Monday, October 9, 2017

Crisis: Leftwingers, Hedges Interviewed, Sanitizing The Left, Corker, North Korea

Sections                                                crisis index

1. Summary
Crisis Files
    A. Selections from October 9, 2017 


This is a Nederlog of Monday, October 9, 2017.

1. Summary

This is a crisis log but it is a bit different from how it was the last four years:

I have been writing about the crisis since September 1, 2008 (in Dutch) and about the enormous dangers of surveillance (by secret services and by many rich commercial entities) since June 10, 2013, and I will continue with it.

On the moment and since nearly two years (!!!!) I have problems with the company that is supposed to take care that my site is visible [1] and with my health, but I am still writing a Nederlog every day and will continue.

2. Crisis Files

These are five crisis files that are all well worth reading [2]:

A. Selections from October 9, 2017
1. Faces of Pain, Faces of Hope
2. Elites ‘Have No Credibility Left’: Interview With
     Journalist Chris Hedges

3. The Sanitizing of Martin Luther King and Rosa

4. Bob Corker Says Trump’s Recklessness Threatens
     ‘World War III’

5. North Korean Leader Hails Nuclear Arsenal as
     ‘Powerful Deterrent’
The items 1 - 5 are today's selections from the 35 sites that I look at every morning. The indented text under each link is quoted from the link that starts the item. Unindented text is by me:

1. Faces of Pain, Faces of Hope

This article is by Chris Hedges on Truthdig. This is an article is about a leftwing community in the USA. I will leave that community mostly to your interests (but see item 2 that is a long and fine interview with Chris Hedges), indeed except for the first quotation:

Those who come for events bring food for a potluck dinner or chip in five dollars each. Bands play, poets read and there is an open mic. Here they affirm what we all must affirm—those talents, passions, feelings, thoughts and creativity that make us complete human beings. Here people are celebrated not for their jobs or status but for their contributions to others. And in associations like this one, unseen and unheralded, lies hope.

“We are an intentional community,” said Josh. “This means we are a group of people who have chosen to live together to repurpose an old building, to offer to a neighborhood and a city a place to express its creative gifts. This is an alternative model to a culture that focuses on accumulating as much money as possible and on an economic structure based on competition and taking advantage of others. We value manual labor. We value nonviolence as a tactic for resistance. We value simplicity. We believe people are not commodities. We share what we have. We are not about accumulating for ourselves. These values help us to become whole people.”

And I more or less agree, but add that if you want to know more about the community and some people in it, you have to read the original story.

I pick out two more quotes, both about present-day capitalism:

The message of the consumer society, pumped out over flat screen televisions, computers and smartphones, to those trapped at the bottom of society is loud and unrelenting: You are a failure. Popular culture celebrates those who wallow in power, wealth and self-obsession and perpetuates the lie that if you work hard and are clever you too can become a “success,” perhaps landing on “American Idol” or “Shark Tank.” You too can invent Facebook. You too can become a sports or Hollywood icon. You too can rise to be a titan.

In fact, this is utter bullshit: If you want that, then you seem to lack even the sligthest understanding of the capitalist extremely pyramidical society, where there is only very little room at the top, and that room is nearly all reserved for people like Donald Trump, who inherited their wealth from extremely rich fathers, and not for people with fine minds or considerable artistic ability who do not have rich fathers or a very influential family:


Also, if you want to be one of the rulers, then you should consent to the whole capitalist structure that elevates you (in your dreams) to become one of the very few rulers, and not one of the very many fooled and oppressed people who labor for the rich, and get little in return.

Here is the last bit that I´ll quote from this article:

Hope means walking away from the illusion that you will be the next Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Kim Kardashian. It means rejecting the lust for public adulation and popular validation. It means turning away from the maniacal creation of a persona, an activity that defines presence on social media. It means searching for something else—a life of meaning, purpose and, ultimately, dignity.

Yes indeed. But it also means - usually and normally (and in my case as well: see item 2) - that you and your family will have little money and - at least - considerable discrimination, simply because you are not a conformist and do not like to be one.

2. Elites ‘Have No Credibility Left’: Interview With Journalist Chris Hedges

This interview with Chris Hedges is by David North on Truthdig and was originally on WSWS (<-Wikipedia), that abbreviates the World Socialist Web Site [3], that I admit is new to me.

