries, which carry out acts of armed force against another State of such gravity as to amount to the acts listed above, or its substantial involvement therein."
Some of that may sound vaguely familiar.
Nuremberg Principle IV states:
"The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him."
So, senior US officers, if you do go ahead and follow these orders, someday you may well be hanged by your balls for war crimes. If the US is defeated, I wouldn't count on the fact that the US does not recognise the International Criminal Court. And yes...the US can be not only defeated, but...
...People of the United States, you need to understand that Russia has the ability to reduce the entire United States to a radioactive wilderland. You need to understand that Russia military doctrine explicitly states that it reserves the right to use nuclear weapons in certain scenarios as follows:
"The Russian Federation shall reserve the right to use nuclear weapons in response to the use of nuclear and other types of weapons of mass destruction against it and/or its allies, as well as in the event of aggression against the Russian Federation with the use of conventional weapons when the very existence of the state is in jeopardy. The decision to use nuclear weapons shall be taken by the President of the Russian Federation."
So put down your damned pussy hats and build a real anti-war movement. Do what you can depending on your means. And start by working toward removing by whatever means necessary the criminals that have taken your nation hostage.
Or they may get you all killed.'' SIMON WOOD
June Terpstra: Revolutionary Women Today – The Wind Beneath My Wings
Posted by: June Terpstra Posted date: März 08, 2014 In: News
On International Women’s Day, 2014 this article is dedicated to women who are fighting imperialism. This is a call for more brave women who will stand with men to resist and defend the people against tyrannical governments posing as democracies such as the USA, UK and Israel. This is a call to us all, women and men, to end the oppression of globalized debt based economics, AKA capitalism, that funds all wars, profiting from state terror while fomenting all states of terror in the ugly show of cultural imperialism. There are courageous women around the world that are educating, inspiring, agitating and organizing against greed, wars, invasions, occupations, environmental devastation, supremacy and patriarchy in the New World Order. As such, they should be honored and if you do not know them I am honored to introduce some of them to you.
The women I write about today represent the revolutionary women’s demand for a radical reordering of society towards real liberation and self-determination for all people. They have been on the front lines in the agenda to save the people and the planet. They are brilliant and brave women from around the world, young and old fighting against oppression. Research their names and you will see, hear and feel their passion: Sally Auger, Harsha Walia, Amal Saad, Cynthia McKinney, Zaynab Mahamud, Diana Berek, Chris Geovanis, Heather Cottin, Suzella Palmer, Felicity Arbuthnot, Deborah Cayedito, Tracy Marshall, Esther Stanford-Xosei, Ajanta Sinha Ghosh, Mairi Ann Lowry, Lizzie Phelan, Brenda Pearson, Yasmin Nair, Cyrstal Vance Guerra, Francesca Contreras, Stephanie Noelle Davern, Hannah Arbizanni, Gayle Austin, Rania Masri, Sarah Gallespie, Farah Minh, Sarah Abdallah, BK Kumbi, Cheri Honkala, Gabi Weber, Brooke Heagerty, Cindy Sheehan, Angela Jansen, Lah Tere, Suheir Hammad and Sandra Reid. These women manifest revolution in protest, art, writing, teaching, brigades, seminars, birthing, video, rescue, radio, music, politics, community and care daily. Some you will find immediately and others you must search for but all are making a difference by the way they live.
I begin with some you may have heard of such as Cynthia McKinney, Cindy Sheehan, Cheri Honkala and Harsha Walia. While ideologically diverse, these women leaders have put themselves in the frontlines politically in countless ways to end oppression in war, homelessness, poverty, and for indigenous people across the globe. They represent the push for dramatic historic shifts against capitalism and imperialism, colonialism and globalism. They are a former congress woman, a mother decrying wars who abhorred sending her son to battle, a woman once homeless running for president, and an Indigenous wisdom woman leading her people with the spirit of her ancestors guiding her way.
Next, there are women in media and cultural works not featured in prime time lame stream media. These are the revolutionary experts to call. They refuse to be used as assets on the subject of women’s oppression to stir up consent for war against the people. Amal Saad, Chris Geovanis, Suzella Palmer, Felicity Arbuthnot, Esther Stanford-Xosei, Lizzie Phelan, Yasmin Nair, and Brooke Heagerty are women’s whose writing educates and produces knoweldge. Read what they say as these are women to whom we must listen.
Brilliant Amal Saad:
As an a Arab woman and a Marxist “Critical Feminist”, I have to ask bourgeois liberal feminists the following: Who says this is YOUR debate in the first place? And by you, I mean you American and European “experts”. Women asides, what gives your universities, think tanks and media the right to be debating and determining the destiny of our region? Why do we never question the colonial mentality that underlies your Middle East departments and bureaus, your “centers for democracy” and “peace” for the Middle East initiatives? Who the hell are you to be studying us and issuing us Euro-American directives on “good governance” and “conflict resolution”? …What gives privileged white women the right to be pursuing their supposed “emancipation” on the backs of our oppressed people? And why are the needs of this “debate” greater than the need of Syria and its people? http://resistance-episteme.tumblr.com/
Courageous Chris Geovanis:
The state’s scheme to effectively ban the public from a public — and publicly funded — trial is part of a long-standing official pattern to harass, arrest and undermine those who dissent in Chicago. For years, activists in Chicago had to fight in court for permission to rally and march against the Iraq war, and protesters have routinely been subject to arrest simply for attempting to exercise their First Amendment rights. More broadly, the restrictions that local government overlords have imposed on public access and public oversight in the NATO trial are part of a national effort to rebrand dissent as inherently dangerous.
