Sections crisis index
1. What Should Left-Wing Foreign Policy Look Like?
This is a Nederlog of Sunday, August 21, 2016.
As usual (since well over three years ) I spent over an hour looking through over 30 website publications looking for crisis materials, but I found only one item that I was willing to review .
Probably, this is because it is Sunday. It also doesn't matter, because I do have fairly long lists of alternatives, and this is one of the alternatives: item 1 expands something I wrote four months ago, in an item called "What Should Left-Wing Foreign Policy Look Like?".
This also is the only item today and in fact it doesn't even answer that last question, though this has a good reason:
I think the left - as I know it, having parents who were (intelligent, honest, fair) communists for 45 years - has largely disappeared or else has very much changed the last 45 years, which means (among other things) that asking the question "What Should Left-Wing Foreign Policy Look Like?" should be preceded by an answer to the question "What Is Left-Wing These Days?", and indeed also by some other questions.
And I did pose that question and four others four months ago. Today I will take up these five questions; and give some details and backgrounds about each.
1. What Should Left-Wing Foreign Policy Look Like?
The first (and only) item today is by me, and is a quotation from the Nederlog I wrote four months ago, on April 23, 2016. The quotation is in this part from April 23:
First, here is the quotation, that has been changed a little by adding numbers and by including a note in the text:
There is not only (0) hardly any antiwar movement in the USA (apart from some veterans, to be sure), (1) there also is a radical disappearance of the real left , that morphed into the quasi-left of the Democratic Party, that stands to the right of Reagan on many issues; (2) the disappearance of most of the free press; (3) the rather complete disappearance of any real "leftist ideology" in the mainstream media, and its exchange to a mostly linguistic position of political correctness; (4) the morphing of the U.S. government into a collaboration with the multinational corporations (especially banking and computing, at least in this administration: it was oil in the previous one); and (5) the constant secret surveillance of everyone by the secret services, that probably dampens the enthusiasm of many to protest the government.This is quoted with minimal changes from April 23.
I think each of these changes was major, and each of these changes contributed to the disappeareance from the mainstream media and most of the paper press of most antiwar positions, of most genuine leftist criticisms of society, and of almost any rational leftist criticism of the government.
And I am merely briefly listing these major changes here. I think they are all very important, and I think they also have been very consciously striven for since the early 1970ies by "the political right" and by "the rich" (to use two easy labels, that need expansions, but not here and now).
I think also most of these changes to the right comprise both of the large American political parties (both did shift to the right, and quite a lot as well), and much of what Powell and Reagan wanted for the right has meanwhile been achieved.
I will probably deal with these 5 important changes in a later Nederlog.
I will now expand these six points because I think each constituted a major change in the USA, and they all happened since 1971, that is within the last 45 years. Also, my point of reference is 1970, firstly because then none of the changes I will list had taken place; secondly, because the left, although varying a lot internally, was still recognizably what it had been for some 100 or 120 years then; and thirdly because I was 20 in 1970, and recall it very well.
Also, I start with the first change, which also is the least important, which will allow me to make some more or less statistical remarks that also applies to the other five changes.
(0) There is at present (in 2016, compared to 1970) hardly any antiwar
movement in the USA (apart from some veterans, to be sure)
First of all, there clearly is some "antiwar movement" in the present USA, but it is also true that, compared to 1970, it is very much less, which is a bit odd because the USA is involved in many wars these days.
Two changes that account for some of the differences are (i) there was very much more protest in the USA in the second half of the Sixties then there is today, and (ii) president Nixon terminated the draft (under which any male of the appropriate age might be called to soldier for some years) and replaced it by "a professional army" fully made up of military volunteers.
There are other reasons why the antiwar movement mostly collapsed, and indeed it didn't fully, but this will be the case for most of the major changes I will discuss, and I merely say that I am talking roughly and imprecisely in this Nederlog, in part because of limitations of space and time, in part because of normal statistical variations, and in part because no one knows everything, while in politics there are very many lies and also very many attempts to keep many things as secret as possible.