But this a fine interview that starts as follows:
On Monday, WSWS International Editorial Board Chairman David North interviewed Chris Hedges, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author, lecturer and former New York Times correspondent. Among Hedges’ best-known books are War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, The Death of the Liberal ClassEmpire of Illusion: the End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, which he co-wrote with the cartoonist Joe Sacco, and Wages of Rebellion: the Moral Imperative of Revolt.
This is here because it is a fair introduction to Chris Hedges (<-Wikipedia).

Here is Hedges on the ¨Russia-gate¨ madness:

David North: How do you interpret the fixation on Russia and the entire interpretation of the election within the framework of Putin’s manipulation?

Chris Hedges: It’s as ridiculous as Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. It is an absolutely unproven allegation that is used to perpetuate a very frightening accusation—critics of corporate capitalism and imperialism are foreign agents for Russia.

I have no doubt that the Russians invested time, energy and money into attempting to influence events in the United States in ways that would serve their interests, in the same way that we have done and do in Russia and all sorts of other countries throughout the world. So I’m not saying there was no influence, or an attempt to influence events.

But the whole idea that the Russians swung the election to Trump is absurd.
Yes, I entirely agree - and the important thing is that this accusation (which is already ridiculous because Russia is a capitalist country since 27 years) ¨is used to perpetuate a very frightening accusation—critics of corporate capitalism and imperialism are foreign agents for Russia¨.

Here is some more on ¨Russia-gate¨ (which is bullshit) and the fraudulent and rich forces behind it (and the speaker is Chris Hedges):

This obsession with Russia is a tactic used by the ruling elite, and in particular the Democratic Party, to avoid facing a very unpleasant reality: that their unpopularity is the outcome of their policies of deindustrialization and the assault against working men and women and poor people of color. It is the result of disastrous trade agreements like NAFTA that abolished good-paying union jobs and shipped them to places like Mexico, where workers without benefits are paid $3.00 an hour. It is the result of the explosion of a system of mass incarceration, begun by Bill Clinton with the 1994 omnibus crime bill, and the tripling and quadrupling of prison sentences. It is the result of the slashing of basic government services, including, of course, welfare, that Clinton gutted; deregulation, a decaying infrastructure, including public schools, and the de facto tax boycott by corporations. It is the result of the transformation of the country into an oligarchy.
Precisely. And please mind that this started around 1980 with Reagan, and that Reagan´s policies were continued by Bill Clinton and by Barack Obama (both of whom have been rewarded or hope to be rewarded with around $150 million from the bankers they helped very much).

Here is some more on ¨Russia-gate¨:

The Democratic Party, in particular, is driving this whole Russia witch-hunt. It cannot face its complicity in the destruction of our civil liberties—and remember, Barack Obama’s assault on civil liberties was worse than those carried out by George W. Bush—and the destruction of our economy and our democratic institutions.

Politicians like the Clintons, Pelosi and Schumer are creations of Wall Street. That is why they are so virulent about pushing back against the Sanders wing of the Democratic Party. Without Wall Street money, they would not hold political power.
Yes, I entirely agree, and the same goes for Obama, who is now reaping his awards, that he gathers by speeches to the bankers which the bankers reward with $400,000 a speech (as did Clinton before him, although he got ¨only¨ $250,000 per speech).

There is this about The New York Times:
At that point the paper embraced, without any dissent, the utopian ideology of neoliberalism and the primacy of corporate power as an inevitable form of human progress. The Times, along with business schools, economics departments at universities, and the pundits promoted by the corporate state, propagated the absurd idea that we would all be better off if we prostrated every sector of society before the dictates of the marketplace. It takes a unique kind of stupidity to believe this.
This was never, really, in the end, about ideas. It was about unadulterated greed. It was pushed by the supposedly best educated among us, like Larry Summers, which exposes the lie that somehow our decline is due to deficient levels of education. It was due to a bankrupt and amoral elite, and the criminal financial institutions that make them rich.
Once again: precisely! Here is some on CNN and MSNBC and others:
CH: The commercial broadcast networks, and that includes CNN and MSNBC, are not in the business of journalism. They hardly do any. Their celebrity correspondents are courtiers to the elite. They speculate about and amplify court gossip, which is all the accusations about Russia, and they repeat what they are told to repeat. They sacrifice journalism and truth for ratings and profit.
Yes indeed. And there is a name for sacrificing ¨journalism and truth for ratings and profit¨. It is corruption (<-Wikipedia) - but I agree it pays the few who lie to the many for money quite well.

