A. Selections from July 17, 2017
This is a Nederlog of
Monday, July 17,
This is a
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 probably will
continue with it, but on the moment
I have several problems with the company that is
supposed to take care that my site is visible and with my health.
explained, the crisis files will have a different
format from July 1, 2017: I will now list the items
I selected as I did before (title + link) but I add one
selection from the selected item to give my readers a bit
of a taste of the item linked.
So the new format is as follows:
Link to an item with its orginal title,
One selection from that item (indented)
Possibly followed by a brief comment by
me (not indented).
This is illustrated below, in selections A.
2. Crisis Files
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
A. Selections from
July 17, 2017
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:
Debs and the Kingdom of Evil
This is by Chris Hedges on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
Debs, whose home is an infrequently visited museum on the campus of
Indiana State University, was the most important political figure of
the 20th century. He built the socialist movement in America and was
eventually crucified by the capitalist class when he and hundreds of
thousands of followers became a potent political threat.
of all: Who was Eugene
Debs? He was a real  American
socialist, who lived from 1855 till 1926. The last link is to the
Wikipedia. And I agree with Chris Hedges that he was a quite
interesting and courageous man.
Here is some on Debs's ideas:
Yes, I agree. Indeed,
this is an important part of my reason to be some kind of - anti-
totalitarian - socialist. Also, I think the difference between
capitalism and -
anti- totalitarian - socialism are in the end ethical and legal, and
Debs came to the
conclusion that no strike or labor movement could ultimately be
successful as long as the government was controlled by the capitalist
class. Any advances made by an organized working class would be
reversed once the capitalists regained absolute power, often by
temporarily mollifying workers with a few reforms. Working men and
women had to achieve political power, a goal of Britain’s Labour Party
for workers at the time, or they would forever be at the mercy of the
Debs feared the rise of
the monolithic corporate state. He foresaw that corporations,
unchecked, would expand to “continental proportions and swallow up the
national resources and the means of production and distribution.” If
that happened, he warned, the long “night of capitalism will be dark.”
Here is some more on Debs:
Debs, although a
sworn enemy of the capitalist elites, was adamantly opposed to violence
and sabotage, arguing that these actions allowed the state to demonize
the socialist movement and enabled the destructive efforts of agents
provocateurs. The conflict with the capitalist class, Debs argued, was
at its core about competing values. In an interview conducted while he
was in jail after the Pullman strike, he stressed the importance of
“education, industry, frugality, integrity, veracity, fidelity,
sobriety and charity.”
I quite agree, although at the
present time, when everybody has his or her own personal dossier both
with many secret services and with many corporations, and when the
media are mostly spreading lies and propaganda in the interests of
their rich owners, it probably is too late to do anything effective
against the rich: As soon as one gets effective, the secret services
will try to kill it, and very probably will succeed.
Here is Debs quoted, from his trial in 1918 (there is quite a bit more,
all very well worth reading):
I believe, Your Honor, in
common with all Socialists, that this nation ought to own and control
its own industries. I believe, as all Socialists do, that all things
that are jointly needed and used ought to be jointly owned—that
industry, the basis of our social life, instead of being the private
property of a few and operated for their enrichment, ought to be the
common property of all, democratically administered in the interest of
I am opposing a social
order in which it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing
that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars,
while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives
secure barely enough for a wretched existence.
Again I quite agree,
and these were also the ideals of my (communist) parents and (anarchist
and communist) grandparents.
And here is Chris
Hedges, from page 4 of his article:
We have returned to an
oligarchic purgatory. Wall Street and the global corporations,
including the fossil fuel industry and the war industry, have iron
control over the government. The social, political and civil rights won
by workers in long and bloody struggles have been stripped away.
Government regulations have been rolled back to permit capitalists to
engage in abuse and fraud. The political elites, along with their
courtiers in the media and academia, are hapless corporate stooges.
Social and economic inequality replicates the worst excesses of the robber
barons. And the great civic, labor and political organizations that
fought for working men and women are moribund or dead.
We have to begin all over
I agree, but my own
conclusion is that this has very little chance of succeeding, except if
there is another economical crisis. Then again, this may happen any
time now, so there is some hope left.
And this is a
strongly recommended article, with a lot more.
Is Ushering in a Dark New Conservatism
This is by Timothy
Snyder on AlterNet and originally on The Guardian. It starts as follows:
In his committed
mendacity, his nostalgia for the 1930s, and his acceptance of support
from a foreign enemy of the United States, a Republican president has
closed the door on conservatism and opened the way to a darker form of
politics: a new right to replace an old one.
I like Timothy Snyder,
and wrote more about him. See - for example - here
In the rest of this article he more or less defends conservatism as
was. He doesn't mention Eisenhower and MacMillan, but he might have. He
does mention Edmund Burke, and is quite right in that.
Then again that kind
of classical conservatism is mostly dead, as are the ideas of classical
socialism (see item 1) and not because they were
wrong (although they can't be both right), but because both presumed
truth and facts, while in these postmodern
days "Everybody knows that truth does not exist" (as I and
everybody else was taught in the "University" of Amsterdam since 1978
We are living now in
the days of the terrorists from many secret services who have been
allowed to destroy anyone's privacy and compile dossiers on everybody.
and we are living not in the days when the mainstream medias engage
mostly in propaganda,
lies and deceptions.
