from February 19, 2018.
This is a
Nederlog of Monday,
This is a crisis
log but it is a bit different from how it was the last five years:
I have been writing about the crisis since September 1, 2008 (in Dutch, but
since 2010 in English) 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.
moment and since more than two years
problems with the company that is
supposed to take care that my site is visible 
and with my health, but I am still writing a Nederlog every day and
I shall continue.
Section 2. Crisis Files
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
Selections from February 19, 2018
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
1. How We Fight Fascism
2. Whatever Trump Is Hiding Is Hurting All of Us Now
3. A Fairer World May Mean More Modest Dreams
4. A Crisis in Intelligence: Unthinkable Consequences of
Intel (Part 3)
5. There Is No Justice in Our World
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. How We
This article is by Chris Hedges on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
In 1923 the radical
socialist and feminist Clara Zetkin gave
a report at the Communist
International about the emergence of a political movement called
fascism. Fascism, then in its infancy, was written off by many
liberals, socialists and communists as little more than mob rule,
terror and street violence. But Zetkin, a German revolutionary,
understood its virulence, its seduction and its danger. She warned that
the longer the stagnation and rot of a dysfunctional democracy went
unaddressed, the more attractive fascism would become. And as
21st-century America’s own capitalist democracy disintegrates, replaced
by a naked kleptocracy that disdains the rule of law, the struggle of
past anti-fascists mirrors our own. History has amply illustrated where
political paralysis, economic decline, hypermilitarism and widespread
I say, which I do because I have
heard Clara Zetkin's
name quite a few times in my
communist family, but have hardly or never heard it since 1970.
And I think I should add that I also ceased being a communist
or a Marxist
of any kind in 1970, and indeed mostly shifted my hitherto
political interests to scientific and philosophical
interests, but while my interests got quite different quite
fast, it is also true that my general political outlook remained
fairly similar to what I had learned during my first twenty years:
I did regard myself as an anarchist of some
kind since 1972 , but then one major difference
between me (at 19 and
at 22) was that while I considered anarchism ethically closest
to my own values
(at 22), I also held it as an ideal, that was beyond
most men and women that I knew, and that seemed interesting or
worthwile only to a few percent of the population at most.
In fact, I still think mostly so. Here is some on Zetkin's
fascism, that is now about a 100 years old:
eerily prophetic and reprinted in the book “Fighting
Fascism: How to Struggle and How to Win,” edited by John Riddell
and Mike Taber, highlights the principal features of emerging fascist
movements. Fascism, Zetkin warned, arises when capitalism enters a
period of crisis and breakdown of the democratic institutions that once
offered the possibility of reform and protection from an uninhibited
assault by the capitalist class. The unchecked capitalist assault
pushes the middle class, the bulwark of a capitalist democracy, into
the working class and often poverty. It strips workers of all
protection and depresses wages. The longer the economic and social
stagnation persists, the more attractive fascism becomes.
I admit that I have not
read Zetkin's analysis, but I think I know it fairly well, namely from
my communist (and heroic) father.
In any case, I have two problems with it. Here they are:
The first problem is that I am not given any
definition of "fascism". And I think that is a serious mistake,
if only because I have made a study of no less than 21 different
definitions of "fascism", and did so in 2016, in my On Fascism and
Neofascism: Definitions. Note that some
of these definitions are quite different from others.
The second problem is this: Why would
"the middle class" and "workers" be attracted in any way by
fascism (however defined)?! And why would "fascism" become more
and more attractive
"the longer the
economic and social
I have seen no reasons (nor any
evidence) for either proposition in the second problem. (Of course,
there are my own judgements that large parts of the
population are stupid
but then these judgements seem quite impopular, especially
among the half of the population that has an IQ below 100.)
Here is some more:
The “virtues” of
democracy become distasteful. The crude taunts, threats and insults
hurled by fascists at the liberal establishment express a legitimate
anger among a betrayed working class. Trump’s coarseness, for this
reason, resonates with many pushed to the margins of society.
Demoralized workers, who also find no defense of their interests by
establishment intellectuals, the press and academics, lose faith in the
political process. Realizing the liberal elites have lied to them, they
are open to bizarre and fantastic conspiracy theories.
Well... I grant this
sketch is mostly true, alas, but I see no reason whatsoever to
excuse the "working class": I am sorry, but if you think fascist
violence is a solution for the problems of the workers, all I can
say is that you are stupid or ignorant.
Here is more:
ideals of democracy are replaced by a hypernationalism that divides the
population not by class but between the patriotic and the unpatriotic.