Compassionate Suzella Palmer:
Therefore when trying to understand what gangs are, why they exist, why young people get involved in gangs, and just as importantly, how to prevent and respond to (victims and perpetrators of) gang crime and violence, we should not forget to factor in the: ‘the inherent dissonance between capitalism’s heady and seductive cultural aspirations and its structured socio- economic reality of unequal opportunities, which engendered an anomic and therefore criminogenic cultural climate.’ (Hall and Mclean, 2009) http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/pdf/Palmer%20Suzella.pdf
Fearless Felicity Arbuthnot:
…the US and UK are seemingly remarkably selective when it comes to tyrants who “kill their own people”, and not only have failed to censure their tyrannical Iraqi puppet, Nuri al-Maliki, but are arming him to the teeth with the same weapons which are linked to the horrific birth defects, and cancers throughout Iraq, which he is now using on “his own people.” Moreover, if allegations from very well informed sources that he holds an Iranian passport are correct, to say that US-UK’s despot of choice appears in a whole new political light would be to massively understate. https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/us-and-uk-continues-arming-a-tyrant-in-iraq/
Powerhouse Esther Stanford-Xosei:
Reparations means to repair the harm, restore, transform a people or a group who have been disposed and lost status and standing in the world community as a result of historical and contemporary injustice. To put a figure on it is banal. Some have put the cost at trillions but we are still accounting for the damage done and losses suffered but how do you account for the loss of land, destruction of our environment loss of citizenship, heritage, wealth and self worth? http://www.thebritishblacklist.com/kunga-dred-talks-esther-stanford-xosei-founder-member-parcoe-pan-african-reparation-coalition-europe/
Front-line Lizzie Phalen:
And in the months after I said goodbye to Mohammad just before I went through immigration in Damascus airport, for what I never expected to be the last time I would see him, the threat of Mohamad's and potentially the world's worst nightmare has only become graver. While he continued to hold on to his conviction that Syria would defeat imperialism’s conspiracy to destroy it, every time we spoke, up until our last conversation about a week ago, the ever increasing horrors wreaked by that conspiracy haunted him. His living torment is now over, but his conviction lives on through the friendships and love he nurtured in so many people. And as my headache that started on Saturday morning morphs into the agonising acceptance that he is gone, I am deeply thankful to Mohamad that through our short friendship I have learnt and will continue to learn life long lessons from his limitless capacity to not just value love for humanity above all else, but to practise that love. http://lizzie-phelan.blogspot.com/
Daring Yasmin Nair
I came out as queer among gays and lesbians who made it clear that sluts like me were to shut up so that the straight world might believe that we deserved our “rights.” Gays and lesbians, who surely had the most reasons to be suspicious of the prison industrial complex, were now clamouring for hate crimes laws that would increase penalties and put more people in jail. It may seem like a huge burden to place on the black and white inked shoulders of a woman who only existed on paper, but in that moment it seemed like I had recovered my balance in the world. http://nomorepotlucks.org/site/my-modesty/
Heroic Brooke Heagerty:
It is clear that before “capitalism” enslavement could be the fate of any person, no matter his or her color. Whites enslaved whites by the millions. Divisions in society were not related to color. Who ruled society and who was considered a part of society had nothing to do with race. Such status was instead defined by wealth or by force. With Nelson Peery in “Moving Onward: From Racial Division to Class Division.”
Last but not at all least, I name artists, activists, organizers, editors, teachers, musicians, engaging the world daily whose work inspires me:
Sally Auger of the Inidgenous Dream a Wild Seed project, teacher and Somali women’s rights activist Zaynab Mahamud, artist activist Diana Berek, activist educator historian Heather Cottin, Navajo commissioner and health advocate Deborah Cayedito, organizer for the League of Revolutionaries for a New America, Sandra Reid, India organizer and activist Ajanta Sinha Ghosh, Irish activist Mairi Ann Lowry, artist activist Brenda Pearson, midwife Stephanie Noelle Davern, animal rights activist Hannah Arbizanni, radio activist Gayle Austin, organizer and activist for Arab human rights Rania Masri, singers Sarah Gallespie and Lah Tere, activist poet, actress and film director Suheir Hammad, social media activists Tracy Marshall, Farah Minh, Sarah Abdallah, educators BK Kumbi and Gabi Weber, and fellow protest activists and organizers Cyrstal Vance Guerra, Francesca Contreras and Angela Jansen.
These are some of the women around the world whom I know are standing with the oppressed creating strategies and tactics to deal with the dangerous realities of imperialism. They are dedicated to ending the terrorism of US/UK/Israeli military aggression as it manifests across the globe. I am honored to know these women and celebrate their lives today.
June Terpstra, Ph.D. is an activist educator and university lecturer in Justice Studies, Criminal Justice and Sociology. She has founded numerous programs for homeless, abused, youth and oppressed people in the USA. She is presently teaching courses on Law and Terrorism, Social Justice, Resistance, Criminology, and Juvenile Justice. She is a former Community Research Fellow and doctoral graduate of Loyola University Chicago
“Stand by your Man”: The Hegemonic Harpies and World Domination
JUNE 24, 2016
Artwork Jenny Starr
Hollow Women of the Hegemon Part II
by Dr June Terpstra
“Those who have crossed
with direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
remember us—if at all—not as lost
violent souls, but only
as the hollow men
The stuffed men.
… This is the way the world ends” ~“The Hollow Men” by T.S. Eliot
HOLLOW WOMEN OF THE HEGEMON PART II: ATROCITY ENABLING HARPIES
Dr June Terpstra: “This article is an update of the article I wrote in 2008 titled “Hollow Women of the Hegemon”. It is about the hollow women, the stuffed women, who help the hollow men who are devoted to profit, power, plunder and pollution. The word, hegemon, is used to identify the class, state or group with the most power that is responsible for the dissemination of dominant power group’s ideas, systems and practices that most benefit those in power and those who rule for them.
Since WWII the US government and it’s corporate elites reached the top position in the world. Their ascendency was the result of being the most violent and aggressive military with the most weapons of mass destruction and hence The Hegemonic force in the world. The most fundamental mission that the US Hegemon faces is how to maintain power.
Hegemonic power distribution across the globe historically and presently faces counter-hegemonic forces wanting sovereignty, redistributive and transformative social and economic change. For over 500 years this power base has been held by Euro-American white patriarchal capitalist men of a global ruling class that only allowed more men into the Hegemon. The men of the Hegemon must constantly calculate and recalculate the power ratios and make projections of who to allow at their table, with the ultimate concern being how to preserve its dominant position at the least cost.
In this process they made deals with Saudi, African, Latin American and Asian men. Men in power during the past century faced consistent pressure to include women to the Hegemon. Once these men were convinced that there were economic and social gains to allowing women to the Hegemonic table they began the process by inviting their mothers, wives, daughters, mistresses, and friends to seats at the decision making table.
Next, in a deliberate conscious manner they allowed women into the secret services, militaries, academies and cultural centers to be groomed for power positions that would benefit existing power holders. The Hegemon relies on submission to its rules by the other main actors to sustain its role of domination so who better than “Daddy’s Girls” to do some of the dirty work of maintaining the Hegemon.
Historically using coercion and deceptions to uphold the rules can alienate as well as intimidate so by putting a womanly face on oppression, they employed a cunning positive incentive toward those that are willing to behave in accordance with their rules for a piece of the swag.
These “First wave” women of the modern day Hegemon even adjusted the rules to include torture, rape and assassination of sovereign state leaders, the establishment of more prisons, rendition, illegal invasions and occupations, and sponsorship of new terrorist groups to deflect potential challenges. These women did not flinch at using brutal force against those states and groups who were clearly unwilling to abide by hegemonic rules.
This article is still a call warning the people not to follow the women leaders who stand by their HegeMan. This is a call for women not to vote with their vaginas and believe the myth that women have essential characteristics that make them more nurturing, empathic, and non-violent.
This is a call for women and men who will stand to resist and defend the people against the tyrannical US, UK, EU, and Israeli governments posing as democracies. This is a call to us all to end the oppression of globalized militarized debt based economics that funds all wars, profiting from state terror while fomenting all states of terror.”
HIS-STORY IS HER-STORY
The interlocking directorate of male rulers who employed the modern “First Wave” women leaders, chose Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi, Golda Meir, Corazon Aquino, Benazir Bhutto, Madeline Albright, Janet Reno, Condoleezza Rice, and Hillary Clinton, because they were loyal daughters, wives, and sisters of the men of the Hegemon.
