Brexit and the diseased liberal mind

Jonathan Cook | 26 June 2016


The enraged liberal reaction to the Brexit vote is in full flood. The anger is pathological – and helps to shed light on why a majority of Britons voted for leaving the European Union, just as earlier a majority of Labour party members voted for Jeremy Corbyn as leader.

A few years ago the American writer Chris Hedges wrote a book he titled the Death of the Liberal Class. His argument was not so much that liberals had disappeared, but that they had become so coopted by the right wing and its goals – from the subversion of progressive economic and social ideals by neoliberalism, to the enthusiastic embrace of neoconservative doctrine in prosecuting aggressive and expansionist wars overseas in the guise of “humanitarian intervention” – that liberalism had been hollowed out of all substance.

Liberal pundits sensitively agonise over, but invariably end up backing, policies designed to benefit the bankers and arms manufacturers, and ones that wreak havoc domestically and abroad. They are the “useful idiots” of modern western societies.

Reading this piece on the fallout from Brexit by Zoe Williams, a columnist who ranks as leftwing by the current standards of the deeply diminished Guardian, one can isolate this liberal pathology in all its sordid glory.

Here is a revealing section, written by a mind so befuddled by decades of neoliberal orthodoxy that it has lost all sense of the values it claims to espouse:

There is a reason why, when Marine le Pen and Donald Trump congratulated us on our decision, it was like being punched in the face – because they are racists, authoritarian, small-minded and backward-looking. They embody the energy of hatred. The principles that underpin internationalism – cooperation, solidarity, unity, empathy, openness – these are all just elements of love.

One wonders where in the corridors of the EU bureaucracy Williams identifies that “love” she so admires. Did she see it when the Greeks were being crushed into submission after they rebelled against austerity policies that were themselves a legacy of European economic policies that had required Greece to sell off the last of its family silver?

Is she enamoured of this internationalism when the World Bank and IMF go into Africa and force developing nations into debt-slavery, typically after a dictator has trashed the country decades after being installed and propped up with arms and military advisers from the US and European nations?

What about the love-filled internationalism of Nato, which has relied on the EU to help spread its military tentacles across Europe close to the throat of the Russian bear? Is that the kind of cooperation, solidarity and unity she was thinking of?

Williams then does what a lot of liberals are doing at the moment. She calls for subversion of the democratic will:

The anger of the progressive remain side, however, has somewhere to go: always suckers for optimism, we now have the impetus to put aside ambiguity in the service of clarity, put aside differences in the service of creativity. Out of embarrassment or ironic detachment, we’ve backed away from this fight for too long.

That includes seeking the ousting of Jeremy Corbyn, of course. “Progressive” Remainers, it seems, have had enough of him. His crime is that he hails from “leftwing aristocracy” – his parents were lefties too, apparently, and even had such strong internationalist principles that they first met at a committee on the Spanish civil war.

But Corbyn’s greater crime, according to Williams, is that “he is not in favour of the EU”. It would be too much trouble for her to try and untangle the knotty problem of how a supreme internationalist like Corbyn, or Tony Benn before him, could be so against the love-filled EU. So she doesn’t bother.

We will never know from Williams how a leader who supports oppressed and under-privileged people around the world is cut from the same cloth as racists like Le Pen and Trump. That would require the kind of “agile thinking” she accuses Corbyn of being incapable of. It might hint that there is a leftwing case quite separate from the racist one – even if Corbyn was not allowed by his party to advocate it – for abandoning the EU. (You can read my arguments for Brexit here and here.)

But no, Williams assures us, Labour needs someone with much more recent leftwing heritage, someone who can tailor his or her sails to the prevailing winds of orthodoxy. And what’s even better, there is a Labour party stuffed full of Blairities to choose from. After all, their international credentials have been proven repeatedly, including in the killing fields of Iraq and Libya.

And here, wrapped into a single paragraph, is a golden nugget of liberal pathology from Williams. Her furious liberal plea is to rip up the foundations of democracy: get rid of the democratically elected Corbyn and find a way, any way, to block the wrong referendum outcome. No love, solidarity, unity or empathy for those who betrayed her and her class.

There hasn’t been a more fertile time for a Labour leader since the 1990s. The case for a snap general election, already strong, will only intensify over the coming weeks. As the sheer mendacity of the leave argument becomes clear – it never intended to curb immigration, there will be no extra money for the NHS, there was no plan for making up EU spending in deprived areas – there will be a powerful argument for framing the general election as a rematch. Not another referendum, but a brake on article 50 and the next move determined by the new government. If you still want to leave the EU, vote Conservative. If you’ve realised or knew already what an act of vandalism that was, vote Labour.

SOURCE | http://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2016-06-26/brexit-and-the-diseased-liberal-mind/#sthash.19tMyJQf.dpuf

'Leaving EU is an anti-imperialist step'

Special interview on the EU referendum with Ella Rule, Vice Chair of the Communist Party of Great Britain - Marxist Leninist (CPGB-ML)

ICP, 18th June 2016
ICP: In an article in your newspaper, you say that leaving EU takes the struggle for socialism one small step forward. In what manners do you think that it will affect the struggle of socialism positively?
Ella Rue: I think the main point is that it is anti-imperialist step. People don’t necessarily realise it. But the European Union is an imperialist formation which has committed numerous war crimes since its inception and because of the European Union it’s strong. If it falls apart - which the British vote to leave would help to provoke, that would weaken imperialism. Yes, various countries will remain imperialist but they won’t be as strong as they were before. And the extent of the European Union has been always closely allied with US imperialism, the disintegration of EU also weakens US imperialism which is of course the most vicious enemy of the people from working class.
ICP: What are your main concerns about EU membership? How does the membership affect the people?
ERIt makes us co-conspirators in the struggle of imperialism against the peoples of the world. We don’t really want to be a part of this robber brigade. I think in all probability we will be financially very pressurised as a result of leaving the EU if that were to happen. The newspaper today say that old people will lose their free bus passes and the Chancellor has issued all kinds of threats. Even if these are put into effect, then it seems to me that we really do not want to be a part of an institution that depends survival on oppression most of the world and raining terror on people in other countries. You know, there is a lot of noise been made about the immigrants who are coming to Europe. They are coming because we are European Union are as implicated as US imperialism in driving them from their homes, bombing them to oblivion. Any weakening of imperialism of necessity creates the opportunity for working class movement. 
ICP: You say that opposing the European Union, socialists find themselves in extremely nauseating company. You are criticised to be on the same side with these groups. Isn't’t it something that makes your struggle more difficult?
ER: Yes, of course it does. You can understand why these people are taking this position. They really don’t understand the imperialist nature of the EU. And therefore, their agenda is really to deal with surface issues without dealing with the underlying problem. In fact, this anti-Islamism and anti-foreigner stance are completely reactionary and they divide and weaken the working class. Nevertheless, we have a saying in English “even a broken clock is right twice a day”, so even the reactionaries can sometimes take position which is correct, even if it is for all the wrong reasons. 
ICP: Frances O’Grady, the general secretary of Trades Union Congress, claims that it is the EU guarantees workers their rights to paid holidays, parental leave, equal treatment for part-timers etc. Many others who claim to be left-wing declare their willingness to stay in. What do you think about it?
ER: I don’t know what planet she lives in! If you look at what is happening in Greece now, Greece being still a member of the EU, how is this helping Greece? Their pensions are being taken away and their social provisions - their schools, hospitals, etc. are all in extremely dire straits. Being in the EU isn’t protecting them. The French are having to fight very fiercely trying to preserve their basic rights, workers’ rights. How is the EU helping them? It’s just crazy, the daftest argument that I have heard in a million years.
ICP: In the UK, there is a great number of people from European countries who came here to work. Do you think that exiting from the EU force these people who all are from working class to go back their home countries?
ER: I doubt that as a result of the election they would be sent back. If they were, it would be a very unfortunate side effect. But all the same, we cannot go against the interests of imperialism without facing sacrifices. We are not going to be able to win the war against imperialism without tremendous sacrifices. It’s obviously unfortunate when people who aren’t aware of the need to sacrifice have to make them anyway. We would be very sorry about that. Nevertheless, it seems to me that is unlikely. The British ruling class gains a lot of benefit from the fact that they get highly qualified and very cheap labour. So, why would they send them back?