Then there is this about ¨
the American left¨:
CH: Well, don’t get me started on the American left. First of all, there is no American left—not a left that has any kind of seriousness, that understands political or revolutionary theories, that’s steeped in economic study, that understands how systems of power work, especially corporate and imperial power. The left is caught up in the same kind of cults of personality that plague the rest of society.
Precisely! And the very same thing holds for Holland, where I have to live because I am ill and poor, and not because I want to.

In fact, the Left in Holland started to die in the late Sixties and early Seventies, and was almost completely dead by the time I arrived back in Holland in 1977 (from Norway, where I very much prefer to live).

The reasons for me started in August 1977, that is this year 40 years ago, and a few days after I had started to study philosophy in the University of Amsterdam, and already had been marked by the facility and fluency with which I spoke. [4] I was asked out by some students of philosophy who asked me, fairly politely ¨What do you think of Marx

I did not reply to them that I had seriously studied Marx for several years, nor that my parents were prominent communists. What I said was literally this (in translation): ¨I know
Marx but it so happens that I think Charles Sanders Peirce was a greater philosopher.¨

The answer I received was this, from a couple of 20-year olds, and after some considerations amongst themselves that I could not hear: ¨Then you are a filthy fascist.¨ I was very amazed, and asked them why. Here is their literal reply (in translation): ¨Peirce was an American. Americans are fascists. Therefore you are a fascist.¨ (Note the exquisite logic!)

From that time until 1989 (I studied only half of the intervening years because of my ill health) I was called tens or hundreds of times ¨a fascist¨, ¨a dirty fascist¨ etc. indeed in part also because I had created a student party in 1980 that was the only opposition to the Stalinists that ruled the University of Amsterdam between 1971 and 1995 [5].

I was given the same reason as I quoted quite a few times, also in the so-called ¨University Parliament¨ that ruled the ¨University¨ of Amsterdam from 1971 till 1995. I was never asked anything: I must be a fascist (and in 1988 ¨a terrorist, a terrorist, a terrorist¨) simply because I opposed the Stalinists from the ASVA [6].

What the ASVA glorified in were political correctness, ¨feminism¨ (that made almost every adult woman work as a wage-slave because that also opened the way for a few academic ¨feminists¨ to well-paid academic posts), ¨identity politics¨, trade unionism (they loved trade unions, for these contained many workers), and a very vague kind of ¨environmentalism¨. They also pretended to read Marx, but I think that for 99% this amounted - at best, also -
to a cursory reading of the Communist Manifesto.

O, and fully forty years after being called ¨a fascist¨ and 29 years after being called ¨a terrorist¨ I still am one, or at least: Absolutely no one made any excuse for slandering me for 12 years or for throwing me extremely briefly before taking my M.A. on philosophy from the faculty of philosophy, thereby destroying all chances of getting an M.A. in philosophy - and everyone who did so at present is a ¨neoconservative¨ or a ¨neoliberal¨ and everyone also earned 10, 20, 30 or more times as much money as I got, though everyone I know who did so is - at the very least - considerably less intelligent and learned than I am.

Here is Chris Hedges on ¨identity politics¨:

DN: What about the impact that you’ve seen of identity politics in America?

CH: Well, identity politics defines the immaturity of the left. The corporate state embraced identity politics. We saw where identity politics got us with Barack Obama, which is worse than nowhere. He was, as Cornel West said, a black mascot for Wall Street, and now he is going around to collect his fees for selling us out.

Precisely - and that is also what became of the old Left: A bunch of totalitarian bullshit that pretends to be Left but in fact is much closer neofascism than it is to the real Left.

Then there is this on the WSWS (<-Wikipedia), that abbreviates the World Socialist Web Site (<- the web site):

DN: You mentioned that you have been reading the World Socialist Web Site for some time. You know we are quite outside of that framework.

CH: I’m not a Marxist. I’m not a Trotskyist. But I like the site. You report on important issues seriously and in a way a lot of other sites don’t. You care about things that are important to me—mass incarceration, the rights and struggles of the working class and the crimes of empire. I have read the site for a long time.

I agree with Hedges that I am also neither a Marxist nor a Trotskyist and I also grant that this article is the first time that I heard of or read about the WSWS. And I am willing to believe Hedges, but - so far - the present article is the first that I have read from the WSWS (but I agree this is a quite good interview).