These early “mothers” reveled in their power fomenting economic terrorism against the poor, wars, invasions, and occupations for the Oligarchs. These early women in power were focused on power for themselves “in solidarity” with their men.
Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan: A Special Relationship
They neither represented the liberal feminists “ethic of care” or the revolutionary women’s demand for a radical reordering of society. Instead they joined the front lines in the agenda to, as Kissinger stated, “depopulate” the women, men and children of the planet, through their endless wars.
The war crimes of all these women are many but the highlights include Thatcher in the Falklands, Gandhi against the Muslims, Meir against the Palestinians, Aquino against Muslims and communists, Bhutto for Britain over the Pakistani people, Albright against Yugoslavia and Iraq, Janet Reno at Waco, Condoleezza Rice all over the globe, and Hilary Clinton in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Haiti, Bolivia and Honduras.
HARPIES OF WAR
Described by political analyst Pepe Escobar, as the Three Harpies of the war on Libya, Hillary Clinton, Samantha Power and Susan Rice have made their bones and proven their loyalty to the Hegemon. Media and educational systems include these and other women experts and representatives of legal and human rights organizations to appear publicly to criticize women’s oppression in Middle Eastern countries.
While ignoring the statistical realities of the obscene numbers of women raped, beaten and killed by men in the USA these “experts” are used to gain women’s support for war. As women in the USA support war under the guise of democracy and liberation a divisive diversion is wedged between women and men who are resisting hegemonic invasion and occupation.
Visible token women leaders clucking sanctimoniously over “women’s rights” as bombs are being dropped on their “sisters” are examples of Western feminist “success” stories within the hegemon; women such as Hillary Clinton, Samantha Powers, Susan Rice, and Victoria Nuland. An dishonorable mention goes to Michelle Obama who stands by her Hegeman as he drone bombs, assassinates and acts as Destroyer of Worlds for his masters.
Amnesty International Campaign for “Womens Rights” in Afghanistan
THE HARPIE ROLL CALL
We begin with Hilary Clinton, Lady MacDeath, the recent star in the US theatre of macabre and absurd defamations of democracy in her bid for the presidency. It’s important to note that the US Hegemon took a long time to allow a woman candidate for president while they did place some women in power in other nation-states. However, in the first bout to run a woman candidate they chose a male for the current US president, a man of African and European-American ancestry, over their girl, Hillary.
Obama did well for the Hegemon for the past few years which accomplished what they intended, further divisions in an already divided and well conquered populace, economic policies favoring the rich, while they kept the neo-con war going under the tenure of neo-liberal Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State from 2009-2013.
Hillary did well as a former Secretary of State for the Hegemon by destroying Libya, and overseeing the murder and rape of Gaddafi while stealing Libya’s gold. She is alleged to have lied about Benghazi. She is presiding over massive voter fraud including the military not getting their votes counted in this election. She is accused of using a secret private server with classified material to her activities. She oversees the drones being operated in the US and in other countries. She gave 123 Technologies $300 Million and right afterward let it declare bankruptcy so it could be sold to the Chinese. This is the woman for whom many will vote. I guess if you don’t mind millions of dead children, women and men to keep your “lib” on you will vote for her.
Her many scandals including covert ops in Honduras, ripping off Haiti in the recent crisis, Whitewater real-estate deal and her futures trading that brought her a quick $100,000, the Watergate committee, Vince Foster, commodity deals, the joke Iran Nuke deal, DOJ spying on the press, stealing White House furniture, using the State Department to interfere with an Inspector General Investigation on departmental sexual misconduct, and supporting her man when he lied about a blow-job and cheated on her, to name just a few.
Note that the Bilderberg group, the historical decision making place for the Hegemon has included Hillary Clinton is to the list of invitees. This news indicates that the powers that be have most likely decided to back Clinton for President.
Hillary Clinton attends Bilderberg 2016
Hillary is the woman that the war criminal and overseer for starving the children of Iraq, Madeline Albright, says that all US women must support or else lose their feminist credentials. The women liberals who believe she will protect their economic and reproductive rights will vote for her “with their vaginas” as commanded. Many will also vote for her to maintain the Democratic Party, the neo-liberal wing of the Hegemon.
This will only perpetuate the problems we face and the only change it will bring is more war, more torture, more rape, more divisions, more state terrorism, and more economic decline for everyone not in power in the Hegemon. My grand-daughters will be drafted because of her. #Never Hilary
Samantha Powers, a problem from hell for the 7-year-old African boy who was recently hit by her motorcade, was Obama’s pick for UN Ambassador and has been an efficient atrocity enabler by spinning human rights and women rights into mechanisms justifying narratives for hegemonic terrorism, invasions and occupations.
Described by journalist Tara McKelvey as the “femme fatale of the humanitarian-assistance world,” with the emphasis on fatal, her most notable accomplishment is her enabling of the Hegemon’s most ruthless perpetrators, primarily through her protection of Israel, the perpetrator of the Palestinian Holocaust. Described by White House foreign policy speechwriter Ben Rhodes as “the point person at the White House on all issues related to Israel at the UN,” Power routinely coordinated with the Israeli government to help protect its occupation of Palestinian territory.
It was a decidedly conventional task that began with her leading of the efforts to weaken the impact of the Goldstone Report that found Israel guilty of crimes against humanity during its assault on the Gaza Strip in 2008-09. She then helped shield Israel from legal scrutiny after its commandos massacred 8 Turkish activists and one US citizen in international waters on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in 2010. Next, Power spearheaded the US strategy to undermine the Palestinian Authority’s bid for statehood at the United Nations. Power has yet to admit to the consequences of her role in enabling some of the worst atrocities ever committed against one of the world’s longest-suffering populations.
In Libya, where Power’s demand for military intervention influenced President Barack Obama’s decision to authorize force, the US flung open the floodgates of chaos, transforming a sovereign state into a destabilized battleground for local warlords and jihadists while the Hegemon grabbed the gold.
In Syria, meanwhile, where one of the greatest hegemonic manufactured atrocities of modern times continues to devour civilian lives, Power’s high-profile initiatives have done little more than generate publicity for herself and support the Hegemon’s profits and plunder whilst her motorcade speeds through African villages hitting children and running off to spin her cover story.
Samantha Power recently received the 2016 Kissinger Prize in Berlin. Power, who is lauded as some great human rights advocate, probably does more than any other public figure to harm the cause of global human rights.
Susan Rice, Obama’s national security advisor, responsible for mass murders in Africa, by supporting policies that have led to the deaths of millions and the weakening of those nations’ sovereignty include: the Democratic Republic of the Congo (D.R.C.), and Sudan, the two largest nations on the continent, before the break-up of Sudan in 2011. This has resulted in a permanent destabilization of the countries of the Great Lakes region and parts of the Horn of Africa.