National and religious symbols such as the Christian cross and the
American flag are fused under fascism. Fascism offers the dispossessed
a tangible enemy and a right to physically strike back.
Again I say: Those in the
working class (especially) that come to believe in the violent ideals
of fascism are stupid or ignorant. (I am sorry, and in case it matters:
I am the first intellectual in my family, that was working
class for quite a few generations.)
Then there is this:
Zetkin, a close
friend of the murdered revolutionary Rosa
Luxemburg, wrote. “All these forces must come together in a
community. And this community, for the fascists, is the nation. … The
instrument to achieve fascist ideals is, for them, the state. A strong
and authoritarian state that will be their very own creation and their
obedient tool. This state will tower high above all differences of
party and class.”
Well... as I said above, I
thought through 21 different definitions of "fascism", and
the main two reasons why I provided my own definition of neofascism
(see the last link) are that absolutely no journalist I've ever
read had a halfway decent definition of "fascism" and none of
them seem to have ever considered neofascism, nor the fact (as I think
it is) that THE difference between fascism and neofascism is about
the state: For fascists,
it is the state that that comprises everything and everyone; for neofascists,
it is the corporation and its profits that comprise everything
And I think I am right, but as I said: Of the thousands -
literally! - of journalists I have been reading over the last ten or
fifteen years absolutely no one seems to have any good
idea about what a reasonable definition of "fascism" would look like
(indeed because few of them have ideas about definitions of
any kind), and none seems to have any
ideas about neofascism.
Here is the last bit I quote from this article:
In essence, much as
Trump has done, the capitalists are bought off by fascists with tax
cuts, deregulation, the breaking of unions and the dismantling of
institutions that carry out oversight and the protection of workers.
The expansion of the military, which provides capitalists with
increased profit, coupled with the expanded powers of the organs of
internal security, binds the capitalist elites to the fascists. Their
marriage is one of mutual convenience. This is why the capitalist
elites tolerate Trump and endure the international embarrassment he has
I think my
analysis, in terms of my definition of neofascism,
is better: I think the leading capitalists (though not all of them) are
very strongly for the maximum profits they can get,
and would very much like to see their own corporations to have far
more power than any other social institution, and especially
But this is a recommended article, though I do not understand
Hedges' analysis of "fascism".
Trump Is Hiding Is Hurting All of Us Now
This article is by Thomas Friedman on The New York Times. It starts as
Our democracy is
in serious danger.
is either totally compromised by the Russians or is a towering fool, or
both, but either way he has shown himself unwilling or unable to defend
America against a Russian campaign to divide and undermine our
That is, either
Trump’s real estate empire has taken large amounts of money from shady
oligarchs linked to the Kremlin — so much that they literally own him;
or rumors are true that he engaged in sexual misbehavior while he was
in Moscow running the Miss Universe contest, which Russian intelligence
has on tape and he doesn’t want released; or Trump actually believes
Russian President Vladimir Putin when he says he is innocent of
intervening in our elections — over the explicit findings of Trump’s
own C.I.A., N.S.A. and F.B.I. chiefs.
In sum, Trump is
either hiding something so threatening to himself, or he’s criminally
incompetent to be commander in chief.
believe the above, apart from the fact that Trump is "incompetent to be commander in chief", I think you are quite stupid. There
is not a word of evidence in it, but I take it this does not matter to
the editors of The New York Times.
O Lord! Now it is the heroic,
secret, anonymous spies from "Our F.B.I.,
C.I.A. and N.S.A." who ought to be admired as the supremest Americans!
Think for a
moment how demented was Trump’s Saturday night tweet: “Very sad that
the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school
shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying
to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign — there is no
collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!”
To the contrary. Our F.B.I.,
C.I.A. and N.S.A., working with the special counsel, have done us
amazingly proud. They’ve uncovered a Russian program to divide
Americans and tilt our last election toward Trump — i.e., to undermine
the very core of our democracy — and Trump is telling them to get back
to important things like tracking would-be school shooters. Yes, the
F.B.I. made a mistake in Florida. But it acted heroically on Russia.
I am sorry to have exposed you to this utter shit, and I will not
do it again: When I read "Thomas Friedman" (as when I read "Eric
Zeusse" and "Paul Krugman" - o, and "David Brooking"), I'll stop
reading immediately, and not because I am beyond reviewing
articles by people I strongly disagree with, but - in the case
of Friedman - because he is an utter idiot, and besides he also seems a
Fairer World May Mean More Modest Dreams
This article is by Tim Radford on Truthdig, and originally on Climate
News Network. It starts as follows:
A sustainable planet may
not be attainable, and a fairer world may require us to temper our
dreams. Justice, equity, sanitation and even clean water may be within
the reach of all, but only
if many of the planet’s seven billion humans give up the dream of
high life satisfaction as well.