And this is the last bit that I quote from this article:

DN: Much of what claims to be left—that is, the pseudo-left—reflects the interests of the affluent middle class.

CH: Precisely. When everybody was, you know, pushing for multiculturalism in lead institutions, it really meant filtering a few people of color or women into university departments or newsrooms, while carrying out this savage economic assault against the working poor and, in particular, poor people of color in deindustrialized pockets of the United States. Very few of these multiculturalists even noticed.
Much of the left was fooled by the identity politics trick. It was a boutique activism. It kept the corporate system, the one we must destroy, intact. It gave it a friendly face.
Yes indeed! And I agree a good alternative name for ¨the left¨, as I learned it at the University of Amsterdam, that also was mostly much opposed, both morally and factually, to the Real Leftism that my parents represented all their lives (as did three out of four of my grandparents) [7] is in fact the pseudo-left, that at least in Holland covers nearly everyone who calls himself or herself ¨left¨: It is boutique activism, that I also agree is a whole lot more amenable to a neoconservative career in academia.

And this is a strongly recommended interview: Don´t miss it, for there is a lot more in the interview.

3. The Sanitizing of Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks

This article is by Jeremy Scahill on The Intercept. It starts as follows:

A lot of the debate around black NFL players kneeling to protest police killings and racism seems to take place in a historical vacuum. The history of athletes and protest is seldom mentioned and, what’s worse, the reason why Colin Kaepernick and his comrades began protesting during the national anthem has been drowned out in the shouting.

Yes indeed - and I should add that three important reasons why ¨the history of athletes and protest is seldom mentioned¨ are that (i) the mainstream media have been lying and propagandizing for forty years now: they do not inform anymore, but they propagandize, and they do so for money, from the rich; that (ii) most Americans are not aware that much of ¨the news¨ they consume is no longer real news, but is a combination of amusement and propaganda; and that (iii) another important role is played by the collapse of a real education for most: If you did not get history, geography, literature, mathematics or science in your schools - and many don´t - it is very much more difficult to see and understand that you are less informed than propagandized.

There is this on King and Rosa Parks (that also explains my points in the previous paragraph):

Invoking King’s name on the right is nothing new — ahistorical versions of King have been used to defend gun ownership, racial discrimination, and the Republican Party. In this current climate surrounding the NFL protests, King has once again been transformed into a malleable symbol for rampant deployment by people trying to tell protesters and black people today to shut up. One of the biggest problems with all of this is that it is based on complete fiction and total ignorance of who King actually was and what he actually believed. It is also particularly vile when used to try to suppress protest against police killings.

The same pattern applies to Rosa Parks and her civil disobedience against segregation on public buses. It applies to the civil rights movement in general. Caricatures have been created after being sanitized, historically revised, and made palatable for mass consumption and abuse by crass politicians. It is these sanitized versions that are made into statues, given national holidays, and may one day end up on U.S. currency.

I completely agree. And there is this on the person who is interviewed in the rest of this article:

An important and groundbreaking new book coming out in January digs deep into this manufactured mythology surrounding King, Parks, and other figures and movements. It is called “A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History.” Its author is Jeanne Theoharis, a distinguished professor of political science at Brooklyn College in New York. Her previous book, “The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks,” won an NAACP image award and other accolades. Theoharis joined us last week on Intercepted. Below is a transcript of the entire, unedited interview.

I will leave that - long - interview to your interests.

4. Bob Corker Says Trump’s Recklessness Threatens ‘World War III’

This article is by Jonathan Martin and Mark Landler on The New York Times. It starts as follows:

Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, charged in an interview on Sunday that President Trump was treating his office like “a reality show,” with reckless threats toward other countries that could set the nation “on the path to World War III.”

In an extraordinary rebuke of a president of his own party, Mr. Corker said he was alarmed about a president who acts “like he’s doing ‘The Apprentice’ or something.”

“He concerns me,” Mr. Corker added. “He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation.”

Mr. Corker’s comments capped a remarkable day of sulfurous insults between the president and the Tennessee senator — a powerful, if lame-duck, lawmaker, whose support will be critical to the president on tax reform and the fate of the Iran nuclear deal.

I say! And of course Mr. Corker is quite correct about Donald Trump in my - psychologist's - view. Here is some more about Corker:

The senator views Mr. Trump as given to irresponsible outbursts — a political novice who has failed to make the transition from show business.