(1) There also is a radical disappearance of the real left, that morphed
into the quasi-left of the Democratic Party, that stands to the right
of Reagan on many issues
So what is "the real left", that I will continue to call "the Left" as distinguished from "the left" (between quotes), which is the later variant, and mostly is not leftish if the Left is leftish? Answer:
The real left - the Left - are persons who criticize capitalism in terms of equality and justice, and who want to replace it (by various means, that vary from elections to revolutions) by some other social system that is far more equal economically, and far more just ethically.
The Left, as defined, goes back to the 1820ies (when "socialism" was first defined) and existed for some 170 years after that, and always was defined, in principle, as I just did: You were a Leftist because you did not think capitalism was equal economically, which you did not think fair, and which you wanted to replace - somehow - by another social system that was much more equal economically and much more just, because you believed that the kind of economical and social changes you were for were just not realizable under capitalism.
Incidentally: The replacement of capitalism by another system (often but not always called socialism, in Leftish circles) could happen in several possible ways, that helped to distinguish various Leftish parties: There were those - usually called social democrats - who thought it should happen by elections,
and there were those - usually called communists or anarchists - who thought it (also) might happen by a real revolution.
But what defined being Left was not the amounts of radicalness or violence one thought necessary to bring about a revolution, but the fact that those who belonged to the Left believed - somehow, again, that might differ a lot - in the arisal of another, better, more just and more equal different kind
of society than the capitalist one.
The Left (as defined) still exists, but it is far more rare than it was, and is so in good part because the two "leftish" multi-millionaires Bill Clinton and Tony Blair set out to destroy it (by the "Third Way" (<-Wikipedia)).
And they largely succeeded because they got help from many leaders from leftish parties who were, like Blair and Clinton, much more interested in their own incomes, their own status and their own power (like Wim Kok, in Holland), and who believed that a modicum of "justice" was all that was required to get a benevolent capitalism, and who completely discarded any revolution of any kind that would attack any capitalist or any billionaire and take away anything they had. 
(2) The disappearance of most of the free press
This took place mostly between 1995 and 2005, and happened in part for economic reasons:
It became much cheaper and much more effective to advertise on the internet than it had been in the papers, which meant that the papers rapidly lost most of their advertisements, and thus most of their incomes. This made most of them loose money, which again made them cheap buys for rich men, which is what happened to most larger papers. (The smaller just went broke.)
But this was not all of the reason the free press mostly disappeared:
This was also the policy of the new owners of the papers that kept existing, and it was policy of the new editors they introduced: The new owners were generally rich and rightish; they wanted to see their own values and prefer- ences in their own papers; and this meant that most criticisms and most investigative reporting that had appeared in the papers when these had money through advertising were simply removed, as were most critical journalists, and were replaced by a mixture of propaganda, infotainment and plain amuse- ments for the readers , all backed up by claims this was "objective", because journalists refused to take positions, and showed "both sides" to the questions they did deal with.
In fact, this was the death of the free press, for a real free press requires a real knowledge of real facts; journalists who dare to take positions (and are protected by their editors); and vigorous critical writing.
If many writers on democracy are right, the death of the free press is the death of democracy, for the simple reason that most people need a real free
press to come to understand the real facts.
But this is not all that happened:
(3) There also was the rather complete disappearance of any real
"leftist ideology" in the mainstream media, and its exchange to a
mostly linguistic position of political correctness
I sketched part of the reasons for the disappearance of the Left (with a few exceptions, that generally are small, numerically) in (1) and (2), but in fact considerably more happened that destroyed the Left, which also was the work of the multi-millionaires Clinton and Blair, although they also got rather a lot of help from many others:
The Left ideology - we want another social system, that is much more equal, much more honest, and much more fair - was almost completely replaced by a "left" ideology that - completely arbitrarily!  - denied the possibility of any other social system than capitalism, and insisted that being "leftish" - instead - consisted of some environmentalism, considerable amounts of (gerund) feminism , and an ideology which was not anti-capitalistic or pro-socialistic anymore, but which was mostly made up of these three theses:
(1) everybody is equal (or equivalent): You, and Hitler and Einstein are all of the same equal (equivalent) value, as is anybody else; (2) identity- politics: People are no longer individuals but are identified by group- characteristics, which again are subject to (1); and (3) political correctness: No one is supposed to say anything harmful about anybody, for that would be violence.