ICP: How will this exit affect other countries? Will EU’s ability to bully be considerably weakened?
ER: It will be. The thing is that there are lots of countries also within the EU where the masses of the people are tending to blame the EU for the economic crisis that is engulfing the world as a whole. There is the feeling: if Britain exists, it will be the first of many. For instance, an election is coming up in Spain shortly, or re-election because the first one failed. It is thought that the Spanish people might seriously consider an exit as well. Greece ought to have pulled out. They should pull out and refuse to pay the debt. Greece has in fact recently received a new loan. And there is speculation that the reason why it has got the new loan with the help of the IMF (in breach of IMF lending rules) is precisely because they don’t want a Greek default just before the British referendum. Because when Greece defaults - which eventually it is going to have to - then Greece’s creditors will present the bill to the European countries. We are going to have to cover the losses, which will mean more austerity still being imposed on the working class in the rest of the EU… So, clearly they are doing what they can to hold off the Greek default a little bit longer.
ICP: There are a lot of campaigns or fronts which propose to leave the EU. What do you think of them?
ER: As far as I am concerned, the main campaign to leave is Brexit. But it includes the chauvinists, it includes those with an anti-foreigner motivation. In a way we stand on our own. None of those other people would want anything to do with us.
ICP: What is your party’s policy about immigration?
ER: I am a European. My father is Spanish and my mother is British. I love European unity. I like going to wander around the Europe. I like hearing and speaking other languages. Our party’s policy is open borders. We are only in favour of international coordination and cooperation between workers of every country. We object to all immigration controls. But that doesn’t mean that automatically we have to support an imperialist organisation. There are lots of people who come Britain for job opportunities. Also, you have to understand that we have got lots of British people working all over the world. Are you going to bring them back? Let people go where the opportunities are. Capital goes wherever it wants. Why not people? Part of the hardship suffered by the working class is that the capital they have worked to provide to the capitalist goes to make more money in another part of the world. Capitalism is capitalism; that’s how it works.  It can’t work differently.  It must pursue maximum profit. The only solution is getting rid of capitalism. And leaving European Union may be a step towards it.
ICP: Thank you very much for the interview.
ER: It was a pleasure. Thank you.

SOURCE | http://icp.sol.org.tr/europe/leaving-anti-imperialist-step

Lost Interview With Nikola Tesla Resurfaces On The Internet


(THIS ARTICLE IS UNDER REVIEW!!!)
Nikola Tesla was one of the greatest inventors in history and had actually discovered methods of harnessing free energy during his lifetime. Since many of Tesla’s inventions were not politically feasible they were never invested in and were never able to truly be realized. Today’s political climate is just as treacherous and controlled as it was in Tesla’s day, and there are many people out there who are fighting to suppress this sort of energy.

Recently, an undated interview that Tesla allegedly gave for the magazine “Immortality” at his laboratory in Colorado Springs, has began circulating on the internet. The following interview reveals a glimpse into the mind of Tesla:

JOURNALIST: Mr. Tesla, you have gained the glory of the man who got involved in the cosmic processes. Who are you, Mr. Tesla?

TESLA: It is a right question, Mr. Smith, and I will try to give you the right answer to it.

JOURNALIST: Some say you’re from the country of Croatia, from the area called Lika, where together with the people are growing trees, rocks and starry sky. They say that your home village is named after the mountain flowers, and that the house, where you were born, is next to the forest and the church.
TESLA: Really, all it true. I’m proud of my Serbian origin and my Croatian homeland.

JOURNALIST: Futurists say that the Twenty-and Twenty First Century was born in head of Nikola Tesla. They celebrate conversely magnetic field and sing hymns to Inductions engine. Their creator was called the hunter who caught the light in his net from the depths of the earth, and the warrior who captured fire from heaven. Father of alternating current will make the Physics and Chemistry dominate half the world. Industry will proclaim him as their supreme saint, a banker for the largest benefactors. In the laboratory of Nikola Tesla for the first time is broken atom. There is created a weapon that causes the earthquake vibrations. There are discovered black cosmic rays. Five races will pray to him in the Temple of the future, because they had taught a great secret that Empedocles elements can be watered with the life forces from the ethers.
TESLA: Yes, these are some of my most important discoveries. I’m a defeated man. I have not accomplished the greatest thing I could.

JOURNALIST: What is it, Mr. Tesla?
TESLA: I wanted to illuminate the whole earth. There is enough electricity to become a second sun. Light would appear around the equator, as a ring around Saturn.
Mankind is not ready for the great and good. In Colorado Springs I soaked the earth by electricity. Also we can water the other energies, such as positive mental energy. They are in the music of Bach or Mozart, or in the verses of great poets. In the Earth’s interior, there are energy of Joy, Peace and Love. Their expressions are a flower that grows from the Earth, the food we get out of her and everything that makes man’s homeland. I’ve spent years looking for the way that this energy could influence people. The beauty and the scent of roses can be used as a medicine and the sun rays as a food. Life has an infinite number of forms, and the duty of scientists is to find them in every form of matter. Three things are essential in this. All that I do is a search for them. I know I will not find them, but I will not give up on them.

JOURNALIST: What are these things?
TESLA: One issue is food. What a stellar or terrestrial energy to feed the hungry on Earth? With what wine watered all thirsty, so that they can cheer in their heart and understand that they are Gods?
Another thing is to destroy the power of evil and suffering in which man’s life passes! They sometimes occur as an epidemic in the depths of space. In this century, the disease had spread from Earth in the Universe.
The third thing is: Is there an excess Light in the Universe? I discovered a star that by all the astronomical and mathematical laws could disappear, and that nothing seems to be modified. This star is in this galaxy. Its light can occur in such density that fits into a sphere smaller than an apple, a heavier than our Solar System. Religions and philosophies teach that man can become the Christ, Buddha and Zoroaster. What I’m trying to prove is wilder, and almost unattainable. This is what to do in the Universe so every being is born as Christ, Buddha or Zoroaster.
I know that gravity is prone to everything you need to fly and my intention is not to make flying devices (aircraft or missiles), but teach individual to regain consciousness on his own wings … Further; I am trying to awake the energy contained in the air. There are the main sources of energy. What is considered as empty space is just a manifestation of matter that is not awakened. No empty space on this planet, nor in the Universe.. In black holes, what astronomers talk about, are the most powerful sources of energy and life.

JOURNALIST: On the window of your room in hotel “Valdorf-Astoria”, on the thirty-third floor, every morning, the birds arrive.
TESLA: A man must be sentimental towards the birds. This is because of their wings. Human had them once, the real and visible!

JOURNALIST: You have not stopped flying since those distant days in Smiljan!
TESLA: I wanted to fly from the roof and I fell: Children’s calculations could be wrong. Remember, the youth wings have everything in life!

JOURNALIST: Have you ever married? It is not known that you have affection for love or for a woman. Photos from the youth show you were handsome man.
TESLA: Yes. I did not. There are two views: a lot affection or not at all. The center serves to rejuvenate human race. Women for certain people nurtures and strengthen its vitality and spirit. Being single does the same to other people. I chose that second path.

JOURNALIST: Your admirers are complaining that you attacking relativity. The strange is your assertion that the matter has no energy. Everything is imbued with energy, where it is?
TESLA: First was energy, then matter.

JOURNALIST: Mr. Tesla, it’s like when you said that you were born by your father, and not on you.
TESLA: Exactly! What about the birth of the Universe? Matter is created from the original and eternal energy that we know as Light .It shone, and there have been appear star, the planets, man, and everything on the Earth and in the Universe. Matter is an expression of infinite forms of Light, because energy is older than it. There are four laws of Creation. The first is that the source of all the baffling, dark plot that the mind cannot conceive, or mathematics measure. In that plot fit the whole Universe. The second law is spreading a darkness, which is the true nature of Light, from the inexplicable and it’s transformed into the Light. The third law is the necessity of the Light to become a matter of Light. The fourth law is: no beginning and no end; three previous laws always take place and the Creation is eternal.

JOURNALIST: In the hostility to the theory of relativity you go so far, that you hold lectures against its Creator at your birthday parties..
TESLA: Remember, it is not curved space, but the human mind which cannot comprehend infinity and eternity! If relativity has been clearly understood by its Creator, he would gain immortality, even yet physically, if he is pleased.
I am part of a light, and it is the music. The Light fills my six senses: I see it, hear, feel, smell, touch and think. Thinking of it means my sixth sense. Particles of Light are written note. O bolt of lightning can be an entire sonata. A thousand balls of lightening is a concert.. For this concert I have created a Ball Lightning, which can be heard on the icy peaks of the Himalayas.
About Pythagoras and mathematics a scientist may not and must not infringe of these two. Numbers and equations are signs that mark the music of the spheres. If Einstein had heard these sounds, he would not create theories of relativity. These sounds are the messages to the mind that life has meaning, that the Universe exists in perfect harmony, and its beauty is the cause and effect of Creation. This music is the eternal cycle of stellar heavens. The smallest star has completed composition and also, part of the celestial symphony. The man’s heartbeats are part of the symphony on the Earth. Newton learned that the secret is in geometric arrangement and motion of celestial bodies. He recognized that the supreme law of harmony exists in the Universe. The curved space is chaos, chaos is not music. Einstein is the messenger of the time of sound and fury.

JOURNALIST: Mr. Tesla, do you hear that music?
TESLA: I hear it all the time. My spiritual ear is as big as the sky we see above us. My natural ear I increased by the radar. According to the Theory of Relativity, two parallel lines will meet in infinity. By that Einstein’s curved will straighten. Once created, the sound lasts forever. For a man it can vanish, but continues to exist in the silence that is man’s greatest power. No, I have nothing against Mr. Einstein. He is a kind person and has done many good things, some of which will become part of the music. I will write to him and try to explain that the ether exists, and that its particles are what keep the Universe in harmony, and the life in eternity.

JOURNALIST: Tell me, please, under what conditions Angel adopt on the Earth?
TESLA: I have ten of them. Keep good records vigilant.

