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  March 29, 2013

Crisis: Sheldon Wolin on inverted totalitarianism

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Introduction   
1.  Sheldon Wolin on inverted totalitarianism
About ME/CFS


Introduction:

Yesterday I wrote about the extinction of Dutch democracy and the rule of law; today my theme is the extinction of American democracy and the rule of law, as charted by an eminent American scholar, and as fought in the courts and the press by an eminent American journalist.

1.  Sheldon Wolin on inverted totalitarianism

I mentioned Sheldon Wolin, an American political scientist, who is meanwhile in his 90ies, yesterday in a footnote, in which I also said you can see him interviewed by Bill Moyers here:
Late last year I formulated a number of hypotheses about what I called "corporate fascism + the surveillance state" abbreviated "CF+SS", that seem to have interested very few:
Indeed, I suspect this may have irrated some of the Dutch "social scientists" that follow my sites (without having the guts of ever mailing me, and quite possibly "borrowing" from me without attribution), for their attendance to my site has fallen [1].

I was quite pleased to find out that there is a man like Sheldon Wolin in the US, about whom I do not know much, but who clearly has brains and guts. See his
that starts thus - and note this was written in 2003 by an eminent US political scientists who then was 80 or 81: surely not a young, ignorant romantic idealist:
The war on Iraq has so monopolized public attention as to obscure the regime change taking place in the Homeland. We may have invaded Iraq to bring in democracy and bring down a totalitarian regime, but in the process our own system may be moving closer to the latter and further weakening the former.
A little later there is this, that explains the apt phrase "inverted totalitarianism":
Representative institutions no longer represent voters. Instead, they have been short-circuited, steadily corrupted by an institutionalized system of bribery that renders them responsive to powerful interest groups whose constituencies are the major corporations and wealthiest Americans. The courts, in turn, when they are not increasingly handmaidens of corporate power, are consistently deferential to the claims of national security. Elections have become heavily subsidized non-events that typically attract at best merely half of an electorate whose information about foreign and domestic politics is filtered through corporate-dominated media. Citizens are manipulated into a nervous state by the media's reports of rampant crime and terrorist networks, by thinly veiled threats of the Attorney General and by their own fears about unemployment. What is crucially important here is not only the expansion of governmental power but the inevitable discrediting of constitutional limitations and institutional processes that discourages the citizenry and leaves them politically apathetic.

No doubt these remarks will be dismissed by some as alarmist, but I want to go further and name the emergent political system "inverted totalitarianism." By inverted I mean that while the current system and its operatives share with Nazism the aspiration toward unlimited power and aggressive expansionism, their methods and actions seem upside down. For example, in Weimar Germany, before the Nazis took power, the "streets" were dominated by totalitarian-oriented gangs of toughs, and whatever there was of democracy was confined to the government. In the United States, however, it is the streets where democracy is most alive--while the real danger lies with an increasingly unbridled government.

Or another example of the inversion: Under Nazi rule there was never any doubt about "big business" being subordinated to the political regime. In the United States, however, it has been apparent for decades that corporate power has become so predominant in the political establishment, particularly in the Republican Party, and so dominant in its influence over policy, as to suggest a role inversion the exact opposite of the Nazis'. At the same time, it is corporate power, as the representative of the dynamic of capitalism and of the ever-expanding power made available by the integration of science and technology with the structure of capitalism, that produces the totalizing drive that, under the Nazis, was supplied by ideological notions such as Lebensraum.

Again, this was written in 2003, when professor Wolin continued

In rebuttal it will be said that there is no domestic equivalent to the Nazi regime of torture, concentration camps or other instruments of terror. But we should remember that for the most part, Nazi terror was not applied to the population generally; rather, the aim was to promote a certain type of shadowy fear--rumors of torture--that would aid in managing and manipulating the populace. Stated positively, the Nazis wanted a mobilized society eager to support endless warfare, expansion and sacrifice for the nation.

Alas, there now is torture, there now are concentration csmps, and there now is a "shadowy fear" only very courageous men like former war correspondent Chris Hedges have the courage to publicly resist. See the wikipedia article
of which the first paragraph, minus some links, runs thus:
Hedges v. Obama is a lawsuit filed January 13, 2012 against the Obama Administration and Members of the U.S. Congress by a group including former New York Times reporter and current Truthdig columnist Christopher Hedges challenging the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA) which permits the U.S. government to indefinitely detain people who are part of or substantially support Al Qaeda, the Taliban or associated forces engaged in hostilities against the United States.
I yesterday provided a link to a talk by Chris Hedges and meanwhile found that what is mostly a similar talk but better filmed and with a more appreciative audience is here, in three parts, all well worth watching, also if you disagree:
Here is a final bit of Sheldon Wolin, published May 1, 2003, almost 10 years ago, virtually unheeded by the class of morally degenerate parasitic posturing postmodern pseudo-intellectuals and quasi-journalists, that instead in Holland wrote about the suffering of animals, of chickens, and of pigs, and why elderly comedians should shut up being critical, as if they each and all got paid for lying posturing, deceiving and misleading [2]:
Thus the elements are in place: a weak legislative body, a legal system that is both compliant and repressive, a party system in which one party, whether in opposition or in the majority, is bent upon reconstituting the existing system so as to permanently favor a ruling class of the wealthy, the well-connected and the corporate, while leaving the poorer citizens with a sense of helplessness and political despair, and, at the same time, keeping the middle classes dangling between fear of unemployment and expectations of fantastic rewards once the new economy recovers. That scheme is abetted by a sycophantic and increasingly concentrated media; by the integration of universities with their corporate benefactors; by a propaganda machine institutionalized in well-funded think tanks and conservative foundations; by the increasingly closer cooperation between local police and national law enforcement agencies aimed at identifying terrorists, suspicious aliens and domestic dissidents.