I think all of that "leftish" ideology is nonsense, and if being left = being "leftish", neither myself, nor my - communist - parents, nor my - communist and anarchist - grandparents are or were "leftish" in any sense, and indeed the same applies to every classical Leftist I have ever met (very many, for my father was a prominent communist). 
(4) The morphing of the U.S. government into a collaboration with the
This is another major change, and there also was a considerable warning against it, before this really happened, namely Eisenhower's warnings against what he called the military-industrial complex (<- Wikipedia) of 1961.
In fact, the depth of this major change is difficult to gauge, because the relevant information about the US government tends to be much hidden, or else gets overlaid with large doses of propaganda.
But in any case: Bush Jr.'s government was mainly run by people who came originally from oil, while Barack Obama's goverment was mainly run by people from banking or from computing, many of whom also came and went by "the revolving door" that the government has created to get the people it wants.
It is very difficult to say how much influence these people from banking, computing or oil have on the government, but it very probably is very considerable, for otherwise it is difficult to explain the very many advantages banking and computing were assigned (often by persons who come from banking or computing, and who also will return to it), which includes eight years of no prosecutions of any member of any major bank "because these are too big to fail" (that is, in other words: because the minister of justice is corrupt).
What is certain - it appears to me - is that this fundamentally changed the relations between the government and the multinational corporations, which
so far has worked out extremely well for the profits of the multinational corporations. (Also, this appears to me to be another example of the major force of corruption.)
(5) The constant secret surveillance of everyone by the secret services
This is both the last of the five changes; the one about which - by far - the least is known; and one which is extremely dangerous, because the secret
services have succeeded, by means of the utter lie of "terrorism" (which is an
utter lie because more people are killed by cows than by terrorism), to have
"the right" to steal everything they can get from the computers and cellphones of anyone anywhere, that is currently of some 4 billion persons.
For me, this is the beginning of a neofascism, that is, the dictatorship of the government and/or the multinational corporations plus the secret services, and that also includes the mostly completely hidden manipulation of everyone by the secret services, that will guarantee (once this works well, which it doesn't quite yet) that any government can do as it pleases, because everyone agrees to it, or else is sifted out by the secret services, and will somehow disappear in prison or will be simply killed or otherwise disappear for ever.
This is as far as it gets today. There is a whole lot more to say, but that has to wait.
For the moment, I merely repeat that someone who asks "What Should Left-Wing Foreign Policy Look Like?" should first answer the question what a left-wing policy is, and somebody who does that on the basis of relevant knowledge will find that most of the current left-wing is no longer Left as my parents and grandparents were (and indeed all their friends, and anybody else who was a Leftist between 1840 and 1970) but is "left" in a completely different, and fundamentally false and intentionally falsified sense.
And to end this with a comment on today's title "Approaching neofascism: Five major changes in the USA since 1970": I do think that each of the changes (1) to (5) is a major danger that threatens to help bring about neofascism, which will be the subject of another Nederlog.
 In fact, this started on June 10, 2013, when I first read about Edward Snowden. Since then, nearly all of Nederlog is about the crisis.
The main reason for that change is that I think that secret services that know absolutely everything about absolutely everyone are the best way to impose an eternal fascist dictatorship on almost everyone.
You may disagree, but I think it is very likely that I know more about politics - you can check the link - and more about fascism than you do (for I am 66 with two communist parents who were communists for 45 years, and who were in the antifascist resistance in WW II, in which my grandfather also was murdered by the Nazis, and I am an intellectual who has read very much).
