The elections of November 2004 have received a great deal of discussion, with exultation in some quarters, despair in others, and general lamentation about a “divided nation.” They are likely to have policy consequences, particularly harmful to the public in the domestic arena, and to the world with regard to the “transformation of the military,” which has led some prominent strategic analysts to warn of “ultimate doom” and to hope that US militarism and aggressiveness will be countered by a coalition of peace-loving states, led by – China! (John Steinbruner and Nancy Gallagher, Daedalus). We have come to a pretty pass when such words are expressed in the most respectable and sober journals. It is a... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Voices from Below
In concluding its report The Challenge to the South, the South Commission, chaired by Julius Nyerere and consisting of leading Third World economists, government planners, and others, called for a “new world order” that will respond to “the South’s plea for justice, equity, and democracy in the global society” — with a touch of pathos, perhaps, since its analysis offered little basis for such hopes. Some months later, George Bush appropriated the phrase “new world order” as part of the rhetorical background for his war in the Gulf. The powerful determine the rules of the game and the meaning of the rhetoric adopted to disguise them. It is George Bush’s New World O... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) On 15 October 1965, an estimated 70,000 people took part in large-scale anti-war demonstrations. The demonstrators heard pleas for an end to the bombing of North Vietnam and for a serious commitment to negotiations, in response to the negotiation offers from North Vietnam and UN efforts to settle the war. To be more precise, this is what they heard if they heard anything at all. On the Boston Common, for example, they heard not a word from the speakers, who were drowned out by hecklers and counter-demonstrators.
On the Senate floor, Senator Mansfield denounced the ‘sense of utter irresponsibility’ shown by the demonstrators, while Everett Dirksen said the demonstrations were ‘enough to make any person loyal to his country... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) 1. Authoritarian was an epithet used by the libertarian anarchists and denoted those socialists whom they considered less libertarian than themselves and who they therefore presumed were in favor of authority.
2. Jules Guesde (1845-1922) in 1879 introduced Marxist ideas to the French workers' movement. (Translator's note.)
3. The term societaire is used to define a form of anarchism which repudiates individualism and aims at integration into society. (Translator's note. )
4. "Voline" was the pseudonym of V. M. Eichenbaum, author of La Revolution Inconnue 1917-1921, the third volume of which is in English as The Unknown Revolution (1955). Another partial translation is Nineteen-seventeen: The Russian Revolution Betrayed (1954) . (Translat... (From: LibCom.org.) Kosovo was an extremely ugly place last year. About 2000 people were killed according to NATO, mostly Albanians, in the course of a bitter struggle that began in February with Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) actions that the United States denounced as “terrorism” and a brutal Serb response. By summer the KLA had taken over about 40% of the province, eliciting a vicious reaction by Serb security forces and paramilitaries, targeting the civilian population. According to Albanian Kosovar legal adviser Marc Weller, “within a few days [after the withdrawal of the monitors on 20 March 1999] the number of displaced had again risen to over 200,000,” figures that conform roughly to US intelligence reports .
Suppose the monit... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) A year ago, Hebrew University sociologist Baruch Kimmerling observed that “What we feared has come true.” Jews and Palestinians are “regressing to superstitious tribalism… War appears an unavoidable fate,” an “evil colonial” war. After Israel’s invasion of the refugee camps this year his colleague Ze’ev Sternhell wrote that “In colonial Israel…human life is cheap.” The leadership is “no longer ashamed to speak of war when what they are really engaged in is colonial policing, which recalls the takeover by the white police of the poor neighborhoods of the blacks in South Africa during the apartheid era.” Both stress the obvious: there is no symmetry between ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) It’s a tragedy and catastrophe that the Left has accepted the idea of humans as historical products, simple reflections of their environment.
Because what follows from that, of course, is that there’s no moral barrier to molding them to be anything that you like.
If humans don’t have any inner nature, any inner instinct for freedom, if it’s not fundamental to their nature to have free, creative, productive work under their own control, if that’s not part of their nature, then there’s no moral reason for allowing them that space.
You can just mold them into anything you want them to be.