In 1996 Rice, as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director of African Affairs, supported the armies of Rwanda and Uganda to invade D.R.C. (then Zaire), and to install Laurent Kabila as its new President. From 1997-1998 Rice returned from her first trip to the Great Lakes region as the newly installed Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. In her role she agreed to have over 1 million Hutu refugees in UN camps inside the D.R.C. removed by the armies D.R.C. neighbors Uganda and Rwanda. Rice is quoted a saying that:
“Museveni [of Uganda] and Kagame [of Rwanda] agree that the basic problem in the Great Lakes is the danger of a resurgence of genocide [referring to the Rwandan Hutus who fled to the D.R.C. after Kagame took over Rwanda—LKF], and they know how to deal with that. The only thing we have to do is look the other way.”
Rice’s “looking the other way” was followed by a decade of killing and the looting in the D.R.C. by armed groups supported by Rice’s chosen “leaders” in the region, Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni and Rwanda’s Paul Kagama.
In 1998 Rice was instrumental in orchestrating the bombing of the al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Omdurman, Sudan, just outside of Khartoum, allegedly for producing chemical weapons that could be used in terrorist attacks on the United States. Not a shred of evidence was ever found to justify the al-Shifa attack. Despite Rice’s repeating the lie that Sudan is the only state in Sub-Saharan Africa that posed a direct threat to U.S. national security interests, no evidence was ever been made public to corroborate that allegation.
In fact, the U.S. intelligence community has admitted that it has no such evidence, and has collaborated with its counterparts in Sudan in fighting terrorism.
Susan Rice is a good daughter of the Hegemon; her record of killing Africans is her badge of brutality, giving her a seat at the table of the Hegemon.
An up and coming Harpy, Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, is in competition with Angela Merkel and Hilary Clinton for biggest liars award. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs “Toria” Nuland was purportedly the “mastermind” behind the Feb. 22, 2014 “regime change” in Ukraine, plotting the overthrow of the democratically elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych while spinning the narrative for U.S. mainstream media that the coup wasn’t really a coup but a victory for “democracy.”
Like her husband arch-neocon, Robert Kagan who co-founded the Project for the New American Century in 1998 around a demand for “regime change” in Iraq, a project that was accomplished in 2003 with President George W. Bush’s invasion for the Hegemon, she was overseer for a neo-Nazi coup in the Ukraine that has been devastating for the people. Nuland recited a litany of Big Lies about the “new Ukraine,” –Claiming it’s “building a peaceful, democratic, independent” nation is polar opposite truth.
She lied about Crimea “under illegal occupation” – ignoring near Crimean unanimity to reverse a historic mistake and rejoin Russia. She turned truth on its head claiming that in eastern Ukraine, Russia and its separatist puppets unleashed unspeakable violence and pillage. She has helped with ushering a new cold war with Russia saying, “This is a manufactured conflict controlled by the Kremlin, fueled by Russian tanks and heavy weapons; financed at Russian taxpayers’ expense and costing the lives of young Russians…” No evidence whatever shows Russian involvement. None exists except photos exposed as fakes but it is interesting to note that her statement fits the US perfectly!
Moving to the global stage a hegemonic homage must be made to the world’s most powerful woman, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who replaced Condoleezza Rice. She reigns over a Germany who is once again a force to be reckoned with economically and militarily. In fact, Germany just put troops on the ground in Syria with no concern for the sovereign Syrian government who do not want them there.
She was one of the staunchest supporters of the US war for Iraqi oil and spoils. Her unilateral decision to allow Israel to obtain a fleet of Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft-built, Dolphin-class submarines costing $2 billion each, subsidized by the current German Government, gives the Israeli state a ‘second strike’ nuclear capability far in advance of that of either Britain, Germany or France and posing a potential threat to all European states.
Angela Merkel on the refugee crisis.
True to the Big Daddy USA Angela Merkel’s cabinet approved a measure to bring fracking, the patents for which are owned mainly by American companies such as Dick Chaney’s Halliburton, into Germany. This is a prelude toward removing Europe from Russia’s energy-market, and bringing U.S. and European oil companies to dominate there instead.
A recent poll conducted by German web platform, Alles Schall und Rauch, asked more than 3,000 of its readers from Germany and 40 other countries to determine the world’s “liar of the year.” More than 39 percent of those surveyed crowned the German chancellor with the “liar of the year” title.
Park Geun-hye, is literally South Korea’s daddy’s girl, daughter of Park Chung-hee who ruled the country with a repressive iron fist from 1961 to 1979. Her father came to power through a CIA sponsored military coup d état and his rule ended when his own Korean CIA director assassinated him. President of South Korea since 2013 Korean President Park Geun-hye is the first female leader of her country with full support of the conservative party— an especially impressive accomplishment considering South Korea has the highest level of gender inequality in the developed world.
She is known for her inability to communicate with people spontaneously and her lack of empathy for difficult lives of grassroots populace because of her privileged position throughout her life. As a good asset for CIA she tried to get North Korea to abandon their nuclear-weapons program by promising humanitarian aid and an investment in its industries, but to no avail. Park has flexed her muscles by testing missiles that can reach all of North Korea, but Kim Jong-un hasn’t blinked, and hasn’t quashed any nuclear ambitions. Park conforms, as the Hegemon instructs, to the recurring model of female political leader who is a daughter, a wife, or a sister of a powerful male leader.
Clinton’s trip to Myanmar 2011
Aung San Suu Ky, Myanmar, Islamaphobe and media darling, alleged asset of MI-6 and CIA recently was named State Councillor of Myanmar. As the Constitution is designed to prevent her from becoming President, the Parliament created the new powerful position of State Councillor; a role similar to that of Prime Minister. She is also conveniently Minister of the President’s Office and Foreign Minister.
Her position as leader of the “Saffron Revolution” was sold as an ultra-liberal pro-democracy, progressive movement and was one of the West’s most successful neo-colonial creations to date, Aung San Suu Kyi, portrayed and revered as a modern day, secular “saint” of neo-liberalism and Western democratic values works hard to keep the Muslims in Myanmar down.
Her National League for Democracy (NLD) and her “Saffron” mobs, are fully funded, backed, protected by, and in absolute servile obedience to both US and British special interests. A 2006 36-page document out of the “Burma Campaign UK” explicitly details the enormous amount of money and resources both the US government and its corporate-funded foundations have poured into her image and her “movement.”
The most telling information begins on page 14 of 36 of the report’s PDF file. Titled, “Failing the People of Burma?” the report enumerates the vast resources the West has invested in building a “pro-democracy” movement, and argues that even more support be given to initiate a “transition” in the oil and mineral rich Myanmar.
As is evidenced today, women’s participation in the military industrial complex is embedded in every way. Legislation for the draft submitted after 2001 and now again in 2016 with Hilary Clinton’s full support explicitly defines both men and women of the ages between 18 and 26 as “conscripted” for military service where they get to learn how to oversee and conduct torture in prisons like Abu-Ghraib in Iraq.
Big Daddy Hegemon’s national and global bean counters are also important powerful women of which to take note, Janet Yellen, chair of the Federal Reserve, and Christine Legarde, head of the IMF— both the first women to hold these jobs. They have been obedient daughters of the Hegemon bringing down those who dare to threaten the debt based usury rich capitalist economic system.