And Trump never was a
conservative, and always as a neofacist
(in my sense), besides being a
Is a Cornered Animal, and He's Dangerous
This is by William Rivers Pitt
on AlterNet and originally on Truthout. It starts as follows:
You have to hand
it to this First Family. As advertised, they do nothing small.
Buildings wreathed in gold, steaks thicker than city sidewalks, golf
courses manicured like supermodels … and scandals rich enough to clot
the blood. The present Russia eruption is a sumptuous feast with all
the trimmings, served by a court jester named Junior who, as Stephen
Colbert recently observed, decided to be his own "Deep Throat" on the
front page of every news publication on the planet.
Yes, indeed. It ends thus:
Thanks to the 2001
Authorization for the Use of Military Force, Trump has the power to
start and/or escalate wars at will, and war is a time-tested method of
distraction. He still has control over a vast nuclear arsenal. The
current scandal is yet another glaring indication that Trump and his
people are more than comfortable engaging in shady dealings behind
closed doors. Plus, in the event of a terrorist attack, real or
imagined, Trump has astonishing police powers at his disposal. None of
us can accurately guess what he's capable of as president.
This is not alarmism. This
is enlightened self-interest. Fear and vigilance are highly appropriate
responses at this juncture. More than at any point since January,
Donald Trump is, right now, the most dangerous man in the world.
I quite agree. In
fact, I still think it is 50/50 that mankind will reach 2021 without a
major atomic war. And this is a recommended article.
at the Grocery Store
This is by Jim
Hightower on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Wall Street analysts tell
us that Amazon’s $14 billion buyout of Whole Foods isn't only a win-win
for both of them, but also for consumers, for Amazon intends to lower
the organic grocer's prices.
Really? Yes, they say,
because Amazon will use its amazing computer-driven tactics to cut
Whole Foods' cost of selling groceries.
But Amazon’s robotic
"efficiency" is achieved by cutting people. It ruthlessly squeezes
suppliers, for example, demanding that they give bankruptcy-level
wholesale prices to the retail colossus.
That means that small
organic farmers and food artisans are destined to be squeezed out of
Whole Foods, displaced by deep-pocket, global food makers who are
willing to cut corners on quality and the environment in order to get
on Amazon’s new grocery shelves.
Yes, but Jim Hightower does
not mention the fact that the large majority of ordinary men are quite
willingly collaborating with Amazon, simply to save themselves a few
It ends thus:
According to the
calendar, we're living in 2017. But the Brave New Future of Amazon’s
electronic, robotic Whole Foods Market tells us we're living in the
corporatized version of 1984, where human needs for jobs and personal
relationships are subverted to the corporate love of automation and
I agree, but this also is
"according to The Will Of The Majority", who rather save pennies for
themselves than protecting small shops and small farms.
Not Amused by EU Efforts to “De-Cash” their Lives
This is by Don Quijones on Wolf Street. It starts as
First note "the curious absence".
And second, stopping cash means that absolutely every ordinary man
will be a slave of the banks: What you "own" will not be currency, but a number in Your
Proud Bank That Fully Owns You.
In January 2017 the
European Commission announced it was exploring the option of
imposing upper limits on cash payments, with a view to implementing
cross-regional measures as soon as 2018. To give the proposal a veneer
of respectability and accountability the Commission launched a public
consultation on the issue. Now, the answers are in, but they are not what the
Commission was expecting.
A staggering 95% of the
respondents said they were opposed to a cash ceiling at EU level. Even
more emphatic was the answer to the following question:
“How would the introduction of
restrictions on payments in cash at EU level benefit you, or your
business or your organisation (multiple replies are possible)?”
In the curious absence of
an explicit “not at all” option, 99.18% chose to respond with “no
answer.” In other words, less than 1% of the more than 30,000 people
consulted could think of a single benefit of the EU unleashing
cross-regional cash limits.
There is considerably more in the article, that is recommended.
 I have to qualify with "real",
simply because all "communists" and all "socialists"
that effectively ruled the Dutch "universities" between 1971 and 1995
were quasi-communists and quasi-socialists (who got their way by
accusing this real socialist that I am "a fascist
terrorist", which was also their ground for letting me
be terrorized by a madman for three years, and then for denying my
right of taking my M.A. in philosophy in 1988: I was not a Marxist and
I was pro - real - science, and both of these opinions were quite
dangerous to hold in the "University" of Amsterdam between 1977 and
1995, when the "University" was led by an utterly insane
"parliamentary" system, that was unique in the world).
All of them acted as neofascist neoliberals, and all
of the leaders of the ("communist") ASVA and of the ("socialist") Board
of Directors knew this quite well (and all of the
leaders of the "communist" ASVA explicitly or implicitly declared
themselves "neo-conservatives" or "neo-liberals" by 1991,
briefly after the collapse of the Communist Party, and briefly after
the collapse of Soviet "socialism". Oh they were so honorable, so
honest, so ethical!
If you believe that the present "University" of Amsterdam is a real
university you must be "a social democrat" or have an IQ that is 115 at most
(which covers the majority of the Dutch).