JOURNALIST: I will document all your words, Dear Mr. Tesla.
TESLA: The first requirement is a high awareness of its mission and work to be done. It must, if only dimly, exist in the early days. Let us not be falsely modest; Oak knows that it is oak tree, a bush beside him being a bush. When I was twelve, I have been sure I will get to Niagara Falls. For most of my discoveries I knew in my childhood that I will achieve them, although not entirely apparent … The second condition to adapt is determination. All that I might, I finished.

JOURNALIST: What is the third condition of adjustment, Mr. Tesla?
TESLA: Guidance for all the vital and spiritual energies in labor. Therefore purification of the many effects and needs that man has. I therefore have not lost anything, but just gained.
So I enjoyed every day and night. Write down: Nikola Tesla was a happy man…
The fourth requirement is to adjust the physical assembly with a work.

JOURNALIST: What do you mean, Mr. Tesla?
TESLA: First, the maintenance of the assembly. Man’s body is a perfect machine. I know my circuit and what’s good for him. Food what nearly all people eat, to me it is harmful and dangerous. Sometimes I visualize that chefs in the world are all in conspiracy against me … Touch my hand.

JOURNALIST: It was cold.
TESLA: Yes. Bloodstream can be controlled, and many processes in and around us. Why are you frightened young man?

JOURNALIST: It’s a story that Mark Twain wrote a mysterious stranger, that wonderful book of Satan, inspired by you.
TESLA: The word “Lucifer” is more charming. Mr. Twain likes to joke. As a child I was healed once by reading his books. When we met here and told him about, he was so touched that he cried. We became friends and he often came to my lab. Once he requested to show him a machine that by vibration provokes a feeling of bliss. It was one of those inventions for entertainment, what I sometimes like to do. I warned Mr. Twain as not to remain under these vibrations. He did not listen and stayed longer. It ended by being, like a rocket, holding pants, darted into a certain room. It was a diabolically funny, but I kept the seriousness.
But, to adjust the physical circuit, in addition to food, dream is very important . From a long and exhausting work, which required superhuman effort, after one hour of sleep I’d be fully recovered. I gained the ability to manage sleep, to fell asleep and wake up in the time which I have designated. If I do something what I do not understand, I force myself to think about it in my dream, and thus find a solution.
TESLA: The fifth condition of adjustment is memory. Perhaps in the most people, the brain is keeper of knowledge about the world and the knowledge gained through the life. My brain is engaged in more important things than remembering, it is picking what is required at a given moment. This is all around us. It should only be consumed. Everything that we once saw, hear, read and learn, accompanies us in the form of light particles. To me, these particles are obedient and faithful. Goethe’s Faust, my favorite book, I learned by heart in German as a student, and now it can all recite. I held my inventions for years ‘in my head “, and only then I realized them.

JOURNALIST: You often mentioned the power of visualization.
TESLA: I might have to thank to visualization for all that I invented. The events of my life and my inventions are real in front of my eyes, visible as each occurrence or the item. In my youth I was frightened of not knowing what it is, but later, I learned to use this power as an exceptional talent and gift. I nurtured it, and jealously guarded. I also made corrections by visualization on most of my inventions, and finish them that way, by visualization I mentally solve complex mathematical equations. For that gift I have, I will receive rank High Lama in Tibet.
My eyesight and hearing are perfect and, dare to say, stronger than other people. I hear the thunder of a hundred fifty miles away, and I see colors in the sky that others cannot see. This enlargement of vision and hearing, I had as a child. Later I consciously developed.

JOURNALIST: In youth you have several times been seriously ill. Is it a disease and a requirement to adapt?
TESLA: Yes. It is often the result of a lack of exhaustion or vital force, but often the purification of mind and body from the toxins that have accumulated. It is necessary that a man suffers from time to time. The source of most disease is in the spirit. Therefore the spirit and can cure most diseases. As a student I got sick of cholera which raged in the region of Lika. I was cured because my father finally allowed me to study technology, which was my life. Illusion for me was not a disease, but the mind’s ability to penetrate beyond the three dimensions of the earth. I had them all my life, and I have received them as all other phenomena around us. Once, in childhood, I was walking along the river with Uncle and said: “From the water will appear the trout, I’ll throw a stone and it is cut.” That’s what happened. Frightened and amazed, his uncle cried: “Bade retro Satan’s!” He was an educated and he spoke in Latin … I was in Paris when I saw my mother’s death. In the sky, full of light and music floated are wonderful creatures. One of them had a mother’s character, who was looking at me with infinite love. As the vision disappeared, I knew that my mother died.

JOURNALIST: What is the seventh adjustment, Mr. Tesla?
TESLA: The knowledge of how the mental and vital energy transform into what we want, and achieve control over all feelings. Hindus call it Kundalini Yoga. This knowledge can be learned, for what they need many years or is acquired by birth. The most of them I acquired by birth. They are in the closest connection with a sexual energy that is after the most widespread in the Universe. The woman is the biggest thief of that energy, and thus the spiritual power. I’ve always knew that and was alerted. Of myself I created what I wanted: a thoughtful and spiritual machine.

JOURNALIST: A ninth adjustment, Mr. Tesla?
TESLA: Do everything that any day, any moment, if possible, not to forget who we are and why we are on Earth. Extraordinary people who are struggling with illness, privation, or the society which hurts them with its stupidity, misunderstanding, persecution and other problems which the country is full of a swamps with insects, leaves behind unclaimed until the end of the work. There are many fallen angels on Earth.

JOURNALIST: What is the tenth adaptation?
TESLA: It is most important. Write that Mr. Tesla played. He played the whole of his life and enjoyed it.

JOURNALIST: Mr. Tesla! Whether it relates to your findings and your work? Is this a game?
TESLA: Yes, dear boy. I have so loved to play with electricity! I always cringe when I hear about the one also the Greek who stole fire. A terrible story about studding, and eagles peck at his liver. Did Zeus did not have enough lightning and thunder, and was damaged for one fervor? There is some misunderstanding … Lightning are the most beautiful toys that can be found. Do not forget that in your text stand out: Nikola Tesla was the first man who discovered lightning.

JOURNALIST: Mr. Tesla, you’re just talking about angels and their adaptation to the Earth.
TESLA: Am I? This is the same. You could write this: he dared to take upon himself the prerogatives of Indri, Zeus and Peron. Imagine one of these gods in a black evening suit, with the bowler hat and wearing white cotton gloves prepares lightning, fires and earthquakes to the New York City elite!

JOURNALIST: Readers love the humor of our paper. But you confuse me stating that your findings, which have immense benefits for the people, representing the game. Many will frown on it.
TESLA: Dear Mr. Smith, the trouble is that people are too serious. If they were not, they would be happier and much longer would have lived. Chinese proverb says that the seriousness reduces life. Visiting the inn Tai Pe guessed that he visits the Imperial Palace. But that the newspaper readers would not have frowned, let’s get back to things which they consider important.

JOURNALIST: They would love to hear what your philosophy is.
TESLA: Life is a rhythm that must be comprehended. I feel the rhythm and direct on it and pamper in it. It was very grateful and gave me the knowledge I have. Everything that lives is related to a deep and wonderful relationship: man and the stars, amoebas’ and the sun, the heart and the circulation of an infinite number of worlds. These ties are unbreakable, but they can be tame and to propitiate and begin to create new and different relationships in the world, and that does not violate the old. Knowledge comes from space; our vision is its most perfect set. We have two eyes: the earthly and spiritual. It is recommended that it become one eye. Universe is alive in all its manifestations, like a thinking animal. Stone is a thinking and sentient being, such as plant, beast and a man. A star that shines asked to look at, and if we are not a sizeable self-absorbed we would understand its language and message. His breathing, his eyes and ears of the man must comply with breathing, eyes and ears of the Universe.

JOURNALIST: As you say this, it seems to me like I hear Buddhist texts, words or Taoist Parazulzusa.
TESLA: That’s right! This means that there is general knowledge and truth that man has always possessed. In my feeling and experience, the Universe has only one substance and one supreme energy with an infinite number of manifestations of life. The best thing is that the discovery of a secret nature, reveals the other. One cannot hide, there are around us, but we are blind and deaf to them. If we emotionally tie ourselves to them, they come to us themselves. There are a lot of apples, but one Newton. He asked for just one apple that fell in front of him.

JOURNALIST: A question that might be set at the beginning of this conversation. What was Electricity for you, Dear Mr. Tesla?
TESLA: Everything is Electricity. First was the light, endless source from which points out material and distribute it in all forms that represent the Universe and the Earth with all its aspects of life. Black is the true face of Light, only we do not see this. It is remarkable grace to man and other creatures. One of its particles possesses light, thermal, nuclear, radiation, chemical, mechanical and an unidentified energy. It has the power to run the Earth with its orbit. It is true Archimedean lever.

JOURNALIST: Mr. Tesla, you’re too biased towards electricity.
TESLA: Electricity I am. Or, if you wish, I am the electricity in the human form. You are Electricity; too Mr. Smith, but you do not realize it.

JOURNALIST: Is it thus your ability to allow fails of electricity of one million volts trough your body?
TESLA: Imagine a gardener who is attacked by herbs. This would indeed be crazy. Man’s body and brain are made from a large amount energy; in me there is the majority of electricity. The energy that is different in everyone is what makes the human “I” or “soul”. For other creatures to their essence, “soul” of the plant is the “soul” of minerals and animals. Brain function and death is manifested in light. My eyes in youth were black, now blue, and as time goes on and strain the brain gets stronger, they are closer to white. White is the color of heaven. Through my window one morning, landed a white dove, which I fed. She wanted to bring me a word that she was dying. From her eyes the light jets were coming out. Never in the eyes of any creature had I not seen so much light, as in that pigeon.