Janet Yellen is the guardian of the US capitalist economy heading up the Fed, a private central bank historically noted for running a scam operation designed to financially enslave the American people since 1913. She has done a “good” job for the bottom lines of wealth and power. In 2015, Yellen upheld the tradition of little to no oversight or auditing for the Fed. Yellen holds a position of immense power, and her decisions affect the entire country.
Christine Legarde, appointed managing director of the International Monetary Fund in 2011, is the first woman to head the organization, which serves as the economic adviser and backstop for capitalist greed in 188 countries. Charged in 2008 with “negligence” by a French court over her role in a €403m sum handed over to a French businessman, LeGarde, is one of the Hegemon’s cleverest girls.
Along with the European Central Bank and the European Commission, the IMF under Lagarde has been preoccupied with complete economic slavery for Greece’s failing economy, which has generated $95 billion of debt that will specifically benefit Germany. Relations between the IMF and Athens, already strained after last year’s brinkmanship, have reached a new low.
Whether in media, education, government, or corporations, women play critical roles as leaders, managers and foot soldiers paving the way as role models for future obedient leaders and workers for the hegemon. As the hegemon minimally provides for the needs of its poorest women the illusion of equal opportunity and equity is fostered when a Hilary and an Angela take the stage together.
In the same pattern in which Fanon described the desire of the “native” for the white man’s power so do these women politicians desire the power of their masters that is the opposite of desiring liberty. Liberation and resistance means desiring freedom, it is struggle, and the struggle requires we build ties by nurturing the desire for liberty in each specific situation. The historical tragedies of torture and genocide now are commandeered by the “powerful” women allowed to act as overseers for the global masters.
Our failure to hesitate to stop these leaders has a price here and now. As more women and children are recruited by these women leaders more defenseless women and children will be tortured, shot and killed by our own daughters for the Hegemon. It is all part of the grand depopulation plan of the lords of war. All the hegemon’s boys and girls are to follow the “harsh arithmetic of pain,” whereby civilian casualties on both sides “play in their favour,” the favour of the ruling class that is.
Historically there have always been some women doing undercover dirty work but since WWII women in power have been paid agents and assets for the state and the corporations behind the state. With a clear political agenda they are caught up in the profits of imperialism. So total is the saturation of the hegemonic narrative in the minds of American and European women they almost never perceive it as problematic. The neo-liberal woman wearing their $1200 Armani suits preach that it is only ‘normal” to want to “uncover” the women of the Muslim world and make them “free to be” to have “sex in the city”.
BBC “Take off your Hijab” My Stealthy Freedom Campaign. Targeting Iran
People who are standing with the oppressed and for liberation need new rules, strategies and tactics to deal effectively and fairly with these dangerous realities of the new gender blind and colorblind imperialism. We cannot simply wait until the next generation of sons and daughters decide to follow Hillary or Angela’s demands for more cannon fodder. We must stop these leaders before they export their perverted propaganda, their sick and dangerous militaristic terrorism, their culture of death to children and grandchildren here so they do not spread it to the children and grandchildren over there.
We cannot simply wait until another son or daughter of people decide to follow the leader’s con jobs and deceptions. We must stop this madness of pre-emptive war games that the Judeo-Christian culture of death, male, female, GLBTQ, left, right, red or yellow, black or white, is spreading from sea to poisoned sea.
We must stop working to reform the Hegemon. The actual history of over 200 years of people in the US fighting for the rights of natives, slaves, immigrants, GLBTQ, the poor and women across race and class “from within” has produced 31 Flavors of overseers now called managers, supervisors, CEOs and politicians who support capitalist’s greed and cruelty. Those who are chosen to represent hegemony are chosen to maintain the wealth and power of those who already have it and if they do shake things up they will be removed.
So yes, one can get have the job of president and that president will be surrounded by a global cabal of war mongering supremacist oligarchs in a capitalist system who will insist on a great number of wars in countries that have oil, gold, water, minerals, gems, or are next door to China and Russia.
This same system will insist that women presidents legitimize the rape and assassination of leaders of sovereign states, invade and occupy sovereign nations, drone bomb potential innocents, spy on everyone, mass incarcerate its own people, while poisoning the food and the planet.
Every day that same President will hear repeatedly how great the threat is of Africans, Muslims, and of course, communists. She will be told that migrants are scum, how the disobedient need to be smacked down and how dissenters need to be shot and most importantly that terrorists must be killed where ever they are with no regard for national sovereignty or rules of war. There is no escaping the corrupt and cruel system that thrives on social and economic inequality and hegemonic brutality with the hollow women at the helm.
There are courageous women around the world that are educating, inspiring, agitating and organizing against greed, wars, invasions, occupations, environmental devastation, supremacy and patriarchy in the New World Order. You’ve probably never heard of them so I am honored to introduce a few of them to you.
These women represent the revolutionary women’s demand for a radical reordering of society towards real liberation and self-determination for all people. They have been on the front lines in the agenda to save the people and the planet. They are brilliant and brave women from around the world, young and old fighting against oppression. You have probably not heard of them because they do not work for the Hegemon.
Research their names and you will read, hear and feel their passion: Leila Khalid, Assata Shakur, Harsha Walia, Amal Saad, Cynthia McKinney, Marwa Osman, Eva Bartlett, Vanessa Beeley, Chris Geovanis, Suzella Palmer, Felicity Arbuthnot, Esther Stanford-Xosei, Ajanta Sinha Ghosh, Lah Tere, Mariela Castro, Alieda Guevarra, Rosa Clemente, Diana Berek, Heather Cottin, Lizzie Phelan, Cyrstal Vance Guerra, Rania Masri, Sarah Abdallah, Cheri Honkala, Kathleen Clever, Brooke Heagerty, Cindy Sheehan and many others around the world.
These women manifest revolution in protest, art, writing, teaching, brigades, seminars, video, radio, music, politics, community and care for others daily. Be like these woman, demand a radical reordering of society towards real liberation and self-determination for all people.
Create the front lines to save the people and the planet. Be brilliant and brave in the fight against oppression and resist being conned by whatever flavor they offer to appease you.
June Scorza Terpstra, Ph.D. is an activist educator and university lecturer in Justice Studies, Criminal Justice and Sociology. She has founded numerous programs for homeless, abused, youth and oppressed people in the USA. She is presently teaching courses on Law and Terrorism, Social Justice, Resistance, Criminology, and Juvenile Justice. She is a former Community Research Fellow and doctoral graduate of Loyola University Chicago.
Emancipatory Research in Domestic and Foreign Affairs
A recent debate about my hypothesis that the photographer Spencer Tunick, and another of his nude photo shoots/protests, this time at the RNC, was a psy op Soros/CIA type sponsored event caused me to once again recognize that those of us studying manufactured uprisings cannot take short cuts when publicly discussing these events if we are sincere about educating others about our hypotheses and theories. A hypothesis is a proposed explanation for something that can actually be tested. Here in my FB circle of friends (many who are journalists, academics, activists, writers, artists and students) we have explanations for world events that we identify as manufactured revolutions, hegemonic sponsored uprisings, and foundation supported activism that benefits the hegemon because they fit pattern and narratives of the Hegemon with which we are familiar.