And you can be the central committee, or you can be the managers of the corporation, or the directors of a fascist st... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The US President Bush called last month’s Iraqi elections a “major milestone in the march to democracy.” They are indeed a milestone — just not the kind that Washington would welcome. Disregarding the standard declarations of benign intent on the part of leaders, let’s review the history. When Bush and Britain’s Prime Minister, Tony Blair, invaded Iraq, the pretext, insistently repeated, was a “single question”: Will Iraq eliminate its weapons of mass destruction?
Within a few months this “single question” was answered the wrong way. Then, very quickly, the real reason for the invasion became Bush’s “messianic mission” to bring democracy to Iraq and the Middle Ea... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) After three weeks of virtual war in the Israeli-occupied territories, Prime Minister Ehud Barak announced a new plan to determine the final status of the region. During these weeks, over 100 Palestinians were killed, including 30 children, often by “excessive use of lethal force in circumstances in which neither the lives of the security forces nor others were in imminent danger, resulting in unlawful killings,” Amnesty International concluded in a detailed report that was scarcely mentioned in the US. The ratio of Palestinian to Israeli dead was then about 15–1, reflecting the resources of force available.
Barak’s plan was not given in detail, but the outlines are familiar: they conform to the “final status m... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The establishment of diplomatic ties between the US and Cuba has been widely hailed as an event of historic importance. Correspondent John Lee Anderson, who has written perceptively about the region, sums up a general reaction among liberal intellectuals when he writes, in the New Yorker, that:
"Barack Obama has shown that he can act as a statesman of historic heft. And so, at this moment, has Raúl Castro. For Cubans, this moment will be emotionally cathartic as well as historically transformational. Their relationship with their wealthy, powerful northern American neighbor has remained frozen in the nineteen-sixties for fifty years. To a surreal degree, their destinies have been frozen as well. For Americans, this is important,... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) I
In 1947, commenting on the rising tide of “anti-Communist” hysteria in the United States, John K. Fairbank made the following perceptive observations:
Our fear of Communism, partly as an expression of our general fear of the future, will continue to inspire us to aggressive anti-Communist policies in Asia and elsewhere, [and] the American people will be led to think and may honestly believe that the support of anti-Communist governments in Asia will somehow defend the American way of life. This line of American policy will lead to American aid to establish regimes which attempt to suppress the popular movements in Indonesia, Indochina, the Philippines, and China…. Thus, after setting out to fight Communism in... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) I
A century ago, a voice of British liberalism described the “Chinaman” as “an inferior race of malleable orientals.” During the same years, anthropology became professionalized as a discipline, “intimately associated with the rise of raciology.” Presented with the claims of nineteenth-century racist anthropology, a rational person will ask two sorts of questions: What is the scientific status of the claims? What social or ideological needs do they serve? The questions are logically independent, but the second type of question naturally comes to the fore as scientific pretensions are undermined. The question of the scientific status of nineteenth-century racist anthropology is no longer seriously... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The most powerful state in history has proclaimed that it intends to control the world by force, the dimension in which it reigns supreme.
President Bush and his cohorts evidently believe that the means of violence in their hands are so extraordinary that they can dismiss anyone who stands in their way.
The consequences could be catastrophic in Iraq and around the world. The United States may reap a whirlwind of terrorist retaliation — and step up the possibility of nuclear Armageddon.
Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and company are committed to an “imperial ambition,” as G. John Ikenberry wrote in the September/October issue of Foreign Affairs — “a unipolar world in which the United States has no peer co... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Setting the Stage
By a slim majority, the House on February 3 rejected a Reagan administration request to renew US government (USG) aid to the proxy army. CIA supply flights into Nicaragua are to continue through February, probably at peak intensity, while the illegal surveillance flights are subject to no limits. Contra supporters and fund-raisers (Robert Dole, General John Singlaub, etc.) announced that they would renew their efforts, reporting that they were “swamped by offers of money and support” after the congressional vote. The private and clandestine networks may be reactivated, to be exposed years hence with appropriate laments.
The Reagan administration had prepared for the contingency. After the August 7 accord... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Norman Graebner opens a major review of U.S. diplomatic history with the observation that “1898 was a turning point in the history of the Republic.” For a century, Americans had, as Thomas Bailey wrote in 1969, “concentrated on the task of felling trees and Indians and of rounding out their natural boundaries.” By the century’s end the U.S. had become by far the greatest economy in the world, though not yet a major actor in the international arena. The year 1898 indeed marked a turning point in that regard.