That seems to me very well seen, very clearly formulated, and also a sign of considerable personal courage, and the same applies to Chris Hedges' activism mentioned above, whom it seems to have inspired, no doubt in combination with other thingsm, as he explains himself in the above lecture.

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P.S. Mar 31, 2013: Added a link to the translation of a piece my father wrote in 1966 to obtain a pension for having survived 3 years and 9 months as a political prisoner in German concentration-camps. The piece was investigated; testimonies were given; and my father, being a communist, was awarded little more than people in the dole receive in Holland, by a committee and a foundation that probably existed exclusively of members of the Dutch Labour Party (who rewarded their own kind, who did far less or lied, far more).

I think it gives a fair image of what manner of man he was. I have not met any who approximated his moral stature in a Dutch university, filled to the brim with collaborators of the pseudo-marxist radical students who destroyed the Dutch universities by levelling and politicizing them, and who opposed anyone who excelled them in any way as "elitist", and who attacked anyone who disagreed with them, like myself, as "a fascist".

Quite a few of these moral and intellectual degenerates are still professors or lecturers, or else extremely well pensioned. I was kicked from the university, briefly before taking my M.A. in philosophy, for asking questions:
It seems I am the only person ever to have been removed for publicly statting ideas - in the form of questions, as an invited speaker - from a Dutch university since the Nazis were defeated in 1945.

Eventually, not suffering from an IQ of the ludicrous quality that marks most Dutch students, intellectuals and professors, I got an excellent M.A. in psychology, but because I had protested being gassed and threatened with murder by the drugsdealers Amsterdam that mayor Ed van Thijn had given permission to deal illegal drugs from the house where I lived, against my protests, mayor Job Cohen denied me any cent to help clean my house (I am ill without help in minimal dole) or help me write a Ph.D., in spite of my intellectual brilliance.

My protests were never even answered by the municipal Amsterdam authorities, who help turn over billions of illegal drugs each year: the dealer who had me gassed still thrives in Amsterdam, protected by mayors, aldermen, police, district attorneys and judges. The drugsmafia still makes billions each year in and around Amsterdam, with the help, protection, and proud tolerance of the persons and institutions mentioned. (See note [1] to March 27, 2013.)

"So it goes" in Amsterdam, where the drugsmafia rules in the name of the ideals of the February-strike.

Notes

[1] Another reason may have been that I have been quite unfriendly about social psychologists. Well comrades: I think the lot of you should not be in a university (unless you can prove your IQ is higher than 140, and I cannot believe more than very few of you qualify); you are - as long as you don't have the courage and the brains to speak up about the current crisis - part of the problem that maintains the crisis; and I also admit I deeply despise the class of moronic and parasitic quasi-intellectual to which you nearly all belong, whose members  had the impertinence of scolding me many times for "a fascist" and "a terrorist" because I was not, as many of you pretended to be, a marxist, and also had the courage of saying so, even while I was ill and knew I would be discriminated for it. Indeed, none those who scolded me thus, with sadistic glee, protected by belonging to groups of quasi-radicals, who then had the power in the Universxity of Amsterdam, knew that - unlike each and all of you - I come from a genuine marxist revolutionary family. Also, you were nearly all then, as you nearly all are now, impostors, frauds, pseudo-scientists, both morally and scientifically. Compared to my parents and grandparents, who risked their lives in the communist resistance against the Nazis, most of you are sick cowards; compared to me, most of you are morons and ignoramuses.

[2] As indeed those who are professors in Amsterdam - Etty and Feddema, both pseudo-(ex-)marxist arrived rich careerists - are: morally totally corrupt, sick, spastic, lying, degenerate cowardly careerists. These are the morally totally corrupt sickos who helped destroy the universities, civilization and the rule of law in Holland, in the name of the marxist revolution, in the name of feminism, in the name of animal rights, but in fact for their own riches, their own status and their power: The true Dutch equivalents of Stalin's mafia. (I am merely applying what I learned in the University of Amsterdam, whence I was removed from protesting this: "Everyone is of the same value as everyone else".)


About ME/CFS (that I prefer to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate
search machines) which is a disease I have since 1.1.1979:
1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS(pdf)

2. Malcolm Hooper THE MENTAL HEALTH MOVEMENT:  
PERSECUTION OF PATIENTS?
3. Hillary Johnson

The Why  (currently not available)

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2003)
5. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2011)
6. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

7. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
9.
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)


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