May 7, 2019

On The Crisis Series: Part 2 + Creeping Towards Tyranny (Hedges)

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
  -- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.



1. Summary
Crisis Files
     A. Selections from May 7, 2019

This is a Nederlog of Tuesday, May 7, 2019.

1. Summary

This is a crisis log but it is a bit different from how it was until 2013:

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.

On the moment and since more than three 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 I shall continue.

2. Crisis Files

These are five crisis files that are mostly well worth reading:

A. Selections from May 7, 2019:
1. On The Crisis Series in Nederlog: Part 2
2. Creeping Toward Tyranny

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. On The Crisis Series in Nederlog: Part 2

The internet is the surest way towards  neofascism - and it has been designed to be so. And now it has arrived.
   -- Maarten Maartensz

According to Gore Vidal, speaking in 2008, the internet would be taken over in 10 years. Well... he was off by one year, I think.

At any rate, the internet has become much more horrible lately, and presently also Firefox - on Ubuntu - has quite radically changed; has removed nearly all add-ons I had installed (without any warnings or explanations whatsoever); has made selecting new add-ons a horrible process (your input cannot even be copied nor pasted); and also comes suddenly with much more advertisements (which I hate: I do not want to be lied to) about which I can also not do anything, for the model is the following (from Huffpost):
That is to say: You accept our ever lying, sick and degenerate advertisements and our stealing of your private data, and also our sending of your personal data to Google, so that we can send you more advertisements - and if you do not like this you can drop dead.

The above is a sick, sadistic, immoral, degenerate, fascistic and terrorist piece of "news" - and it got widely repeated by the
sick, sadistic, immoral, degenerate, fascistic and terrorist Firefox that seems now to be very willing to extend the sadofascist degenerate practices of the fascist terrorist and deeply criminal Facebook over the whole internet.

Either I accept their cookies (Firefox has removed my add-ons that block and/or remove cookies, all without the least warnings or explanations) and their advertisements and their sendings of my personal data ("in your interest") to Google, or else I can drop dead.

I prefer to drop dead, that is, I will not use these sites anymore for I do not want to be terrorized by advertisements i.e. sick degenerate intentional lies nor by the sadists from Google.

This also means that I am now "a second-rate" citizen aka a sub-human and that I have been made that by Firefox:

Either I consent to being followed everywhere by the sadofascists from Google and consent to being advertised by their lies and bullshit or else I can drop dead.

And yes:
I do think all of the above was  totally intentional on the part of Firefox. More tomorrow.


The above is a rewritten bit of yesterday. O, and those who want to start actions against me because I call them fascists are welcome, but should realize that I have been called "a dirty fascist" and "a terrorist" for eleven years in the "University" of Amsterdam because I was not a communist and opposed the communists (and later the postmodernists) who effectively ruled the "University" of Amsterdam from 1971 till 1995 (inclusive).

Absolutely no one cared one bit, not for 11 years, even though I am one of least fascist and least terrorist Dutchmen there are, with the most anti-fascist parents and grandparents I know in Holland (with a father and a grandfather in concentration camps since 1941, because they resisted the Nazis, where my grandfather was murdered - which I now think was known to the communists of the ASVA, who wanted to teach me a lesson).

there will be more tomorrow in Nederlog on the present subject. And as I have said before, I shall continue Nederlog, though without a crisis series-as-was, which probably will require some changes in Nederlog, and which also, almost certainly, will come with fewer articles in Nederlog, and possibly more on the rest of the site.

2. Creeping Toward Tyranny

This article is by Chris Hedges on Truthdig. It starts as follows:

The destruction of the rule of law, an action essential to establishing an authoritarian or totalitarian state, began long before the arrival of the Trump administration. The George W. Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq and implementation of a doctrine of pre-emptive war were war crimes under international law. The federal government’s ongoing wholesale surveillance of the citizenry, another legacy of the Bush administration, mocks our constitutional right to privacy. Assassinating a U.S. citizen under order of the executive branch, as the Obama administration did when it murdered the radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, revokes due process. The steady nullification of constitutional rights by judicial fiat—a legal trick that has enabled corporations to buy the electoral system in the name of free speech—has turned politicians from the two ruling parties into amoral tools of corporate power. Lobbyists in Washington and the state capitals write legislation to legalize tax boycotts, destroy regulations and government oversight, pump staggering sums of money into the war machine and accelerate the largest upward transfer of wealth in American history, one that has involved looting the U.S. Treasury of trillions of dollars in the wake of the massive financial fraud that set off the 2008 economic collapse. The ruling elites, by slavishly serving corporate interests, created a system of government that effectively denied the citizen the use of state power.