JOURNALIST: Personnel in your lab speak about flashes of light, flames and lightning that occur if you are angry or into kind of risk.
TESLA: It is the psychic discharge or a warning to be alert. The light was always on my side. Do you know how I discovered the rotating magnetic field and induction motor, which made me became famous when I was twenty-six? One summer evening in Budapest, I watched with my friend Sigetijem sunset. Thousands of fire was turning around in thousands of flaming colors. I remembered Faust and recited his verses and then, as in a fog, I saw spinning magnetic field, and induction motor. I saw them in the sun!

JOURNALIST: Hotel service telling that at the time of lightning you isolate into the room and talk to yourselves.
TESLA: I talk with lightning and thunder.

JOURNALIST: With them? What language, Mr.Tesla?
TESLA: Mostly my native language. It has the words and sounds, especially in poetry, what is suitable for it.

JOURNALIST: Readers of our magazine would be very grateful if you would interpret that.
TESLA: The sound does not exist only in the thunder and lightning, but, in transformation into the brightness and color. A color can be heard. Language is of the words, which means that it is from the sounds and colors. Every thunder and lightning are different and have their names. I call some of them by the names of those who were close in my life, or by those whom I admire. In the sky brightness and thunder live my mother, sister, brother Daniel, a poet Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj and other persons of Serbian history. Names such AsIsaiah, Ezekiel, Leonardo, Beethoven, Goya, Faraday, Pushkin and all burning fires mark shoals and tangles of lightning and thunder, which does not stop all night bringing to the Earth precious rain and burning trees or villages. There is lightning and thunder, and they are the brightest and most powerful, that will not vanish. They are coming back and I recognize them among the thousands.

JOURNALIST: For you, science or poetry is the same?
TESLA: These are the two eyes of one person. William Blake was taught that the Universe was born from the imagination, that it maintains and it will exist as long as there is a last man on the Earth. With it was a wheel to which astronomers can collect the stars of all galaxies. It is the creative energy identical to the light energy.

JOURNALIST: Imagination is more real to you than life itself?
TESLA: It gives birth to the life. I have fed by my taught; I’ve learned to control emotions, dreams and visions. I have always cherished, as I nurtured my enthusiasm. All my long life I spent in ecstasy. That was the source of my happiness. It helped me during all these years to bear with work, which was enough for the five lives. The best is to work at night, because the stellar light, and close bond.

JOURNALIST: You said that I am, like every being, the Light. This flatter me, but I confess, I do not quite understand.
TESLA: Why would you need to understand, Mr. Smith? Suffice it to believe it. Everything is light. In one its ray is the fate of nations, each nation has its own ray in what great light source we see as the sun. And remember: no one who was there did not die. They transformed into the light, and as such exist still. The secret lies in the fact that the light particles restore their original state.

JOURNALIST: This is the resurrection!
TESLA: I prefer to call it: return to a previous energy. Christ and several others knew the secret. I am searching how to preserve human energy. It is forms of Light, sometimes straight like heavenly light. I have not looked for it for my own sake, but for the good of all. I believe that my discoveries make people’s lives easier and more bearable, and channel them to spirituality and morality.

JOURNALIST: Do you think that time can be abolished?
TESLA: Not quite, because the first feature of the energy is that it transforms. It is in perpetual transformation, as clouds of Taoists. But it is possible to leverage the fact that a man preserves consciousness after the earthly life. In every corner of the universe exist energy of life; one of them is immortality, whose origin is outside of man, waiting for him. The universe is spiritual; we are only half that way. The Universe is more moral than us, because we do not know his nature and how to harmonize our lives with it. I am not scientist, science is perhaps the most convenient way to find the answer to the question that always haunt me, and which my days and nights turned into fire.

JOURNALIST: What’s the matter?
TESLA: How are your eyes brightened! … What I wanted to know is: what happens to a falling star as the sun goes out? Stars fall like dust or seed in this or in other worlds, and the sun be scattered in our minds, in the lives of many beings, what will be reborn as a new light, or cosmic wind scattered in infinity. I understand that this is necessary included in the structure of the Universe. The thing is, though, is that one of these stars and one of these suns, even the smallest, preserves.

JOURNALIST: But, Mr. Tesla, you realize that this is necessary and is included in the constitution of the world!
TESLA: When a man becomes concuss; that his highest goal must be to run for a shooting star, and tries to capture it; shall understand that his life was given to him because of this and will be saved. Stars will eventually be capable to catch!

JOURNALIST: And what will happen then?
TESLA: The creator will laugh and say: ”It fall only that you chase her and grab her.”

JOURNALIST: Isn’t all of this contrary to the cosmic pain, which so often you mention in your writings? And what is it cosmic pain?
TESLA: No, because we are on Earth … It is an illness whose existence the vast majority of people are not aware of. Hence, many other illnesses, suffering, evil, misery, wars and everything else what makes human life an absurd and horrible condition. This disease cannot be completely cured, but awareness shall make it less complicated and hazardous. Whenever one of my close and dear people were hurt, I felt physical pain. This is because our bodies are made as of similar material, and our soul related with unbreakable strands. Incomprehensible sadness that overwhelmed us at times means that somewhere, on the other side on this planet, a child or generous man died. The entire Universe is in certain periods sick of itself, and of us. Disappearance of a star and the appearance of comets affect us more than we can imagine. Relationships among the creatures on the Earth are even stronger, because of our feelings and thoughts the flower will scent even more beautiful or will fall in silence. These truths we must learn in order to be healed. Remedy is in our hearts and evenly, in the heart of the animals that we call the Universe.

Reference:
True interview that scientist Nikola Tesla gave for magazine “Immortality” in his laboratory in Colorado Springs.

Credit:
TheMindUnleashed

SOURCED FROM: http://www.trueactivist.com/lost-interview-with-nikola-tesla-resurfaces-on-the-internet/

The Left and the EU: Why Cling to This Reactionary Institution?

BY JOSEPH RICHARDSON  | JUNE 22, 2016


Why is it that many people who consider themselves left-wing have such difficulty grasping that the EU is a deeply reactionary institution? The mere fact that those running the EU present it as an internationalist venture dedicated to the creation of a world free of nationalist enmities does not make it so. If we want to examine the EU in its proper light, then we should ignore the high-flown rhetoric in which its supporters indulge, and consider its actual record. And what is the record of the EU, once we penetrate the obfuscatory rhetoric about ‘internationalism’ that surrounds EU policy? Without a doubt, that record is one that should cause those on the left now defending it acute embarrassment, as it starkly contradicts the ideals that the left has always claimed to uphold.

Across the Continent, the unelected officials who have usurped the power of national governments and asserted their right to determine the fates of countless millions, through their adherence to the damaging creed of neoliberalism, have wrought suffering on an unimaginable scale, casting millions into poverty and removing the last vestige of dignity people cling to in an economy that has fallen prey to the voracious claims of big business. They have foisted austerity on unwilling populations, creating a cycle of endless unemployment and ever increasing woe, compelling ordinary workers struggling to eke out an existence in the wake of the most painful recession in living memory to shoulder the burden of repaying a debt which was originally incurred as a result of the criminal behaviour of Europe’s financiers. With brazen contempt for the views of the peoples of Europe they claim to serve, they have connived to topple left-wing governments and deny the citizens of the countries most affected by austerity their one remaining means – their inalienable right to elect a government subservient to their will – of resisting the vicious policies that have reduced them to their present abject state.

It is worth detailing the ways in which the actual practice of the EU diverges sharply from the propagandistic image endorsed by elements of the left.

The Crushing of Greece

One word should be engraved on the minds of those who, despite all the evidence to the contrary, persist in believing that the EU is an inherently progressive body: ‘GREECE.’ What the EU did to Greece should have dispelled forever the fanciful idea that such an institution has as its fundamental aim the material welfare of ordinary Europeans. But such is the power of the delusional thinking which holds sway amongst the ‘liberal’ apologists for ‘internationalism’ that nothing it seems, not even the destruction of an entire country, the decimation of its industries, and the despoliation of its people, can shake their belief in the manifest virtues of the EU.

After five years in which Greece was forced to undergo the most far-reaching programme of austerity ever implemented by any European government, selling off its public infrastructure and slashing spending on social services to please its creditors, even the economists at whose insistence this policy had been carried out were grudgingly admitting that it had been an unmitigated disaster. By 2015 Greece had seen its economy contract by 27% as a result of the government’s futile efforts to meet the continually mounting debt repayments demanded of it by the troika. As GDP fell and Greece’s ability to repay the debt was further reduced, rather than provide relief the ECB chose to extend fresh loans to the Greek government to enable it to service the interest on its existing liabilities, thereby adding to its overall level of debt and enmeshing the country in an interminable process of austerity from which it could never hope to extricate itself. The needless suffering caused by the single-minded pursuit of austerity had resulted in scenes of poverty and despair more appropriate to the 1930s than 21st century Europe. Entire families were starving on the streets, deprived of even the bare minimum they required to survive; thousands of people, reduced to absolute despair by the unrelenting attacks on their living standards, had committed suicide. The IMF, in an extraordinary departure from its long-standing commitment to free market dogma, published a report bluntly stating what had become apparent to all well-informed experts on the matter, which was that Greece would never be able to rid itself of the debt, not unless it was significantly reduced and a 30-year moratorium on repayments was imposed.