To achieve that
difficult-to-define state of mind would require the resources of
between two and six planet Earths, according to a new study in a new
journal that takes the concept of sustainability and applies some
Yes, I think I agree
with this - and in fact I think I have agreed with this since 1972,
after reading "The
Limits to Growth". And I should make two introductory points.
The first is
that I had read some books about ecology (or the environment) before
1972, most notably Rachel Carson's
Population Bomb", while I read quite a few criticisms of "The Limits to
Growth" somewhere between 1973 and 1975.
The criticisms did not
convince me, though I agreed quite a few things were mistaken about
Ehrlich's predictions, while "The Limits to
Growth" could have been considerably better than it was. I could
say a lot more, but all I say here is that "The Limits to
Growth" still stands up (after more than forty years), and
that the overall conclusion that may be drawn from it is that,
effectively, very little has changed since 1972. And I think
that is both correct, and might have been rather different (namely if
the report had been taken seriously).
The second point
I want to make serves to answer a point that I have seen made over and
over again since 1972: While it is - possibly - quite true that under other
conditions than we live in - socialist, anarchist, marxist etc. - there
may be space on earth for 20 billion living persons, we
do not live under other conditions.
In fact, here is a
brief sketch of some aspects of the present situation, 45
years after "The Limits to
Growth" was originally published:
In fact, I could say at
this point: And so on, and so forth.
No nation right now meets
the basic needs of its citizens without over-using biophysical
resources, they found. Only 40 nations out of 134 could deliver a
healthy life expectancy of 65 years; only 37 out of 141 provided
improved sanitation for 95% of their citizenry; and in only 68 out of
106 countries did 95% earn more than US$1.90 a day.
Secondary school education
was available to 95% of the population only in 37 out of 117 countries,
and out of the 151 countries in the sample, there were only 59 where
95% of the people had access to electricity.
I do not, but I do recommend the present article and I also say
that to me - having seen 45 years of extremely much
exceedingly little effective action - the
probability is war and
destruction rather than a sustainable planet.
I hope I am quite wrong, but my opinions are based on facts rather than values.
Crisis in Intelligence: Unthinkable Consequences of Outsourcing U.S.
Intel (Part 3)
This article is by George Eliason on Consortiumnews. It
starts as follows, and you may like to know that there are
reviews of Part 1 and Part 2 under the last links:
Decades ago, philosopher
predicted a future world war fought using information. While World
War I and World War II were waged using armies and mobilized economies,
“World War III [will be] a guerrilla information war with no
division between military and civilian participation,” McLuhan said, a
prophecy included in his 1970 book of reflections, Culture Is Our
We are now seeing this
information war play out in real time.
In parts one
of this series, we looked at the private companies serving the deep
state. We have seen how the top levels of the deep state interact with
smaller companies and individual actors.
Now let’s look at the
This is the world the
predators that the government helped create and sustains through
contract work thrive in.
Then again, I should
warn you that (i) each of the three parts of this series is
considerably longer than I can decently review in a Nederlog, while
(ii) the same applies to the present file, with the added complication
that most of it is dedicated to the Ukraine (where Eliason
lives and writes).
What I have done is to
leave out all mentionings of the Ukraine (I leave that to your
interests) and to quote only two more bits from the beginning of the
present article. As to the Ukraine:
There is a lot
information in the present article, but I just don't know, in part
because I have not paid much attention to the Ukraine anyway,
and in part because I (also) do not read or speak any of the
languages that are current there.
So in fact this only
reviews the beginning of the present article. Here is the first bit I
the shadowy PropOrNot outfit was a small part of showing how
immoral people are using gray areas in the law to harass law-abiding
citizens and strip them of their rights, income, and right to a free
press through McCarthyite smear tactics. Because they haven’t been
challenged, they have
no problem crossing the line into criminality.
What alternative media
outlets that have been attacked by criminal groups like PropOrNot
don’t know is there are laws and policies in place that protect
civilians, journalists, and publications.
What is needed to stop the
criminal actions of the Russian troll hunters is to demand current laws
are enforced and that Congress closes up the remaining gray areas of
law and policy spies for hire are exploiting to destroy lives.
I more or less agree
with the first two paragraphs, and have several times written about
PropOrNot in Nederlog.
