Caitlin Has a Dream, Too

A door opened up in the sixties which was very quickly and violently slammed shut, and now there are independent flickerings all around the world of that strange, sacred light that still shines under the crack of that door. We still have the ability to open it up again. We’ve only got to want it enough.

If our society had simply been permitted to progress along its natural trajectory at a natural pace and to use the innovations that we’d discovered in a natural way, we would all be wide awake by now. The psychedelic revolution would have continued and matured and grown into adulthood instead of being murdered in its infancy, and our exponentially increasing ability to network and share information would have coupled with our mature consciousness to build a deeply awakened society that benefits every living creature on this planet. That would have happened, and it is only because of the unnatural interference of a very few deeply unwise people that we stayed locked in the matrix, now faced with the looming threat of near term human extinction.

Read more from Caitlin Johnstone

Ellen N. Lamotte

“Well, there are many people to write you of the noble side, the heroic side, the exalted side of war,” she explained. “I must write you of what I have seen, the other side, the backwash.” Censored and long forgotten, her extraordinary book challenged societal norms of violence. 

As a battlefield nurse, public-health administrator, suffragist, anarcho-socialist, lesbian, anti-opium activist, and more, Ellen Lamotte had the courage to argue for peace, tolerance, and decency, blazing a path for us to follow.

Harvard Magazine article

I used to think we fought the Civil War to End Slavery

I grew up with that version of history, and I never thought to question it until I was well into my sixth decade.

Forty years before our Civil War, Spain abolished slavery, at home and in all its colonies.  France followed a few years later  Twenty years before our Civil War, England abolished slavery, and it didn’t require a war.  Canada was under British rule, and also gave up slavery in 1834.  Portugal, the Netherlands, and Sweden had all ended slavery before the American Civil War.

Chronology of the Slave Trade

Lincoln declared war on the Confederacy to restore the Union, as he told us at Gettysburg.  It was explicitly not to abolish slavery, because states that fought for the Union were exempted from the Emancipation Proclamation.

Later, Brazil and Cuba ended slavery.  All of these places in Europe and the Americas have better race relations today than the US.  Only in the US does bitterness remain between North and South, left over from a war that ended 154 years ago.

Ending slavery is a noble idea.  Endling slavery with armies and cannons and barbary and rape and theft and devastation of war was a madness for which we are still paying today.

I thought we fought the Nazis to rescue Jews from genocide

But the story falls apart when we look at the details.  We blockaded food shipments to Germany at the end of The Great War, coercing them to agree to The Treaty of Versailles.  The terms of the treaty imposed impossible “reparations” that further enriched the bankers who had financed both sides of the War, but led to economic and social chaos in Germany.  No wonder they hated us.  No wonder they hated the bankers.  Hitler managed to twist resentment of the bankers into a vendetta against the Jews.

When Jews fled Germany after Kristallnacht, the US and Britain refused to take them in, turning them back to Germany to face extermination.

The Nazis built their war machine financed by British and American banks, and with the full cooperation of IBM, Ford, General Motors, and other American companies.  Meanwhile, American companies were selling scrap steel to Japan, dismantling our rail transportation network and turning it into battleships for Hirohito.

Hitler assiduously avoided attacking the US, though we were sending arms and aid to Britain, because he had his hands full in Europe. Japan also avoided war with the US, and Roosevelt worked hard to lure them into an attack on Pearl Harbor, which he used as an excuse to declare war on Germany as well as Japan.

Profitable arms sales to Germany and Japan only stopped after the declaration of war, and even then our Office of Strategic Services (forerunner of the CIA) was secretly supporting Germany against the Soviet Union, via the secret diplomacy of Allen Dulles.

We are still paying for this madness today with the wars over oil in the Middle East, with the pervasive fear that is the War on Terror, with the genocide of Palestinians by Israel today.

There never was a good war or a bad peace.
— Benjamin Franklin

Every war is justified by leaders on both sides who invoke patriotism, freedom, justice, and every other noble sentiment.  This superstructure of noble lies is built on a foundation of fear, prepared for a generation or more beforehand.

Cui bono?  War is good for corporate profits in general.  Commodity prices create profit opportunities galore.  We may think that munitions companies and defense contractors head the list of war profiteers, but surprisingly they are second to the bankers.  In 1935, Major General Smedley Butler taught us that War is a Racket.  Seventy years earlier, General Sherman had told us that war is hell.

War will end when we demand it.  In America, our first idea about how to solve a problem is to fighta war.  Our second idea is to pass a new law.  But war is already illegal.  All contemporary American wars are fought in defiance of the Constitution (which demands a declaration of war by Congress) and the War Powers Act of 1973 (which limits the President’s authority to deploy troops without a declaration of war).  The Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 was passed after a decade-long campaign by people the world over who had been hoodwinked into one World War, and vowed ‘never again”.