What was the response of the managers of the eurozone to the tragedy unfolding before their very eyes, to the unbearable spectacles of suffering for which they, as the economic masters of Greece, bore responsibility? The response was callous indifference. When in desperation the Greek people elected the far-left party Syriza to power, on a platform of ending austerity and negotiating a debt restructuring, the EU steadfastly refused to treat with such a government on terms of equality and outright rejected the democratic mandate with which it had been recently invested at the polls, insisting that, regardless of the outcome of elections, Greece had no right to seek a change in rules which had been autocratically decided upon by the bureaucratic elites in Brussels. There would be no substantive negotiations leading to an end to austerity; there would be no concessions to the democratically expressed will of the population. When Syriza attempted to resist the diktats of Brussels, calling a referendum on its negotiating stance, which it won resoundingly, the EU bullied and cajoled little Greece, threatening to punish the refractory population of this wayward country, which had dared to question the entire basis on which the eurozone was run, by cutting off the money supply and rendering even more people destitute if Syriza should refuse to acquiesce in the harsh financial terms of the proposed deal, which mandated yet more spending cuts to service a debt that everyone knew to be unsustainable. Under extreme duress Syriza surrendered to these demands and the worsening cycle of unemployment and declining wages, in which Greece has been trapped for at least the last 6 years, was resumed, inflicting a historic defeat on the people of Greece who had misguidedly believed that, by exercising their democratic rights, they could decide the future of their own country.

Greece illustrates the failings of an economic policy that is being implemented over the objections of the great majority of Europe’s citizens. Indeed, in its unwavering support for neoliberalism the EU represents nothing less than an attempt to perpetuate an economic model which advantages European businesses, whilst eroding the living standards of most Europeans. Particularly in the countries of the eurozone, democracy has been eviscerated by the adamant insistence of the EU on more cuts to government spending. The Growth and Stability Pact effectively prevents large-scale public spending on vital social services to alleviate the effects of a recession, limiting deficits to 3% of GDP. As part of this neoliberal model, national governments are also required each year to submit theirbudgets to the Commission for its approval, which has increasingly demanded that the rights of workers take second place to paying off the debts accumulated by the financial sector. Whilst the desperate scenes in Greece are an extreme case, high unemployment and chronic poverty have become fixed features of the eurozone, with the number of jobless in Spain, for example, amounting to over 20% of the workforce. Moreover, employers have been given the freedom to disregard the rights of their employees in a bid to raise productivity, sparking a series of labour revolts by workers driven to the edge of despair. In France, to cite the most recent instance, the much hated El-Khomri law, which seeks to increase the working week to 46 hours and is currently being contested by striking unions, was originally based on the recommendations of the Commission.

Thus, it is transparent that the hardships experienced by workers across Europe are an inescapable product of the economic policies enforced by the EU.

The myth of a pacifist EU

It is difficult to fathom how anyone save the wilfully blind could continue to view the EU as a progressive force in light of the destruction it visited upon Greece. But to understand the mindset that leads otherwise enlightened people to extol the benefits of an institution which is the cause of so much distress throughout Europe it is necessary for the moment to ignore facts. Faith in the EU is not grounded in any rational analysis of reality, but rests on a series of founding myths the truth of which its defenders have never paused to consider. They are regarded as unquestionably true and are never scrutinised, much as devout Christians in centuries past would never have thought to examine the articles of faith on which their belief in God was based.

The myth from which the EU derives much of its strength is that of an organisation which has overcome the bitter divisions of the past to fashion a new identity for the once warlike people of Europe. The narrative goes something like this: for millennia Europe was plagued by nationalist rivalries which produced wars of unparalleled violence. In the twentieth century, as a result of these rivalries the entire world was plunged into two conflicts which witnessed bloodletting on a scale never seen before, and following the second and most devastating of these wars, a band of far-seeing European statesmen resolved that never again would the nations of Europe battle against one another and be a cause of such misery to the rest of the planet. In a spirit of high-minded idealism they took the first steps toward the establishment of a supranational body which would bring countries together in harmony and peace, consigning to history the internecine feuding and jingoistic war-mongering that had rent the political fabric of Europe apart. Henceforth, the people of this war-torn continent, divided though they might be by borders, were to consider themselves Europeans in the truest sense, part of an organic union that would only grow in strength with the passage of the years.

To any serious student of history this account of the EU’s origins must appear as a gross distortion of the facts. But such is the comforting myth that underpins the faith many people, who should know better, exhibit in relation to an organisation they credit with having maintained the peace in Europe and prevented another plunge into barbarism for more than half a century. This romanticised view of history explains why in 2012 the Nobel Committee was able to award the Peace Prize to the EU, and also why in a poll conducted on the same occasion it was found that 75% of Europeans agreed with the Nobel Committee that ‘peace and democracy were the most important achievements of the EU’. The people who believe this are prepared to forgive the EU anything, because its failings in their eyes are as nothing when set against its tremendous success in averting another world war.

The reason this myth should cause offence to campaigners for peace everywhere is that it is based on a version of events which is utterly contradicted by the known facts about how the EU came into being. That there has not been another conflict to compare with WW2 in the seventy years following its end owes not to the moral vision of the politicians who presided over the birth of the EEC, the precursor to the EU, but is purely a result of shifting power dynamics. By 1945 the great powers of Europe had been so reduced in strength by the most savage war in human history that they soon realised they would never be able to recover their former status as global hegemons in a world the US had come to dominate. Indeed, such was the overwhelming preponderance of power enjoyed by the US, the only state to emerge from the war with its standing massively enhanced, that the idea of opposing its designs for Europe was swiftly set aside, and to retain what small measure of influence they could hope to wield in this unipolar world the formerly great powers agreed to be integrated into a military and economic alliance headed by the US. The creation of pan-European institutions that would foster the growth of a single European market, which would trade freely with US corporations, was made a condition of Marshall Aid by the American architects of the new economic order, who greeted every significant move in the direction of greater European unity with satisfaction. In the military sphere, membership of NATO, the armed alliance of states that the US established to further its imperialist interests, required Western European countries to devote a significant part of their budgets to military expenditure and maintain an armed truce with the Soviet Union and its Eastern European satellites, effectively dividing the Continent into two hostile camps, constantly teetering on the edge of nuclear war, for much of the latter half of the twentieth century.

The roots of the EU are therefore to be sought not in the sentimental desire for peace felt by leading statesmen in the wake of war, though this was undoubtedly a desire expressed by masses of ordinary people, but in the essential fact of the post-1945 world that the US displaced Europe as the centre of global power and influence. Power politics not pacifism explains why there has not been another war between the major European states. Anyone who doubts the truth of this need only consider the foreign policy of Europe during the period when the basis for the EU was being laid. For most of the inhabitants of the third world these years were not ones distinguished by peace but by a series of brutal wars to free themselves from the yoke of imperialism. The founding members of the EEC, at the same time they were joining together in a spirit of ‘harmony’ and ‘peace’, unleashed a torrent of blood in their colonial possessions, obstinately clinging to the remnants of empire and crushing demands for liberty with shocking violence. In Algeria the French prosecuted a terrorist campaign against the population that resulted in 1.5 million deaths, the effects of which are still felt acutely by France’s Muslims, treated as second class citizens by the Republic, and are a source of deeply-felt divisions even now. In Vietnam, with funding from the US, the French also sought to retain control over their colony and defeat the Vietminh, eventually handing over to the Americans when they could no longer sustain the cost of such a military campaign. In the Congo, Belgium initially met demands for independence with violence and continued to interfere in the politics of the region following independence, playing a role in the assassination of the elected Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba. InKenya, the British, who were to join the EEC in 1973, waged a brutal war against the native Kikuyu throughout the 1950s in order to uphold the rule of the white settler elite, interning many Africans in concentration camps where they were subjected to torture.

The danger of peddling a false narrative of the growth of European unity in which base geopolitical considerations do not figure is the immunity granted the EU against criticism for its actions in the present. Far from waning, the attachment of European states to militarism remains as strong as ever, and has continued to find an outlet during the 21st century in a number of wars of aggression across the Middle-East and Africa, which differ little from the hey-day of 19thcentury imperialism, when great powers bestrode the world looting defenceless countries with utter abandon. There is, however, one significant difference between these past exploits and European imperialism in its modern guise. In recent years the EU has arrogated to itself an increasing array of powers in the field of foreign policy, establishing the office of High Representative for Foreign Affairs with a view to eventually dictating the relations of European nations with the outside world. Given fully 22 of the 28 member states that comprise the EU are members of NATO, it is unsurprising that the policy followed by this fledgling branch of the Commission is little more than an extension of the goals that Europe’s political leaders have long held in common with the US.