And while this does not prove in any way that I am right, it does give my main reason to write as much about the crisis as I did, and certainly since June 10, 2013.
 Yes indeed.
In fact, here is a little summary of what I do every day since over three years: I get up, nearly immediately check between 30 and 40 websites, which takes about 1 1/2 hour, in which I select what I want to review; select the texts; and write the reviews. Altogether, depending on the number of items reviewed and the length of the texts and the reviews, this takes between 4 and (maximally and rarely) 8 hours, after which I can do the other things I have to do that day.
It is therefore - normally, though not always: sometimes I review something I dislike a lot, but not often - an honor to be reviewed by me, simply because I generally refuse to review ill-written stuff, obvious baloney, ordinary trash, and mainstream propaganda.
Finally, and especially because of the badness and the propaganda of the mainstream media, I think that the only way an intelligent and interested person does have these days to try to understand what is happening in the world is to do something like I do every day: Check out rather a lot of the - especially, but not only - alternative websites.
And since I know that is not well possible for many, that is one additional reason for Nederlog (as it has been the last 3 years).
 In case you think I accuse Clinton, Blair and many other "social democrat" leaders of the past 45 years of corruption, you are quite right:
I do (and Clinton is worth $120 million at present, while Blair is worth around £80 million: they did extremely well, and were the examples for many "leftish" political leaders).
 Here is the repetition of a note I wrote on August 18, since this serves well and indicates the levels of change in the press that I know best:
Since I am Dutch and unfortunately am forced to live in Holland (for I am ill and very poor), I do know most about Holland. Well, I have read the NRC-Handelsblad daily for forty (40) years, namely from 1970 till 2010, and I have seen it grow from a decent liberal academic paper to a good liberal academic paper (in the 1980ies), since when I have seen it decline, and decline, and decline (and being sold, and resold) to its present awful position of infotainment-shit with little real news and no intelligent real journalists.
It's quite amazing - and no: You don't need to comment if you haven't read it as long as I have, or don't have an academic diploma as good as mine. (I know it looks different for much younger people, and for less intelligent people: I am formulating the opinion of a man who has read it for over 40 years, and who is very intelligent, not those of a 20 year old with an IQ of 115 who has no idea of what it was like in the 1980ies.)
 I do insist that the only reason Clinton and Blair denied there was any socialism, was that this position supported their own private careers.
There is absolutely no proof that socialism (or anarchism) in any of its many different forms is impossible, and indeed there can be no such proof, because socialism and anarchism are in the end ethical positions, that is, they depend on the kinds of values a person subscribes to.
It is possible that many socialists are too optimistic, too kind, too idealistic etc. - but then again these are values much rather than facts, and values are
rarely decided by what the facts are.
 There are in fact at least two distinct types of feminism: Gerund feminism, which is in the end based on the physical differences between men and women, and equity feminism, which is in the end based on the ethical position that men and women should be treated as legal equals.
I cannot be a gerund feminist (I lack a vulva, as a male), but I am an equity feminist, though I should add that this is at present a small minority among feminists.
 This is repeated from yesterday:
My parents and grandparents (communists or anarchists, who also had the great - and quite uncommon - courage to resist the Nazis when they occupied Holland) did not believe any of the above and neither do I: It is all utterly false bullshit and baloney: Nobody is equal or equivalent to anyone; no individual is a group nor should be identified with a group; and almost everything that can be said, may be said, also if it is supposed to harm others, and especially if what is being said is (probably) true.
I summarized a lot here, and also left out a lot, but I first wanted to get this out of the way:
If this is what it takes to define a modern "leftist" I am certainly not a "leftist" and never was one, nor were my parents and grandparents (and yes, I had a whole lot to do with those who did insist on their "leftishness" in the university, but no, I never mistook this for being Leftist: If my parents were real Leftists, and they were, the politically committed students I met in the UvA all were fakes - as indeed they were).