War is the oldest trick in the book. Why are we still falling for it?

When our grandchildren ask us, “didn’t you know your government was lying to you?” how will we answer them?  These deceptions are well-described more than a century ago.  It has been several centuries that great numbers of working people have known their worth, have demanded their just desserts.  They have had able leaders. They have stood firm in their resolve. Those with wealth know well they cannot prevail with force alone, and have deployed the printing presses under their control, as well as the gendarmes they command to retain their power.

Un peuple sous la menace de la guerre et de l’invasion est tres facilement gouvernable. Il ne reclame pas de reformes sociales, il ne repousse pas l armement ou l equipement militaire. Il paye sans broncher, il se ruine lui meme, et ceci est favorable pour les syndicats, les financiers et les fers de lance de l industrie pour que la terreur patriotique entraine l abondance du gain.  — Anatole France, né cette journée en 1844

A people under the menace of war and of invasion is very easy to govern. It does not claim social reforms, it does not cavil over armaments or military equipment. It pays without haggling, it ruins itself at it, and that is excellent for the syndicates, the financiers, and the heads of industry to whom patriotic terrors open an abundant source of gain.  — Anatole France, born this day in 1844

On croit mourir pour la patrie; on meurt pour les industriels.

You think you are dying for your country; you die for the industrialists.

We have the power

David Hume found

“nothing more surprising than to see the easiness with which the many are governed by the few and to observe the implicit submission with which men resign their own sentiments and passions to those of their rulers.  When we enquire by what means this wonder is brought about we shall find that as force is always on the side of the governed, the governors have nothing to support them but opinion.  It is therefore on opinion only that government is founded and this maxim extends to the most despotic and most military governments as well as to the most free and the most popular.”

His words are particularly appropriate to socieities in which popular struggle over many years has won a considerable degree of freedom.  In such societies, force really is on the side of the governed, and the governors have nothing to support them but opinion.  That is one reason why the huge public relations industry and the most immense propaganda agency in human history reached its most developed and sophisticated forms in the most free societies, the US and Britain.  The propaganda industry arose about a century ago, when people came to understand that too much freedom had been won for the public to be controlled by force, so it would be necessary to control them via their opinions.  The liberal intellectual elites understood this as well, and thus they concluded that “we must discared democratic dogmatism about people being the best judges of their own interest.  They are not.  They are ignorant and meddlesome outsiders who must be put in their place, for their own good, of course.”  [Chomsky does not source this quote, but it is from Walter Lippmann]
                                                                — Noam Chomsky

Clean for Gene

When I was a sophomore in college, my classmates and I put on clothes we would never wear on campus and went knocking on doors to promote Gene McCarthy in his challenge to the Vietnam war, and to Lyndon Johnson’s presidency.

When Democrats and Republicans alike talked about Victory over Communism, McCarthy had the courage to talk about fool’s errands, about atrocities, about peace as a virtue.

McCarthy had an academic’s clarity of purpose, a poet’s temperament, and a politician’s love of connection with the people.

THE MAPLE TREE
The maple tree that night
Without a wind or rain
Let go its leaves
Because its time had come.
Brown veined, spotted,
Like old hands, fluttering in blessing,
They fell upon my head
And shoulders, and then
Down to the quiet at my feet.
I stood, and stood
Until the tree was bare
And have told no one
But you that I was there.
—Eugene Joseph McCarthy was born on this day in 1916.

Being in politics is like being a football coach. You have to be smart enough to understand the game, and dumb enough to think it’s important.

A modest proposal

I just received a survey in the mail from the Democratic National Committee asking about my priorities.  There were about a hundred check boxes, but not one related to peace.  (But several asked if I wanted to raise our military profile or “stand up to Putin”.)

Here’s my proposal.  At present, the US military budget is more than 1/3 of the world’s total, more than the next ten countries combined.  That doesn’t include the black budget, hidden from Congress and from the American people, which according to this Michigan State Univ study is three times larger than the official accounting on which the chart below is based.

2018_Military_Expenditures_by_Country

Effective immediately, I propose that We the People demand our legislators take action to end the black budget and limit the official budget to the sum of Russia + China together.  This comes to an 80% reduction.  Starting tomorrow, we spend only 1/5 as much on guns and bombs.

We should then announce that we will limit our future military spending in the same manner, never to exceed the next two rivals combined, so that as other countries reduce their military, the US will follow them in disarmament.

*Saudi Arabia is a special case.  Historically, they have been the largest supplier of crude oil to the US, and in order to avoid a huge balance of payments imbalance the House of Saud royal family has purchased far more American hi-tech weapons than any other country.