Through vesting power, however, in an unaccountable body of bureaucrats who cannot be voted from office, unlike elected politicians in member states, the EU seeks to make it all but impossible for the citizens of Europe to alter the foreign policy trajectories of their respective governments, and draw back from the reckless path of unabashed war-mongering upon which we are embarked. A case in point, and one that the former MP George Galloway cited in a recent speech, is Syria. Although most of the people who argued for Britain to intervene against ISIS towards the end of last year have effaced it from their memory, barely three years ago Cameron’s government, supported by much of the media class, favoured military intervention on the opposite side of the Syrian civil war, calling for air strikes against the Syrian army and support for those jihadist elements which subsequently morphed into ISIS. Thankfully, to the dismay of Cameron, this move was narrowly voted down in the Commons, but had this question fallen within the purview of the EU’s High Representative, it is unlikely that Britain’s Parliament would have even been permitted a vote on the matter.

The crowning achievement of the EU in the arena of foreign affairs has undoubtedly been its contribution to resurrecting the Cold War, fomenting a civil war in the Ukraine that still rages along the historically fraught border region that stretches between the EU and Russia. Few people in the West know of the EU’s role in igniting this conflict, or of the policy, drafted by the Commission, and relentlessly pursued during the last twenty years, of expanding the influence of the EU into Eastern Europe so as to isolate Russia behind a ring of hostile states. The degree of ignorance that the media has fostered regarding the crisis in Ukraine has reached the point that the supporters of remain even cite, with positive pride, the aggressive posturing of the EU during the recent crisis as a reason to vote against Brexit, contending that only as part of a larger entity can we stand up to the Russian bear, which is engaged in an attempt to subjugate its neighbours and reconstitute the Soviet Empire. If anything, the reverse is true, and the perilous brinksmanship of the EU with respect to Russia, its unceasing efforts to provoke an escalation in tensions between the two, should be considered grounds enough to vote leave.

For in reality Ukraine is merely the latest in a long line of countries which the EU has sought to annex to a Western alliance controlled by the US, with EU membership proceeding hand in hand with membership of NATO. This military organisation, formed in 1949 with the supposed aim of defending Western Europe against the USSR, has since the collapse of the Soviet Union more than doubled in size, with many of the new additions former Communist countries situated on Russia’s periphery, revealing its true character as an alliance that exists to extend the global reach of the US. The EU, by incorporating these countries into a political union closely linked to NATO, and in some cases laying the ground-work for their eventual accession to NATO through the Eastern Partnerships, a proto-form of EU membership, has in many ways acted to reinforce the bonds linking the various members of this alliance.

In the case of Ukraine, the action that set in motion the chain of events leading to civil war was the offer by the EU of an Association Agreement. This has frequently been depicted as a generous arrangement under which Ukraine would have benefited from most of the advantages enjoyed by EU member states, without, however, formally becoming a member. In actual fact the agreement would have required Ukraine to sever economic relations with Russia, a country to which it was intimately bound by a shared history, and was linked to a package of swingeing austerity measures that would have resulted in the ruination of Ukraine’s economy. Moreover, despite the outraged denials of its framers, the deal also mandated military cooperation between the EU and Ukraine and was clearly intended as a prelude to NATO membership. Given the fact that approximately half of Ukrainians, mainly living in the East of the country, were opposed to NATO and favoured better relations with Russia, it was hardly likely that the Ukrainian President, Victor Yanukovych, who by all accounts had pro-EU leanings, would ever have been able to implement the terms of such a deal without splitting the country in two. When at the end of 2013 he therefore rejected the Agreement, prompting protests in Kiev’s Maidan Square, in which Ukraine’s fascist parties, which are driven by a racist hatred of the country’s ethnic Russian population, played a prominent part, both the EU and the US chose to back the protesters agitating for his removal. After Yanukovych was overthrown in a putsch in February 2014, spearheaded by those same fascist elements within the opposition, instead of spurning the interim government that was installed following his ouster the EU immediately proceeded to signal their approval by securing its assent to the Association Agreement that Yanukovych had originally refused to sign. When Eastern Ukrainians rose in revolt against the putschist government, which had removed the democratically elected President from office and concluded an Association Agreement in spite of their objections, the EU disingenuously attributed Ukraine’s descent into civil war to Russian interference.

The defenders of the EU refuse to acknowledge its contribution to the turmoil that has engulfed Ukraine, or its part in bringing about a new cold war, even arguing that Russia’s opposition to the European project stems from a distaste for democracy and human rights, rather than simple geopolitics. Some, indulgently, recognise that Russia is genuinely fearful about the threat to its position from the extension of NATO eastwards, but claim that these fears derive from a 19th century habit of mind whereby the world is divided up into spheres of interest between competing powers, which vie with each other for global domination. Unfortunately, they argue, the EU is hampered in its relations with Russia by the failure of Europe’s leaders to grasp that they are a 21st century power dealing with a country that has still not freed itself from old modes of thinking about international affairs. But the chronology of the crisis is clear, as is the role the EU played in prompting it, and few who have studied the matter would deny that the actions of the EU with respect to Ukraine appear in the grand tradition of imperialist politics.

The question confronting Britain

The question of whether to remain or leave will likely not be decided on the basis of what is being done on the Continent in the name of ‘internationalism’. But a broader perspective is needed to refute the contorted arguments of many liberals who all too often give too much credence to the rhetoric of the European project, whilst paying little heed to its record. The current debate in Britain suffers from the entrenched tendency of the mainstream left to identify support for remain with opposition to petty-minded nationalism, and to chide Brexiters for being too insular and self-interested to appreciate the sense of high moral purpose that drives the EU. The briefest look, however, at the destructive polices that have been imposed on the countries of the eurozone, and the chaos that has ensued from imperialist meddling in foreign affairs, is enough to counter the baseless assertion, constantly repeated by those in the remain camp, that in opposing Brexit people will be voting for a worthy attempt to replace nationalist discords with a shared identity based on a commitment to democracy and human rights. The EU is not internationalist in any sense that a genuine member of the left would support. It exists to advance the interests of the business class as against workers, and in its zeal to enrich corporations at the expense of ordinary people it has succeeded in creating such disaffection with the political establishment that fascism, the very phenomenon the EU was in theory designed to prevent, has once more become a formidable force in countries languishing in the grip of high unemployment and low wages.

There are both altruistic and more self-interested considerations that should be factored into any decision on how to vote in the upcoming referendum. Both kinds of analysis, however, dictate a vote for Brexit. The supporters of remain commonly react to the argument that Britain has much to gain from leaving by speaking vaguely of showing solidarity with the many millions of people in the eurozone to whom that option is not available. They seem not to understand that by voting to remain, far from showing solidarity with the rest of Europe, Britain would be electing to prolong the life of an institution which is conducting a bizarre neoliberal experiment in how far it can push Europeans before they lose all hope. There is a moral case for leaving, based on the fact that Brexit would probably result in the dissolution of the EU and ease the suffering of nations currently held captive by neoliberal economics. The evidence for this is compelling. It is doubtful, for example, that the EU could long survive the withdrawal of one of its principal sources of funding. Far more worrisome from the point of view of those running Europe than the financial repercussions of Brexit, however, would be the example that it would set for the stricken populations of the Continent, especially in the southern countries, who have been led to believe that escape from the economic straitjacket of the eurozone is impossible. Presented with the spectacle of a people freely choosing to exit the EU, it is conceivable that workers suffering the consequences of EU-enforced austerity in countries like Spain and Italy would place pressure on their representatives to grant a referendum.

There is also an argument for leaving based on the benefits that Britain is currently well-placed to reap from such a move. The landslide election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party last year has indicated the widespread support that exists for a socialist alternative to the centre-ground politics which has held sway in Britain for the last thirty years, showing that the Blairites, who were roundly defeated in the election, were wrong to dismiss socialism as a spent force and place their faith in the free market. Consequently, a reforming Labour government may well assume the reins of government in the very near future. If it takes power in the context of a vote to remain, however, such a government would face real obstacles to implementing its programme in the form of the capitalist safeguards against reform that the EU has established. It would not be able to nationalise the railways, despite the overwhelming support of the public, because the EU has made public ownership of the railways illegal. A Labour government would find it difficult to increase expenditure on the NHS and other much needed public services because of the strict economies that the EU pressures member states to adopt by limiting the budget deficit to 3% of GDP. Furthermore, a social-democratic government of the kind that Corbyn could potentially head, with its commitment to decoupling the economy from its damaging dependence on financial services, would soon discover that competition rules forbid us from subsidising our manufacturing sector or even protecting our steel industry from Chinese dumping through raising tariffs on imports. In short, any government that seeks to overturn the neoliberal consensus will find that, within the confines of the EU, even limited reforms toward that end are a practical impossibility, liable to be struck down by the European Court of Justice as incompatible with EU law at any time.

