The Age of Extremes

Published on ZNet (first on teleSUR english ), by Arun Gupta, Dec 12, 2015.

… The greatest cost is to the countries being bombed and civil society. In November 2001 the global justice movement, which gained prominence after thwarting a free-trade agreement two years earlier, was planning to shut down seven stock exchanges in a worldwide day of protest. That was derailed by 9/11, and the global justice movement fell apart. This time climate-justice activists say the movement is stronger and wiser and the climate crisis is too profound for one episode to end it, but it has been set back.  

Just like 9/11, the Paris attacks were blowback. The United States gave rise to al-Qaida to fight the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the eighties, and the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq spawned the Islamic State group. A key difference is while 9/11 was organized from abroad, nearly all the Paris attackers were E.U. citizens , and some were among the more than 3,000 Europeans who’ve fought with religious extremists in Syria or Iraq. In effect, Western states are using one crisis they created, “Islamic terrorism,” to prevent action on another crisis of their creation, global warming.

Explaining the roots of the attacks, the racism, how elites manipulate public sentiment, and debunking lies about refugees and encryption, however, are not enough to shift opinion decisively. After the Paris attacks 65 percent of Americans favored sending “additional ground troops to fight ISIS in Syria and Iraq.” In France, military enlistments surged and 55 percent of the public favors of war in Syria. The one bright spot is support for the police state and war is not as overwhelming as after 9/11 because many in the West realize bombing Muslim countries only fuels more radicalism and attacks … //

… Social crises under capitalism come in many forms. One type stems from capital’s need to seek profits, such as the healthcare industry and medical bankruptcy, drug companies and opiate addiction, and banks and the explosion of personal debt. Other crises are externalities. Just as factories externalize costs by dumping pollution in the air, land, and water, policies designed to hold down wages and free up capital are dumped on the most vulnerable. Consigning millions of Americans to poverty is tied to record prison populations, homelessness, and the obesity epidemic. Many of these crises end up becoming new profit centers, such as with the incarceration and diabetes industries.

It is outside the West where crises are most extreme, whether it is war, poverty, or global warming. This includes the U.S. drug war in Latin America, agricultural land grabs and mineral wars in Africa, seizure of peasant and indigenous land throughout Asia for “development,” and post-9/11 wars from Afghanistan to Libya that involve the U.S.-led attempt to control of territory, markets, and energy resources.

The wars and policies are invariably justified with appeals to nationalism and xenophobia. The racism is then used to whip up support for increased state police powers and surveillance to repress both communities already subject to discrimination and movements against capitalism.

This is the dilemma going forward now that grassroots dissent is being squelched at the climate talks in Paris that begin Nov. 30. Civil society, indigenous, peasant, and workers organizations, NGOs, environmentalists, scientists, and activists have been told to pack it in. Addressing climate change will be left to the perpetrators of the crisis: the most powerful states, corporations, militaries, and the 1 percent.

Social-justice movements can’t just be oppositional. They have to craft narratives of a better society based on economic and political democracy to counter the extremes of global capitalism and violent fundamentalists alike. And it’s still socialism that offers the only real path out of the crisis.

(full text).


No Leaders, No Masters, We Must Liberate Ourselves, on, by BOBBY LONDON, Dec 11, 2015;

Why Did Turkey Shoot Down That Russian Plane? on, by CONN HALLINAN, Dec 11, 2015;

Fear, Anger and Hatred: The Rise of Germany’s New Right, on Spiegel Online International, by Melanie Amann, Maik Baumgärtner, Markus Feldenkirchen, Martin Knobbe, Ann-Kathrin Müller, Alexander Neubacher and Jörg Schindler, Dec 11, 2015 (Photo Gallery): for years, a sense of disillusionment has been growing on the right. Now, the refugee crisis has magnified that frustration. Increasingly, people from the very center of society are identifying with the movement — even as political debate coarsens and violence increases;

This Country Is Paying People to Live There, on big think, by Stefani Cox, Dec 10, 2015;

State pension income covers less than half average cost of retirement living, on Money Observer, by Michael Trudeau, Dec 9, 2015;

Finland wants to revamp its welfare system by simply giving people cash, on, by Sadly Rachman, Dec 9, 2015;

Learned Libertarians Lean Toward Land Dues, on, by Jeffery J. Smith, Dec 9, 2015: progressives alone won’t win. It’ll take an alliance with their erstwhile opponents, the libertarians, to win the most basic of all reforms—an income apart from our labor;

Most unions have failed to respond to the needs and aspirations of the precariat – Interview with Guy Standing, on BIEN, Vito Laterza, Dec 8, 2015;

How to Save Money When You’re Filing Your Taxes, on USnews/Money, by Jon Lal, Dec 8, 2015;

Reward is better than punishment – A Work for the Dole alternative, on Independent Australia IA, by Jade Manson, Dec 8, 2015: despite its enormous cost, the Work for the Dole program simply doesn’t produce the outcomes intended. Jade Manson suggests the “volunteer’s bonus” — a far more positive alternative;

Zukunftsdoku 2057 – Unser Leben in der Zukunft HD, von Mr Dokumentation am 20 Mai 2013 hochgeladen (auf phoenix TV):
E01: Der Mensch, 43.52 min;
E02: Die Stadt, 43.10 min;
E03: Die Welt, 43.25 min.

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