Then again, while
Eliason very probably is quite correct about the existence of current
laws that might be used "to
stop the criminal actions of the Russian troll hunters", current laws are not
enforced if that is convenient or profitable, and have not been
enforced for those reasons since 9/11/2001.
And I also see no
reason why the present Congress would close up "the remaining gray areas of law and policy": They did not since 9/11/2001, and
besides, the majority is Republican.
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
In terms of international
law, guidelines in this area are set out by the Tallinn Manual on
the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare, which was
prepared by an international group of experts on behalf of NATO. This
document spells out:
- Cyber and online
- Cyber and online
- Cyber and online
- Legalities, legal
limits, and defines terrorist operations by laying the groundwork for
According to Rule 26.9 of
the Tallinn Manual, “Virtual Online communities and people expressing
opinions do not qualify as combatants.”
I say, which I do
because a current American prejudgement (it seems), that is also shared
by the Trump government, is that these online communities and people
who express their opinions do qualify as combatants, at least
But I stop here, and
leave the rest of this article to your own interests.
Is No Justice in Our World
This article is by Eric Margolis on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
A gathering of rich oil
Arabs pledged $30 billion this week at a meeting in Kuwait to start
rebuilding war-shattered Iraq. Sounds nice but these kinds of
conclaves are notorious for offering big but delivering little.
The event was billed as
helping Iraq repair war damage caused by ISIS. In fact, most of
the damage from that short-lived conflict was caused by US bombing and
a few Russian air strikes. ISIS, as this column has long been crying in
the wilderness, was largely a paper tiger confected by the US, Britain
and France to justify their military re-entry into Syria.
Iraq’s government says it
needs at least $88 billion to rebuild war damage. What the
US-imposed client regime in Baghdad won’t or can’t say is that the
damage to Iraq is far greater than $88 billion and was largely
inflicted by US air power in 1990-1991 and 2003.
Iraq was ravaged, as I saw
myself while covering the wars. This small nation of 23-25
million souls, a third of whom were in permanent revolt against the
Baghdad government, was pounded into rubble by US air power and cruise
missiles. First in 1990-1991, then in 2003, everything of value
was blown to bits: hospitals, schools, food factories, chemical
plants making insecticide, bridges, and communications. In short,
all the attributes of a modern state.
Most shocking to me, was
the destruction of Iraq’s water and sewage treatment plants by US air
I think all of this is
true. Here is more, on the present state:
Yes, indeed - and Margolis
is quite right about Bush Jr. and Blair. Also, I do not think
this was "an intelligence failure": It was not "the
intelligence" that failed, but Bush Jr., Colin Powell and Blair.
It is now widely accepted
that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction pointed at the West, as
George Bush and Tony Blair incessantly claimed. But this was the
excuse for going to war against Iraq and destroying it. When no
such weapons were found, the story from Washington and London was
changed to ‘oops, it was an intelligence failure. Sorry about
And while I do not know what their real intelligence
was, I do know that Bush Jr. and Blair are those who are most
Here is more:
myself who asserted that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction were
fired or marginalized. I was blacklisted at CNN after the White
House told the network to fire me at once. All the
‘presstitutes’, who acted as government boosters for the war, were
promoted and lauded. Welcome to the new Soviet media.
Yes, I mostly agree.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article's ending:
If this war crime
was being properly litigated, Washington would likely end up being
assessed something like $100 billion in damages just to replace
physical infrastructure destroyed in the two wars, never mind the
deaths of so many Iraqi civilians.
Well... judging by the
past, "the western leaders" will remain scott free all their lives (at
‘Oops, I’m sorry we destroyed
your country and children’ is not a sufficient mea culpa. The
western leaders who engineered this criminal war against Iraq deserve
to be brought to book. So far, they have gotten off scot free.
I agree with Margolis that is wrong, and this is a recommended article.
have now been
end of 2015 that
xs4all.nl 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.
claimed that my site was wrongly named in html: A lie.
They have claimed that my operating system was out of date: A lie.
just don't care for my site, my interests, my values or my
ideas. They have behaved now for 2 years
as if they are the
eagerly willing instruments of the US's secret services, which I
from now on suppose they are (for truth is dead in Holland).
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 (!!).
 I admit that while I took some trouble (in the
early Seventies) to try to find out what kind of anarchist I was, I
soon stopped because (i) there were very many different styles of
anarchism, while (ii) I also thought that while I preferred anarchism,
there were too few people who agreed with me to believe in social
changes that would end in a (more or less likeable) form of anarchism.
I still think so: It is the best system, but to become a large social
system, the average intelligence must increase (somewhat, at least).