Ten years before, Secretary of State James Blaine had observed that “there are only three places that are of value enough to be taken. One is Hawaii. The others are Cuba and Puerto Rico.” Shortl... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) At the end of September, the Clinton Administration finally addressed “the vision thing” in the domain of foreign policy, with major addresses by the President and Secretary of State, and of particular significance, by National Security Adviser Anthony Lake, who laid forth the intellectual foundations of the new Clinton doctrine at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. A new National Export Strategy was announced that set guidelines for international economic policy, and a White House panel on intervention applied the doctrine in this particular sphere, all within a few days. The seriousness of the enterprise was duly recorded with such headlines as “U.S. Vision of Foreign Policy Reversed” (Thom... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) These are exciting days in Washington, as the government directs its energies to the demanding task of “containing Iran” in what Washington Post correspondent Robin Wright, joining others, calls “Cold War II.” 
During Cold War I, the task was to contain two awesome forces. The lesser and more moderate force was “an implacable enemy whose avowed objective is world domination by whatever means and at whatever cost.” Hence “if the United States is to survive,” it will have to adopt a “repugnant philosophy” and reject “acceptable norms of human conduct” and the “long-standing American concepts of ‘fair play’” that had been exhibited with such sea... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) In 1999, Colombia became the leading recipient of U.S. military and police assistance, replacing Turkey (Israel and Egypt are in a separate category). The figure is scheduled to increase sharply with the anticipated passage of Clinton’s Colombia Plan, a $1.6 billion “emergency aid” package for two years. Through the 1990s, Colombia has been the leading recipient of U.S. military aid in Latin America, and has also compiled the worst human rights record, in conformity with a well-established correlation.
We can often learn from systematic patterns, so let us focus for a moment on the previous champion, Turkey. As a major U.S. military ally and strategic outpost, Turkey has received substantial military aid from the origins ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) A year ago, the Hebrew University sociologist Baruch Kimmerling observed that “what we feared has come true … War appears an unavoidable fate”, an “evil colonial” war. His colleague Ze’ev Sternhell noted that the Israeli leadership was now engaged in “colonial policing, which recalls the takeover by the white police of the poor neighborhoods of the blacks in South Africa during the apartheid era”. Both stress the obvious: there is no symmetry between the “ethno-national groups” in this conflict, which is centered in territories that have been under harsh military occupation for 35 years.
The Oslo “peace process” changed the modalities of the occupation, but not the ba... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein readers to attend to the use of a phrase in order to determine its meaning. Adopting that suggestion, one regularly discovers that terms of political discourse are used with a doctrinal meaning that is crucially different from the literal one. The term “terrorism,” for example, is not used in accord with the official definition but is restricted to terrorism (as officially defined) carried out by them against us and our clients. Similar conventions hold for “war crime,” “defense,” “peace process,” and other standard terms.
One such term is “the international community.” The literal sense is reasonably clear; the U.N. General Assembly, or a subst... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) On March 24, U.S.-led NATO forces launched cruise missiles and bombs at targets in Yugoslavia, “plunging America into a military conflict that President Clinton said was necessary to stop ethnic cleansing and bring stability to Eastern Europe,” lead stories in the press reported. In a televised address, Clinton explained that by bombing Yugoslavia, “we are upholding our values, protecting our interests, and advancing the cause of peace.”
In the preceding year, according to Western sources, about 2,000 people had been killed in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo and there were several hundred thousand internal refugees. The humanitarian catastrophe was overwhelmingly attributable to Yugoslav military and police forces, ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) North American readers of Father Giraldo’s documentation of the reign of terror that engulfed Colombia during the “Dirty War” waged by the state security forces and their paramilitary associates from the early 1980s. The first is that Colombia’s “democra-tatorship,” as Eduardo Galeano termed this amalgam of democratic forms and totalitarian terror, has managed to compile the worst human rights record in the hemisphere in recent years, no small achievement when one considers the competition. The second is that Colombia has had accessories in crime, primary among them the government of the United States, though Britain, Israel, Germany, and others have also helped to train and arm the assassins and torturer... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) There have been many inquiries concerning NATO (meaning primarily US) bombing in connection with Kosovo. A great deal has been written about the topic, including Znet commentaries. I’d like to make a few general observations, keeping to facts that are not seriously contested.