The word, hegemon, is used to identify the class, state or group with the most power that is responsible for the dissemination of dominant power group’s ideas, systems and practices that most benefit those in power and those who rule for them. The documented history and patterns of the Hegemon's secret services covert and overt operations around the world are well known in this circle but to those who are new to this information and have not studied these manipulations and machinations of what some call the "deep state" the narratives fall into the category of "conspiracy theory", a term purposely introduced to trivialize and discount those who study these operations.
A scientific theory is an explanation of some aspect of the world that has been substantiated through repeated experiments or testing. Certainly, a review of CIA history and US foreign and domestic affairs demonstrates the repeated and successful experiments manipulating the public away from fundamental economic and social change while manufacturing public consent for the security state, war and plunder. Simply denying the history of how hegemony is maintained through covert and overt operations based on reactionary liberal or conservative agenda-driven critiques is not skepticism--it is denial of the manner in which ruling classes have maintained wealth and power through-out history. True skeptics are open to scientific and historical evidence and are willing to evenly assess it.
There are times when the tendency to make a binary distinction between something that is true, as in the case of documented CIA and US sponsored interventions around the globe in an absolute sense and something that's false or a lie, as in the case of the "official story" of the 9/11 attacks. There is a tendency by some of us to easily make claims without the evidence to back the claims because we have seen the pattern and know the scripts used repeatedly through history. The pattern of these narratives and events demonstrates to us the continuum of evidence on which we build our understanding of the planned events being staged to maintain power in the hands of those who already have it and want more. However, we still must do our work in every case to substantiate our hypotheses with evidence. I see this happening currently regarding the recent coup in Turkey, the war against Syria, and the search to verify who is sponsoring groups such as the White Helmets and ISIS. Beginning with the question of "who benefits" from these groups and their actions and following the money is always the starting place but the first source documentation is still needed once we verify the connections. The mental shortcuts to make sense of the cacophony of information we are presented with every day should not allow us to get sloppy. Conversely, we must acknowledge the historical patterns, narratives, psychological operations and scripts used to manipulate and coerce the public past and present as valid supports in the process of gathering evidence against the Hegemon.
The struggle does continue.
Concepts of ethical duty are based on the ethical paradigms in which they reside. This means that "good" or "bad" consequences are defined according to the constructs of the belief system(s) that laid the foundation for the existing social structures/institutions. For example, the belief system/paradigm from which present day retributive models emerge in Western criminal justice systems are those that poses that the "greater good" is to punish the criminal towards goals of:
1. social control which conserves the power of those who already possess it in the most cost effective manner possible and profit from it when possible;
2. to protect those in power by preventing harm against individuals, with a special emphasis on protecting those individuals with the power and authority who provide a barrier between the powerful and the powerless;
3. to exact revenge on those who violate and threaten the balance of power in the society; and
4. to maintain the appearance of adhering to an ethic of human rights and a duty of care for a public who have been taught to believe in the importance of a democratic republic.
If you shift the paradigm to one of social/redistributive justice, or Indigenous justice, or transformative justice there are completely different conceptions of "the greater good." Within these systems the greater good means society's response must be immersed in the struggle for transforming society through action on behalf of the poor and oppressed, the colonized, the wounded and those suffering. Using the aforementioned paradigms, crime and harm is interpreted not primarily from an individual, private perspective, but from a social and economic perspective. Crime is not considered an individual, private, or merely personal reality. Crime is regarded as a social, historical fact, crime is the absence of social stewardship for people and planet, crime is the absence compassion and love in relationships among human beings. These paradigms view present-day economic and social constructs as criminal specifically because they are embedded systems of oppression and exploitation encompassing the majority of the world’s people. Within these paradigms the greater good is to resist and transform the crimes of oppression and exploitation to repair the imbalances of existing mechanisms of power and transform them to foster individuals who are members of a human community in charge of their history and who consistently shape history by questioning the consequences of their actions and activities they are producing as a society.
The damages done by experiencing, seeing and knowing the cruelty perpetrated by human beings to one another creates gaping wounds and aching scars. Without a society and a way of living that promotes humane, restorative and transformative responses systemically, people do not heal. Justice as healing will never happen if we continue to attempt to survive in societies that have been constructed through cultures embracing wars which brutally promote imperialism, colonialism, fascism, neo-conservativism or neo-liberalism. We have ethical, social and cultural models for other ways of living and organizing ourselves as humans from the past and from people's visions articulated in theory for the future. Only by living out these visions in our daily relationships in communities with vastly different structures from the ones in which we exist now can we heal and grow. Until then, we are all dead men walking.
STOP TRYING TO REFORM IT
Stop trying to reform it. Based on my research as a sociologist and over 40 years of my work experience creating a shelter for battered women and children, sexual abuse hot-lines, a university women's center, a child sexual abuse prevention program, a university anti-discrimination program, and an "at risk" youth center, I see little to no evidence that working within the system produces fundamental social or economic justice. The actual history of over 200 years of people in the US fighting for the rights of natives, slaves, immigrants, GLBT, the poor and women across race and class "from within" has produced 31 Flavors of overseers called managers, supervisors, CEOs and politicians who support capitalist's greed and cruelty. The ruling class or 1% or oligarchy or Deep State, what ever you want to call it, now uses 31 flavors of people to do their bidding be it a Black President or a white woman Secretary of State or a native Judge. Those who are chosen to represent hegemony are chosen to maintain the wealth and power of those who already have it and if they do shake things up they will be removed. So yes, one can get a job as a police officer and that officer will be surrounded by a whole white supremacist system and its representatives that will insist on a great number of arrests in poverty neighborhoods populated by people of color to feed the prison industrial complex and keep the poor under control. This same system will insist that that same officer arrests people with excessive force for drugs, debts, traffic violations, hanging around on streets corners with friends, not being obedient in school, and countless other non-violent offenses. Every day that same officer will hear repeatedly how savage African Americans are, how women deserve to be raped, how migrants are scum, how the disobedient need to be smacked down and how dissenters need to be shot, until he or she comes to join in the fascist fight for uncontested power and control over the people. This same scenario plays it self out in every facet of the the system. It really is not about well intended individuals, its about a corrupt and cruel system that thrives on social and economic inequality.
June Terpstra, 2016
June Terpstra, Ph.D. 12/11/13
Moral education in the USA, if there can be said to be such as thing, forms a cognitive structure which generally promotes seeing things in specific ways that benefit elite, dominant groups and ideologies: white, Christian, male, private property, punishment, capitalism, militaristim, law and order, all are posed as norms in the dominant paradigm. Privileges are conferred through class, race, gender, and creed and are embedded in law, political policies, and practices. Liberal, meaning liberties based on law about the “equality of man” were spread and officially proclaimed yet rather than concretely weeding out notions of class, racial, creed, and gender superiority, the result was that the mechanisms of privilege became more complex yet more firmly entrenched.