It is regrettable that, instead of focussing on the impediments Labour would face in the event of a vote to remain, the mainstream left has chosen to fix its attention on the perceived boost that Brexit would give the current Conservative government. A myth has gained ground amongst large sections of the left that the rights which British workers have come to take for granted, such as maternity leave and paid holidays, were gifted to Britain by the EU, and that Brexit would free the Conservatives to intensify their assault on the working class, uninhibited by a social Europe which at present exercises a restraining influence over neoliberal governments. Even supposing that the remain camp is right in assuming that the Conservatives will hold onto power until the next general election in four years time, a questionable assumption in light of the fact the Conservatives are deeply split over the referendum, it is simply false to claim that we owe whatever rights we enjoy to the EU, As others have documented, most of the rights that are invoked by the mainstream left as a reason to vote remain were already in place when we joined the EEC in 1973, and they owe not to a beneficent bureaucracy of Eurocrats but to Britain’s working classes, who won these rights over the course of many years and after a series of hard-fought struggles with the capitalist class. Likewise, the retention of these rights will depend not on the good-will of a remote bureaucracy, which is actively undermining those same rights elsewhere, but on the determination of workers to band together in defence of their standard of living.

Unfortunately, many of the left apologists for the EU have been aided in their efforts to paint their opponents as backward nationalists by the fact that the Brexit campaign is largely dominated by the right. Almost all of the political figures who favour Brexit that the British public are regularly exposed to on TV are drawn from the far right of the Conservative Party, such as the former Mayor of London Boris Johnson and the current justice minister Michael Gove. (The noteworthy exception is Nigel Farage, the leader of UKIP – a right-wing party formed for the sole purpose of taking Britain out of the EU.) At times the debate has resembled, and has often been reported as, an internal squabble between factions of the Conservative Party over the direction Britain should take as well as, on a more personal level, a battle between Prime Minister David Cameron, the leader of the remain group, and Boris Johnson, who is widely believed to be the most likely successor of Cameron in the event of Brexit. The left-wing case for leaving, which has been eloquently articulated by a number of prominent intellectuals and activists, has been given relatively little attention by the media, with the result that many voters have been kept in ignorance of the existence of such arguments, and various Blairite MPs on the right of the Labour Party have been able to assert that they alone represent what the left’s position should be in the debate over Britain’s attitude to the EU.

Paradoxically, however, the near monopoly of the right over the Brexit campaign is not proof that opposition to the EU is intrinsically right-wing, but testifies instead to the weakness of a left which has been steadily stripped of its commitment to economic justice. Thirty years ago the most forceful advocates of Brexit were to be found among the members of the Labour Party, not on the right, and calls for Britain to withdraw from the EU, or the EEC as it was then called, were considered a standard feature of Labour’s policy platforms. The great left-wing MP Tony Benn campaigned in the 1975 referendum for Labour to leave the EEC on the grounds that such an arrangement was contrary to the basic democratic principle that people should be allowed to vote on the policies affecting them. Events since 1975 have only proved the truth of Benn’s original argument, made all those years ago, that these undemocratic tendencies were destined to grow with time, posing a grave risk to our ability to decide the most basic of policy issues. Moreover, unlike the MPs campaigning for remain today, politicians like Benn understood that the lack of democracy at the heart of the EU was not an oversight on the part of its founders, but an essential component of a project which sought to supplant national governments with a supranational authority divorced from the concerns of ordinary people. So long as power was vested in national assemblies, these institutions, however imperfect, were at least answerable to their voters, but once power over economic policy was ceded to bureaucrats then the business elites which effectively governed Europe were easily able to overcome popular resistance to their policies by dispensing with the need for elections.

Unfortunately, this basic point has been forgotten by the members of the Labour Party now campaigning to remain. Thus, the left-wing opponents of Brexit frequently give the impression that they regard the EU’s democratic deficit as a minor flaw, something that could easily be rectified if only Britain stays within the EU and works with other countries to reform it. Not a few even deny that the EU is undemocratic, reasoning that because the Council of Ministers, which concludes the treaties which form the basis for the EU, is composed of elected government figures from the member states this amounts to an indirect form of democratic accountability. These supporters of remain seem oblivious to the fact that the whole purpose of enshrining in various treaties the neoliberal principles on which the EU rests, treaties which once concluded cannot be repealed except through the agreement of all 28 member states, is to ensure that such weighty questions are forever removed from the sphere of democratic debate. The electorate of a particular country can vote their government out, but they cannot revoke the set of laws that this government agreed to, nor exercise any control over the unappointed Commission which is granted broad discretion to implement these laws.

The referendum is perhaps the one chance that this generation will ever have to vote on our membership of an institution which now wields an inordinate amount of power. It is the only opportunity we will be given to affirm our democratic right to rule on the fundamental questions with which we are confronted, and at the same time administer a blow to the undemocratic vision of a corporate Europe, rooted in neoliberal economics and a disdain for workers, that has crushed underfoot the aspirations of so many Europeans who were never even offered the choice of agreeing to such a project. A vote to leave will not usher in an age of socialist egalitarianism, but it is nonetheless, as socialists agitating for Brexit have observed, a necessary steppingstone without which the fairer society we are striving to achieve will be rendered a more distant prospect.

Members of the mainstream left who are campaigning to remain have only been able to maintain their enthusiasm for the EU by averting their eyes from its shameful record, adhering instead to an exalted image of a progressive body which has never existed outside of their imaginations. Ordinary voters must spurn such consoling myths, and recognise the EU for what it is: a deeply reactionary institution that is holding back progress throughout Europe.


Bernie, The Donald, and the Sins of Liberalism

An American Version of Class Struggle 

Arising from the shadows of the American repressed, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have been sending chills through the corridors of establishment power. Who would have thunk it? Two men, both outliers, though in starkly different ways, seem to be leading rebellions against the masters of our fate in both parties; this, after decades in which even imagining such a possibility would have been seen as naïve at best, delusional at worst. Their larger-than-life presence on the national stage may be the most improbable political development of the last American half-century. It suggests that we are entering a new phase in our public life.

A year ago, in my book The Age of Acquiescence, I attempted to resolve a mystery hinted at in its subtitle: "The rise and fall of American resistance to organized wealth and power." Simply stated, that mystery was: Why do people rebel at certain moments and acquiesce in others?

Resisting all the hurts, insults, threats to material well-being, exclusions, degradations, systematic inequalities, over-lordship, indignities, and powerlessness that are the essence of everyday life for millions would seem natural enough, even inescapable, if not inevitable. Why put up with all that? 

Historically speaking, however, the impulse to give in has proven no less natural. After all, to resist is often to risk yourself, your means of livelihood, and your way of life. To rise up means to silence those intimidating internal voices warning that the overlords have the right to rule by virtue of their wisdom, wealth, and everything that immemorial custom decrees. Fear naturally closes in.

In our context, then, why at certain historical moments have Americans shown a striking ability to rise up, at other times to submit? 

To answer that question, I explored those years in the first gilded age of the nineteenth century when millions of Americans took to the streets to protest, often in the face of the armed might of the state, and the period in the latter part of the twentieth century and the first years of this one when the label “the age of acquiescence” seemed eminently reasonable -- until, in 2016, it suddenly didn’t.

So consider this essay a postscript to that work, my perhaps belated realization that the age of acquiescence has indeed come to an end. Millions are now, of course, feeling the Bern and cheering The Donald. Maybe I should have paid more attention to the first signs of what was to come as I was finishing my book: the Tea Party on the right, and on the left Occupy Wall Street, strikes by low-wage workers, minimum and living wage movements, electoral victories for urban progressives, a surge of environmental activism, and the eruption of the Black Lives Matter movement just on the eve of publication. 

But when you live for so long in the shade of acquiescence where hope goes to die or at least grows sickly, you miss such things. After all, if history has a logic, it can remain so deeply hidden as to be indecipherable... until it bites. So, for example, if someone had X-rayed American society in 1932, in the depth of the Great Depression, that image would have revealed a body politic overrun with despair, cynicism, fatalism, and fear -- in a word, acquiescence, a mood that had shadowed the land since “black Tuesday” and the collapse of the stock market in 1929. 

Yet that same X-ray taken in 1934, just two years later, would have revealed a firestorm of mass strikes, general strikes, sit-down strikes, rent strikes, seizures of shuttered coal mines and utilities by people who were cold and lightless, marches of the unemployed, and a general urge to unseat the ancien régime; in a word, rebellion. In this way, the equilibrium of a society can shift phases in the blink of an eye and without apparent warning (although in hindsight historians and others will explore all the reasons everybody should have seen it coming). 

Liberalism vs. Liberalism

Anticipated or not, a new age of rebellion has begun, one that threatens the status quo from the left and the right. Perhaps its most shocking aspect: people are up in arms against liberalism.

That makes no sense, right? How can it, when come November the queen of liberalism will face off against the billionaire standard bearer of Republicanism? In the end, the same old same old, yes? Liberal vs. conservative. 

Well, not really. If you think of Hillary as the “limousine liberal” of this election season and The Donald as the right-wing “populist in pinstripes,” and consider how each of them shimmied their way to the top of the heap and who they had to fend off to get there, a different picture emerges. Clinton inherits the mantle of a liberalism that has hollowed out the American economy and metastasized the national security state. It has confined the remnants of any genuine egalitarianism to the attic of the Democratic Party so as to protect the vested interests of the oligarchy that runs things. That elite has no quarrel with racial and gender equality as long as they don’t damage the bottom line, which is after all the defining characteristic of the limousine liberalism Hillary champions. Trump channels the hostility generated by that neoliberal indifference to the well-being of working people and its scarcely concealed cultural contempt for heartland America into a racially inflected anti-establishmentarianism. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders targets Clintonian liberalism from the other shore. Liberalism is, in other words, besieged.