Yes indeed: I think all of the above is quite correct - and see above for more. O, and since I have given up the crisis series (as was), I can add now that Chris Hedges is one of the very few jourmalists that I have read in the context of the crisis series who has a good mind, a good style, and courage.

Anyway. Here is some more:

This decades-long disregard by the two major political parties for the rule of law and their distortion of government into a handmaiden for corporations set the stage for Donald Trump’s naked contempt for legality and accountability. It made inevitable our kakistocracy, rule by the worst or most unscrupulous (“kakistocracy” is derived from the Greek words kakistos, meaning worst, and kratos, meaning rule).

Well... I do not like terms like “kakistocracy”, mostly because they are purely subjective ("worst"), because the term is not a part of any decent philosophy or sociology, and hides its subjectivity behind mock Greek.

Besides, I think neofascism (in my sense) is a far better description of Trump and his government.

But then I agree that in over 10 years of extensive readings in all manner of journalism and journalists, I still have to meet the first journalist or public figure who can and does give as much as a halfway correct definition of either "fascism" or "neofascism".

Here is some more:

Those in the parade of imbeciles, grifters, con artists, conspiracy theorists, racists, Trump family members, charlatans, generals and Christian fascists, all of whom often see power as a way to enrich themselves at the expense of the taxpayer, are too many to list here.

Yes, I basically agree, and the means are - in quite objective terms, also - corruption, which is defined by Wikipedia as follows (minus note number):

In general, corruption is a form of dishonesty or criminal activity undertaken by a person or organization entrusted with a position of authority, often to acquire illicit benefit. Corruption may include many activities including bribery and embezzlement, though it may also involve practices that are legal in many countries. Political corruption occurs when an office-holder or other governmental employee acts in an official capacity for personal gain.

And I agree with Hedges that the USA has been growing more and more corrupt since (at least) 20 years.
The mechanisms that once made democracy possible have withered and died. We no longer have elections free of corporate control; real legislative debate; an independent press rooted in verifiable fact that lifts up the voices and concerns of the citizens rather than peddling conspiracy theories such as “Russiagate” or cheerleading for disastrous military interventions and occupations; academic institutions that vigorously examine and critique the nature of power; or diplomacy, negotiation, détente and compromise.
This is where we have come, not because of Trump, who is the grotesque product of our failed democracy, but because the institutions that were designed to prevent tyranny no longer function.

Yes, I quite agree - and "the institutions that were designed to prevent tyranny" no longer function because they have been - generally quite willingly, also - corrupted.

Here is some more:

The billions in campaign funds provided to selected candidates by the wealthy and corporations, as the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin wrote, created, before the arrival of Trump on the political landscape, “a pecking order that calibrates, in strictly quantitative and objective terms, whose interests have priority. The amount of corruption that regularly takes place before elections means that corruption is not an anomaly but an essential element in the functioning of managed democracy. The entrenched system of bribery and corruption involves no physical violence, no brown-shirted troopers, no coercion of the political opposition. While the tactics are not those of the Nazis, the end result is the inverted equivalent. Opposition has not been liquidated but rendered feckless.”

I agree with most of the above, except for "the inverted equivalent", which I think I also should explain:

First, Hedges made a fine series of interviews with Sheldon Wolin in 2014. The last link provides some information on Wolin, and the next link links to a comprehensive page with many links that I wrote in 2014 about this series of interviews.

And second, while I think Wolin is interesting, I do not think I agree with his concept of inverted totalitarianism - and that is "
the inverted equivalent" that Hedges refers to in the above quotation.

And third, I mostly disagree because it marks a brief intermediate stage between democracy and totalitarianism; and also a
brief intermediate stage between honesty (mostly) and corruption (mosty).

Anyway. Here is some more:

Armando Iannucci’s movie “The Death of Stalin,” a brilliant black comedy, captures what happens when self-interested narcissists, buffoons and gangsters make the laws and rule a state. Once power is based solely on blind personal loyalty and whim, anything, including wholesale murder, becomes possible. Rights are transformed into privileges that can be instantly revoked. Lies replace truth. Opinions replace facts. History is erased and rewritten. The cult of leadership replaces politics.

Quite so, although I did not see the movie. Here is the ending of this article:

Capitalists, throughout history, have backed fascism to thwart even the most tepid forms of socialism. All the pieces are in place. The hollowing out of our democratic institutions, which cannot be blamed on Trump, makes tyranny inevitable.

Yes, I agree - and see the current practices of the sick and degenerate Firefox that I sketched above. And this is a strongly 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 3 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 (!!).
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