Those who are today’s heirs of this system may be a more diverse representation (31 flavors multi-culturalism) of men and women than in the past but still maintain a master-slave or Herrenvolk ethic. This can be seen in the neo-conservative theories of Leo Strauss and his adherents such as Dick Cheeney, Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice’s policies advocating torture and invasion and occupation. It can also be seen in the neo-liberal ideologies of Obama and Susan Powers advocating for imperialism through military interventionism outside of national and international law. Today’s leaders in the US and Europe perpetuate this system not only through their desire for privilege, their desire for what they feel is their “due,” but also their ideological stance of profit and power sucked from the labor and at the expense of the people, who are viewed as lesser mortals.
The moral import of these class/race/gender/creed based constructs of the human person is clear--our moral education is structured to reflect the stratified ethic of these hierarchies. We are taught about love, equality, and the Golden Rule, while the policies and practices of keeping the people in their “places” through violence and social control by agents of the corporate state are the daily reality for the poor, people of color, migrants, working classes, and all those not adhering to the economic ideology of capitalism. While equality among members of the elites and their managers, be they black, white, or Saudi is based on their common and equal class superiority to all the subordinate classes, races, creeds, and genders there is a special emphasis to control those who question and struggle against imperialism, stratification, exploitation, invasion, occupation and incarceration. Those who fight against the elites and their governments experience isolation and accusations of being a terrorists. In current U.S. society-our values, our morals, and our self-conceptions-rests upon these hierarchies, which, through the generations, have become more and more firmly entrenched creating a cognitive dysfunction, a moral knowledge glitch and gap. Hence, a conscious reflection on the ways in which social, economic and military advantage fosters epistemic disadvantage in elites, their managers, agents, assets and enforcers gets us closer to the goal of attaining moral truth, self-determination, and social justice.
Many critical criminologists pose that the US criminal justice system was created in such a way to disadvantage, subdue, and control certain the poor, slaves, workers who would unionize and strike, immigrant groups, people of color, and the women in all of these groups. Trends in every facet of criminal justice research concerning police, courts and corrections, provide evidence that the criminal justice system is doing exactly what it was designed to do - marginalize and control these populations. For example, although African Americans comprise 13% of the U.S. population, they account for 29% of arrests, 38% of prisoners in state and federal facilities, 42% of death penalty cases, and 37% of executions (Snell, 2011). Research continues to highlight the racial disparities that infiltrate the criminal justice system. While often the recipient of differential treatment, subjective laws, and more punitive sentences, African Americans experience the wrath of the criminal justice system when they are the offenders of crimes. For the purposes of this discussion at this point I will focus on African Americans however it is important to note that research will demonstrate similar patterns with indigenous, working class fighting for rights, immigrants, etc.. The cases of Rodney King, Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, and Lorenzo Collins are just a few contemporary examples of the continued examples of the devaluation of African Americans lives in the criminal justice system. Each of these cases involved an African American victim and a police offender. For these cases, the police offender was either acquitted of all charges or convicted of a much lesser charge. Further solidifying the belief that the lives of African Americans are not valued in the criminal justice system and as in the days of slavery, still targeted.
Most recently, the verdict in the case of Trayvon Martin reaffirmed the devalued status of African American life. The unarmed, 17-year old boy was racially profiled, shot and killed by an overzealous neighborhood watchman named George Zimmerman who claimed self-defense. The offender's acquittal of all charges, by a predominately White jury, speaks to the historical denigration of African American life in both American society and the criminal justice system. It also reveals the implicit institutionalized racism, birthed from the racialized ideologies of the Antebellum period, which continue to manifest itself within the criminal justice system. The posthumous vilification of Trayvon Martin during the trial and the subsequent verdict parallels a historical trend of injustice afforded to African Americans within the criminal justice system. Furthermore, the verdict contradicts the notion that the system is broken, conversely, it affirms the system is operating the way it was designed to function, which is to suppress, subdue, and socially control African Americans, as opposed to protect and preserve their human rights. The system is not broken, it was never right in the first place, and until a substantive systematic change occurs, the criminal justice system will continue to be used by privileged agents as a means to marginalize African Americans and the other groups mentioned here.
Punishment is one of the most dramatic manifestations of culture and ideology resulting in a continuum with state power and state terrorism implemented for social control on one end and restorative and rehabilitative humane responses to harm caused on the other. Whom a society punishes and how it punishes are key political questions as well as indicators of its character. There are concrete connections between punishment and politics domestically and globally that must be understood in the politicization and racialization of punishment through which the state dispenses its penal power. Punishment as it constitutes itself today expresses the basest desires for power through the rhetoric of vengeance using the pain of the victims of crime.
While Singapore and the five countries with the highest prison populations are the US, China, Russia, Brazil and India emphasize punishment, Holland and Sweden Nordic countries are seeing crime rates drop and some are closing their prisons using restorative and rehabilitative justice models that emphasize the importance of human relationships within family, neighborhood, city and state. Prison numbers in Sweden, which have been falling by around 1% a year since 2004, dropped by 6% between 2011 and 2012. In 2009, the Dutch justice ministry announced the planned closing of eight prisons in the Netherlands due to a declining crime rate which was expected to continue. Now, in 2013, there are 19 prisons scheduled to be closed. This is caused, in part, by a continued decline in crime rates. Additionally, those who are convicted are choosing electronic tagging instead of incarceration. This allows people to go back to work and continue as productive members of society. It also saves about $50,000 per year per person (about $50 million saved per year for every 1000 people).
It may be difficult to conceive of a prison system that does not rely almost exclusively on punitive measures for people in the US, but rather attends to the rights and rehabilitation of inmates. In contrast to the American Prison System, the framework of the Nordic Prison System serves to rehabilitate inmates to directly address recidivism (Pratt, 2008). For example, while the largest Nordic prison houses approximately 350 inmates, the majority of these prisons are relatively small and house around 100 inmates (Pratt, 2008). The philosophy behind the limited prison size is to maintain several active prisons in many different parts of the country, allowing prisoners to reside in closer proximity to their family and home environment (Pratt, 2008). Consequently, Nordic prisoners can maintain their roots in their communities and family bonds, while receiving rehabilitation services within the prison walls.
The current view on the treatment of prisoners in the United States is that an increase in punishment yields a decrease in crime rates . In reality, the U.S. crime and recidivism rate is higher than that of any other country (Langan & Levin, 2002; Mauer, 2003). Considering the relationship between individuals who are undereducated, unemployed, unwelcome and incarcerated, there seems to be an obvious need to reform the current social and economic systems . In contrast, other countries have models for prison systems that seem to be more effective at reducing recidivism and crime; most notably, Nordic prisons employ a philosophy of rehabilitation to decrease recidivism (Kjelsberg, et al., 2007). Consequently, the United States may possibly benefit from a decrease in recidivism by widely adopting features from the Nordic prison systems.