There are two fundamental issues: (1) What are the accepted and applicable “rules of world order”? (2) How do these or other considerations apply in the case of Kosovo?
(1) What are the accepted and applicable “rules of world order”?
There is a regime of international law and international order, binding on all states, based on the UN Charter and subsequent resolutions and World Court decisions. In brief, the threat or use of force is... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) How Venezuela Is Keeping the Home Fires Burning in Massachusetts,” reads a recent full-page ad in major US newspapers from PDVSA, Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, and CITGO, its Houston-based subsidiary.
The ad describes a program, encouraged by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, to sell heating oil at discount prices to low-income communities in Boston, the South Bronx and elsewhere in the United States — one of the more ironic gestures ever in the North-South dialogue. The deal developed after a group of US senators sent a letter to nine major oil companies asking them to donate a portion of their recent record profits to help poor residents cover heating bills. The only response came from CITGO.
In the United State... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) One fundamental goal of any well-conceived indoctrination program is to direct attention elsewhere, away from effective power, its roots, and the disguises it assumes. Thus to enter into debate over Vietnam, or the Middle East, or Central America, one is required to gain special knowledge of these areas while avoiding scrutiny of the United States. Rational standards are permitted for the study of Soviet intervention, which focusses on Moscow, not Kabul and Prague; for us, however, the problems lie elsewhere, not here. Respectable commentators can even speak of “the tragic self-destruction of Central America,” with the two superpowers playing a (symmetrical) background role (Theodore Sorenson). A similar comment about Eastern Eu... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) At this grim moment, we can do nothing to stop the ongoing invasion. But that does not mean that the task is over for people who have some concern for justice, freedom, and human rights. Far from it. The tasks will be more urgent than before, whatever the outcome of the attack. And about that, no one has any idea: not the Pentagon, the CIA, or anyone else. Possibilities range from the horrifying humanitarian catastrophes of which aid and relief agencies that work in Iraq have been warning, to relatively benign outcomes – though even if not a hair is harmed on anyone’s head that will in no way mitigate the criminality of those willing to subject helpless people to such terrible risks, for their own shameful purposes.
As for the ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Part I
We are approaching the five-year mark since the fall of the Berlin wall, which marked the definitive end of the Cold War. At last the United States was freed from the burden of defending the world against Russian aggression and could return to its traditional calling: to promote democracy, human rights, and free markets worldwide. Standard doctrine holds further that the promise has been fulfilled. Today “American motives are largely humanitarian,” historian David Fromkin declares in the New York Times Magazine. The present danger is excess of benevolence; we might undertake yet another selfless mission of mercy, failing to understand that “there are limits to what outsiders can do” and that &ldq... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Americans may be encouraged to vote, but not to participate more meaningfully in the political arena. Essentially the election is a method of marginalizing the population. A huge propaganda campaign is mounted to get people to focus on these personalized quadrennial extravaganzas and to think, “That’s politics.” But it isn’t. It’s only a small part of politics.
The population has been carefully excluded from political activity, and not by accident. An enormous amount of work has gone into that disenfranchisement. During the 1960s the outburst of popular participation in democracy terrified the forces of convention, which mounted a fierce counter-campaign. Manifestations show up today on the left as well as the... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) On May 1, 1977, the New York Times published an account of the “painful problems of peace” in Vietnam by Fox Butterfield. He describes the “woes” of the people of the South, their “sense of hardship” and the grim conditions of their life, concluding that “most Southerners are said to appear resigned to their fate.” His evidence comes from “diplomats, refugees and letters from Vietnam.” In journals of the War Resisters League and the American Friends Service Committee of March-May 1977, in contrast, there are lengthy reports by Carol Bragg on a visit to Vietnam earlier this year by a six-person AFSC delegation, including two who had worked in Vietnam and are fluent in Vietnamese. Th... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Let’s begin with some simple points, assuming conditions that now prevail–not, of course, the terminus of the unending struggle for freedom and justice.
There is a “public arena” in which, in principle, individuals can participate in decisions that involve the general society: how public revenues are obtained and used, what foreign policy will be, etc. In a world of nation-states, the public arena is primarily governmental, at various levels. Democracy functions insofar as individuals can participate meaningfully in the public arena, meanwhile running their own affairs, individually and collectively, without illegitimate interference by concentrations of power. Functioning democracy presupposes relative equality in ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)