Mr. Trump poses such an acute risk, the senator said, that a coterie of senior administration officials must protect him from his own instincts. “I know for a fact that every single day at the White House, it’s a situation of trying to contain him,” Mr. Corker said in a telephone interview.

Mr. Corker certainly knows more about the Republicans than I do, but I do believe him.

Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:

All but inviting his colleagues to join him in speaking out about the president, Mr. Corker said his concerns about Mr. Trump were shared by nearly every Senate Republican.

“Look, except for a few people, the vast majority of our caucus understands what we’re dealing with here,” he said, adding that “of course they understand the volatility that we’re dealing with and the tremendous amount of work that it takes by people around him to keep him in the middle of the road.”

As for the tweets that set off the feud on Sunday morning, Mr. Corker expressed a measure of powerlessness.

“I don’t know why the president tweets out things that are not true,” he said. “You know he does it, everyone knows he does it, but he does.”

I say, once more, because I did not know that Mr. Corker´s concerns, that are quite realistic in my eyes, are ¨shared by nearly every Senate Republican¨.

Finally, since I am a psychologist, I agree that ¨the president tweets out things that are not true¨, but I also can conceive of a very plausible reason that Mr. Corker either misses or does not desire to admit: Mr. Trump is not sane.

And this is a recommended article.

5. North Korean Leader Hails Nuclear Arsenal as ‘Powerful Deterrent’

This article is by Choe Sang-Hun on The New York Times. It starts as follows:

The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, has vowed to build up his country’s nuclear arsenal as a “powerful deterrent” to the United States, state media reported, hours after President Trump said that “only one thing will work” in dealing with the isolated country.

Mr. Kim made his comments on Saturday at a meeting of the Central Committee of his ruling Workers’ Party, the official Korean Central News Agency reported on Sunday. He also reconfirmed his policy of simultaneously seeking progress in his nuclear weapons program and pushing for economic growth in the face of expanding international sanctions.

The remarks indicated that Mr. Kim had no intention of retreating under American pressure even as South Korean officials and analysts worry that the North will conduct a major weapons test to observe the anniversary on Tuesday of the founding of the Workers’ Party.

I think that is all correct, as is this:
Mr. Trump said on Twitter on Saturday that 25 years of talks and deals with North Korea had come to nothing, making “fools of U.S. negotiators.” He added, “Sorry, but only one thing will work!”

When asked by reporters to elaborate later Saturday, he said, “You’ll figure that out pretty soon.”

In response to North Korea’s tests of nuclear bombs and intercontinental ballistic missiles, the Trump administration has pushed for punitive economic measures while indicating that military solutions were also on the table.

Yes. And as I explained yesterday that ¨if North Korea goes, a large part of South Korea also goes, which means that Trump is risking to kill or help kill 25 million in North Korea + 51 million in South Korea, which sums together to 76 million persons, which is 15 million more than all the persons killed in World War II on the allied site, and - if all of them get killed, which seems probable if nuclear arms are used - also more than the total number of deads in World War II, which is 73 million persons.¨

But Mr Trump also is quite sane, in his own opinion. Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
The American leader has threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea, and warned that the United States military was “locked and loaded” to take action if necessary. Mr. Kim has called Mr. Trump a “mentally deranged dotard” and has said that his country was ready to fight a nuclear war that would devastate the “entire” South Korea, the North’s state media said.
It so happens that I agree with Mr. Kim that Mr. Trump is ¨mentally deranged¨ (as do 53,000 psychologists), but then again I think that Mr. Kim is also mentally deranged, though indeed not a dotard.

And this is a recommended article.


[1] I have now been saying since the end of 2015 that is systematically ruining my site by NOT updating it within a few seconds, as it did between 1996 and 2015, but by updating it between two to seven days later, that is, if I am lucky.

They have claimed that my site was wrongly named in html: A lie. They have claimed that my operating system was out of date: A lie.

And they just don't care for my site, my interests, my values or my ideas. They have behaved now for 1 1/2 years as if they are the eagerly willing instruments of the US's secret services, which I will from now on suppose they are (for truth is dead in Holland).

The only two reasons I remain with xs4all is that my site has been there since 1996, and I have no reasons whatsoever to suppose that any other Dutch provider is any better (!!).