The bottom line is all about the money in the USA. Of that I have no doubt. The privatization of the prison industry (corporate owned prisons funded with tax dollars) creates an entirely new industry in the USA which is dependent upon filling prisons cells to make a profit. This is accompanied by the equally disturbing trend towards the use of extremely cheap prison labor forces who make more profits for private industries such as Starbucks and Victoria Secret. These trends prevent some of the outsourcing of jobs out of the country and into slave-labor markets in the USA so that corporations can make record-breaking profits. Of course, sustaining those profits will require a steady flow of prisoners, creating a self-sustaining system that, once built, is becoming a permanent part of the landscape. (McGowan, 1998)
Some of the country's largest and most profitable corporations use prison labor forces at wages up to 80% below the national minimum wage. Among those reportedly contracting to employ prisoners, either directly or through subsidiaries include: AT&T, Bank of America, Boeing, Chevron, Costco, Dell Computers, Eddie Bauer, IBM, Business Machines, Micro-Soft, Starbucks, Texas instruments, TWA, US West, Nordstroms and Victoria Secrets. (Moore) In addition to the companies that directly manage America's prisons, many other firms are getting a piece of the private prison action: American Express, General Electric, Goldman Sachs & Co., Merrill Lynch, and Smith Barney have made huge sums by underwriting prison construction with the sale of tax-exempt bonds. This was a thriving 2.3 billion dollar industry in the late 90’s and is far beyond that figure now.
The economic bond between private prison corporations and congress exchanges campaign funds for state tax subsidies and legislation resulting in contractually obligated promises to fill prison beds as a common provision in a majority of America's private prison contracts. According to a public records analysis released today by the advocacy group In the Public Interest, the group reviewed more than 60 contracts between private prison companies and state and local governments across the country, and found language mentioning quotas for prisoners in nearly two-thirds of those analyzed. Experts argue that such requirements create an incentive for policymakers to force judiciaries and law enforcers to focus on filling empty prison beds, as opposed to pursuing long-term policy changes, such as sentencing reform, decriminalization, rehabilitation, restorative justice programs that could significantly reduce prison populations. In short, many states are effectively obligated to continue to incarcerate people regardless of crime rates and public safety needs, or otherwise hand over taxpayer dollars in order to satisfy private profit-making companies.
Snell, T. L. (2013). Capital Punishment, 2011 Statistical Tables. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Retrieved from: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cp11st.pdf.
Pratt, J. (2008). Scandinavian exceptionalism in an era of penal excess. British Journal of Criminology, 48(3), 275-292. doi:101093/bjc/azm073
Langan, P. & Levin, D. (2002). Recidivism of prisoners released in 1994. Federal Sentencing Reporter, 15(1), 58-65.
Kjelsberg, E., Skoglund, T., & Rustad, A. (2007). Attitudes towards prisoners, as reported by prison inmates, prison employees and college students. BMC Public Health, 7, 771-779. doi:10.1186/1471- 2458-7-71
McGowan, D. 1998. Derailing Democracy.
On the concept of Power Distance and Moral Imperialism
June Terpstra, Ph.D.
Power Distance is defined as a "dimension expressing the degree to which the less powerful members of a society accept and expect that power is distributed unequally. The fundamental issue here is how a society handles inequalities among people. People in societies exhibiting a large degree of power distance accept a hierarchical order in which everybody has a place and which needs no further justification. In societies with low power distance, people strive to equalise the distribution of power and demand justification for inequalities of power." The theorist, Dutch theorist Geert Hofstede uses China as an example a society with a large degree of power distance and "Democratic societies as examples of small power distance. The perspective presented is a solid example of moral and cultural imperialism of the Western hegemonic class.
Moral imperialism is expressed in attempts to impose moral standards from one particular culture, geopolitical region or culture onto other cultures,regions or countries. Specifically, the Euro-American emphasis ideologically on individualism versus collectivism and capitalism versus socialism, could be labeled as complex methods of power distance to maintain hegemonic control of the ideological discourse posing individualism and capitalism as morally superior. Critical theorists have generally focused their research and pedagogical efforts toward the ways in which class, race, gender, sexual orientations and systems of power influence our conceptions of knowledge, the knowing subject, and practices of inquiry and justification. One common aim of critical methodologies identifies ways in which dominant conceptions and practices of knowledge attribution, acquisition, and justification systematically disadvantage subordinated groups. Conceptions of objectivity criticized by activist researchers identify objectivity with a single point of view that dismisses all other points of view as false or biased. These claims of objectivity consistently benefit specific power holder interests.
One of the most important and the most complex concepts that philosopher, Antonio Gramsci analyzed, is “hegemony.” The concept of hegemony is crucial to Gramsci’s theories. By ‘ideological hegemony’ Gramsci means the process whereby a dominant class contrives to retain political power by manipulating public opinion, creating what Gramsci refers to as the ‘popular consensus’ (Boyce 2003). Through its exploitation of religion, education and elements of popular national culture a ruling class can impose its world-view and have it come to be accepted as common sense (Boyce 2003). So total is the ‘hegemony’ established by bourgeois society over mind and spirit that it is almost never perceived as such at all. It strikes the mind as ‘normality’ (reification) (Boyce 2003).
My point is that rigid hierarchies made to appear as "democratic" are the larger and not the smaller of the power distance "offenders". Researchers represent positions, ends, and interests as is evidenced in their individual articulations and actions in and out of the field. Hofstede's use of his theory engages in the enterprise of legitimizing the power of the capitalist elite. I am concerned at the manner in which power distance is masked in academic discourse.
In a book entitled Academic Capitalism: Politics, Policies and the Entrepreneurial University, sociologists Sheila Slaughter and Larry Leslie analyze what they term the “global knowledge economy.” This economy is structured by rapidly proliferating partnerships between public universities and the corporate sector. In case studies of universities in Australia, Canada, the U.K. and the U.S., Slaughter and Leslie demonstrate that public universities increasingly court corporate money to offset the loss of government block grants. This has occasioned a cataclysmic change in the way public universities operate. The faculty are no longer able to occupy the tenuous space between capital and labor they have held since the Industrial Revolution (Slaughter and Leslie 1997). Instead they are increasingly becoming direct participants in the market in order to fund their research. As a result, a new breed of academic player has been bred, “academic capitalists” or “state-subsidized entrepreneurs” who “act as capitalists from within the public sector” (Slaughter and Leslie 1997). They must compete in the public sector in order to make their areas of research or individual departments viable financial entities. This results in academic institutional gatekeepers who provide an illusion of academic free inquiry while maintaining the status quo.
In thier work on "Rethinking Critical Theory", Kincheloe and McLaren state that the key to successful critical analysis involves (a) the ability to link the production of representation, images and signs of hypereality to power in the political economy; and, (b) the capacity, once this linkage is exposed and described to delineate highly complex effects of the reception of these images and signs on individuals located at various race, class, gender, and sexual coordinates in the web of reality (Kincheloe and McLaren 2000). This is my intent with this post. This is a favorite subject of mine so please forgive the length as I intend it to be worth the read.
Boyce, Mary. 2003 Teaching critically as an act of praxis and resistance. http://www.mngt.waikato.ac.nz/Research/ejrot/Vol_3/Vol2articles/boyce.asp.
Slaughter, Sheila and Larry L. Leslie. 1997. Academic capitalism: Politic, policies, and the entrepreneurial university. CITY: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Kincheloe, Joe and Peter McLaren. 2000. Rethinking critical theory and qualitative research. In Handbook of Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.