[2] Yes, you are right: I start Nederlogs again with a list of the titles of the articles I review in that Nederlog. In fact, I did start that way around 2011/2012, and instituted it (so to speak) in 2013. This was maintained until June of 2017, when I stopped doing it mostly because my health got worse then. Since my condition now has again somewhat improved I return - more or less - to the style I used in 2013.

[3] In fact - if I can credit Wikipedia - the WSWS is Trotskyist. I add (for proper understanding) three things:

First, both of my parents were - non-Trotskyist - communists all their adult lives, which was a choice that was much influenced by their being among the very few Dutchmen who - really, and not merely privately, in talking - opposed the Nazis in WW II, that also cost my father three years, nine months and fifteen days imprisonment as a ¨political terrorist¨ in four German concentration camps, indeed like his father, who also was a communist who was murdered.

Second, I did not have to live through WW II and
therefore I did not have the very strong emotional reasons that made and kept my - quite intelligent but not highly educated - parents communists, and I gave up communism in 1970, when I was 20, for several quite good intellectual reasons: I disagreed with Marx´s historical materialism, with his economical analysis, with dialectical materialism, and with totalitarianism. Also, I refused to accept (since age 14) that the Soviet Union and its associated states were ¨socialist¨ in any sense I could agree to.

I remained a leftist (and a real one, not a ¨leftist¨ one, like most non-communist ¨leftists¨ were in Holland from the 1970ies onwards), but without a party and also without a group of like-minded people.

Third, while I disagree with Trotskyism (and I am a philosopher, also academically) of course I reject all baloney and bullshit that paints them as traitors or whatnot: They simply are leftists like I am, except that I don´t quite agree with them, as they are sure not to quite agree with me.

[4] I should...err, err, ahem... say ...ahem, err, err.. that most ...ahem, ahem, uhh... Dutchmen... err, uhh ...including ...ahem... err... hum... intellectuals speak ...ahem, err, err ... like ...uh... so. In fact, nearly all Dutchmen are extremely lousy speakers, which also has nothing to do with intelligence.

Also, the Dutch - nearly all - are far worse speakers than the English (where I also lived) and also far worse than most Americans.

And I admit I do not know why this is so.

[5] This is difficult to explain, but the Dutch universities between 1971 and 1995 were in a completely unique position in the whole world:

Formally, the parliament in 1971 had given the students the full power in all Dutch universities by a construction that was much like the Dutch parliamentary system:

There was the University Council, that was like the parliament, in which in Amsterdam the ASVA had the absolute majority from 1971 to 1995, and the ASVA was a communist organization until 1985 and a postmodernistic organization from 1985 till 1995; there was "a government" which in Amsterdam from 1971 till 1995 was manned by members from the Dutch "social democrats" (in fact: neoliberals); and there also was a faculty council for each faculty, rather like the city councils in all Dutch cities.

Everyone - professors, lecturers, secretaries, students, and toilet cleaners if employed by the university - had one vote in the faculty ("one man, one vote"), which meant, because there were far more students in the universities than other people, that the students always had the absolute majority.

In Amsterdam, the absolute majority was in the hands of the ASVA, all of whose leading members were utter careerists who made all manner of deals with the "government" of the university, that had the real power, rather as in Holland.

[6] I am sorry, but that was the complete reason why I was denounced over and again as "a fascist" by members of the ASVA: I was an opponent of the ASVA. "Therefore" I was "a dirty fascist".

For more on my very Leftist background see the next note:

In fact, I was almost the only Real Leftist in the University of Amsterdam, and certainly had the best revolutionary and communist background of anyone who ever studied there:

Both of my parents were communists all their adult lives (and I never quarreled with them about communism); my mother's parents were both anarchists all their lives; and my father's father also was a communist. And my mother, my father, and my father's father were all in the communist resistance against the Nazis, which caused my father's and grandfather's arrest in June of 1941, and their conviction as "political terrorists" to concentration camp imprisonment, where my grandfather was murdered.

Finally, my father got knighted in 1980 for designing and building the National Exhibition on Resistance and Nazism (and to the best of my knowledge he was the only Dutch communist who was knighted while the Dutch Communist Party existed).

I do not know of anyone else (other than my brother, who doesn't live in Holland) with such a Real Leftist background. And I did not say anything against the ASVA, because I was appalled by their stupidity, their crudity, their ignorance, their meanness, and their total disregard or ignorance of any and all norms of reasonable behavior or rational discussion.

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