The Sixties Take on Liberalism

How odd! For decades “progressives” have found themselves defending the achievements of liberal reform from the pitiless assault of an ascendant conservatism. It’s hard to remember that the liberal vs. conservative equation didn’t always apply (and so may not again). 

Go back half a century to the 1960s, however, and the battlefield seems not dissimilar to today’s terrain. That was a period when the Vietnam antiwar movement indicted liberalism for its imperialism in the name of democracy, while the civil rights and black power movements called it out for its political alliance with segregationists in the South. 

In those years, the New Left set up outposts in urban badlands where liberalism’s boast about the U.S. being an “affluent society” seemed like a cruel joke. Students occupied campus buildings to say no to the bureaucratization of higher education and the university’s servitude to another liberal offspring, the military-industrial complex. Women severed the knot tying the liberal ideal of the nuclear family to its gendered hierarchy. The counterculture exhibited its contempt for liberalism’s sense of propriety in a thousand ways. No hairstyle conventions, marriage contracts, sexual inhibitions, career ambitions, religious orthodoxies, clothing protocols, racial taboos, or chemical prohibitions escaped unscathed. 

Liberalism adjusted, however. It has since taken credit for most of the reforms associated with that time. Civil rights laws, the war on poverty (including Medicare and Medicaid), women’s rights, affirmative action, and the erasure of cultural discrimination are now a de rigueur part of the CVs of Democratic presidents and the party’s top politicians, those running the mainstream media, the chairmen of leading liberal foundations, Ivy League college presidents, high-end Protestant theologians and clerics, and so many others who proudly display the banner of liberalism. And they do deserve some of the credit. They may have genuinely felt that “Bern” of yesteryear, the one crying out for equal rights before the law.

More importantly, those liberal elites were wise enough or malleable enough, or both, to surf the waves of rebellion of that time. Wisdom and flexibility, however, are only part of the answer to this riddle: Why did mid-twentieth century liberalism manage to reform itself instead of cracking up under the pressure of that sixties moment? The deeper explanation may be that the uprisings of those years assaulted liberalism -- but largely on behalf of liberalism. Explicitly at times, as in the Port Huron Statement, that founding document of the ur-New Left group, Students for a Democratic Society, at other times by implication, the rebellions of that moment demanded that the liberal order live up to its own sacred credo of liberty, equality, and the pursuit of happiness.

The demand to open the system up became the heart and soul of the next phase of liberalism, of the urge to empower the free individual. Today, we might recognize this as the classic Clintonista desire to let all-comers join “the race to the top.” 

Looking back, it’s been customary to treat the sixties as an era of youth rebellion. While more than that, it certainly could be understood, in part, as an American version of fathers and sons (not to speak of mothers and daughters). An older generation had created the New Deal order, itself an act of historic rebellion. As it happened, that creation didn’t fit well with a Democratic Party whose southern wing, embedded in the segregationist former Confederacy, rested on Jim Crow laws and beliefs. Nor did New Deal social welfare reforms that presumed a male breadwinner/head of household, while excluding underclasses, especially (but not only) those of the wrong complexion from its protections, square with a yearning for equality.

Moreover, the New Deal saved a capitalist economy laid low in the Great Depression by installing a new political economy of mass consumption. While a wondrous material accomplishment, that was also a socially disabling development, nourishing a culture of status-seeking individualism and so undermining the sense of social solidarity that had made the New Deal possible. Finally, in the Cold War years, it became clear that prosperity and democracy at home depended on an imperial relationship with the rest of the world and the garrisoning of the planet. In the famed phrase of Life Magazine publisher Henry Luce, an “American Century” was born.

Uprisings against that ossifying version of New Deal liberalism made the sixties “The Sixties.” Political emotions were at a fever pitch as rebels faced off against a liberal “establishment.” Matters sometimes became so overheated they threatened to melt the surface of public life. And yet here was a question that, no matter the temperature, was tough to raise at the time: What if liberalism wasn’t the problem? Admittedly, that thought was in the air then, raised not just by new and old lefties, but by Martin Luther King who famously enunciated his second thoughts about capitalism, poverty, race, and war in speeches like “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence.”

Most of the rebels of that moment, however, clung to the ancestral faith. In the end, they were convinced that once equilibrium was restored, a more modern liberalism, shorn of its imperfections, could become a safe haven by excluding nobody. Indicted in those years for its hypocrisy and bad faith, it would be cleansed. 

Thanks to those mass rebellions and the persistent if less fiery efforts that followed for decades, the hypocrisy of exclusion, whether of blacks, women, gays, or others, would indeed largely be ended. Or so it seemed. The liberalism inherited from the New Deal had been cleansed -- not entirely to be sure and not without fierce resistance, but then again, nothing’s perfect, is it? End of hypocrisy. End of story.

The Missing Link

Yet at the dawning of the new millennium a paradox began to emerge. Liberal society had proved compatible with justice for all and an equal shot at the end zone. Strangely, however, in its ensuing glorious new world, the one Bill Clinton presided over, liberty, justice, and equality all seemed to be on short rations.

If not the liberal order, then something else was spoiling things. After all, the everyday lives of so many ordinary Americans were increasingly constrained by economic anxiety and a vertiginous sense of social freefall. They experienced feelings of being shut out and scorned, of suffering from a hard-to-define political disenfranchisement, of being surveilled at work (if they had it) and probably elsewhere if not, of fearing the future rather than hoping for what it might bring their way. 

Brave and audacious as they were, rarely had the rebel movements of the fabled sixties or those that followed explicitly challenged the underlying distribution of property and power in American society. And yet if liberalism had proved compatible enough with liberty, equality, and democracy, capitalism was another matter.

The liberal elite that took credit for opening up that race to the top had also at times presided over a neoliberal capitalism which had, for decades, been damaging the lives of working people of all colors. (Indeed, nowadays Hillary expends a lot of effort trying to live down the legacy of mass incarceration bequeathed by her husband.) But Republicans have more than shared in this; they have, in fact, often taken the lead in implanting a market- and finance-driven economic system that has produced a few “winners” and legions of losers. Both parties heralded a deregulated marketplace, global free trade, the outsourcing of manufacturing and other industries, the privatization of public services, and the shrink-wrapping of the social safety net. All of these together gutted towns and cities as well as whole regions (think: Rust Belt America) and ways of life.

In the process, the New Deal Democratic Party’s tradition of resisting economic exploitation and inequality vaporized, while the “new Democrats” of the Clinton era and beyond, as well as many in the boardrooms of the Fortune 500 and in hedge-fund America, continued to champion equal rights for all. They excoriated conservative attempts to rollback protections against racial, gender, and sexual discrimination; but the one thing they didn’t do -- none of them -- was disturb the equanimity of the 1%. 

And what does freedom and equality amount to in the face of that? For some who could -- thanks to those breakthroughs -- participate in the “race to the top,” it amounted to a lot. For many millions more, however, who have either been riding the down escalator or already lived near or at the bottom of society, it has been a mockery, a hollow promise, something (as George Carlin once noted) we still call the American Dream because “you have to be asleep to believe in it.” 

Given their hand in abetting this painful dilemma, the new Democrats seemed made for the already existing sobriquet -- a kind of curse invented by the populist right -- “limousine liberal.” An emblem of hypocrisy, it was conceived and first used in 1969 not by the left but by figures in that then-nascent right-wing movement. The image of a silk-stocking crowd to-the-manner born, bred and educated to rule, networked into the circuits of power and wealth, professing a concern for the downtrodden but not about to surrender any privileges to alleviate their plight (yet prepared to demand that everyone else pony up) has lodged at the heart of American politics ever since. In our time, it has been the magnetic North of right-wing populism.

Class Struggle, American Style

In 1969, President Richard Nixon invoked the “silent majority” to do battle with those who would soon come to be known as “limousine liberals.” He hoped to mobilize a broad swath of the white working class and lower middle class for the Republican Party. This group had been the loyalists of the New Deal Democratic Party, but were then feeling increasingly abandoned by it and disturbed by the rebelliousness of the era.

In the decades that followed, the limousine liberal would prove a perfectpiñata for absorbing their resentments about racial upheaval, as well as de-industrialization and decline, and their grief over the fading away of the “traditional family” and its supposed moral certitudes. In this way, the Republican Party won a substantial white working-class vote. It’s clear enough in retrospect that this confrontation between the silent majority and limousine liberalism was always a form of American class struggle.

Nixon proved something of a political genius and his gambit worked stunningly well... until, of course, in our own moment it didn’t. Following his lead, the Republican high command soon understood that waving the red flag of “limousine liberalism” excited passions and elicited votes. They never, however, had the slightest intention of doing anything to truly address the deteriorating circumstances of that silent majority. The party’s leading figures were far too committed to defending the interests of corporate America and the upper classes.

Their gestures, the red meat they tossed to their followers in the “culture wars,” only increased the passions of the era until, in the aftermath of the 2007 financial meltdown and Great Recession, they exploded in a fashion the Republican elite had no way to deal with. What began as their creature, formed in cynicism and out of the festering jealousies and dark feelings of Nixon himself over the way the liberal establishment had held him in contempt, ended up turning on its fabricators.

A “silent majority” would no longer remain conveniently silent. The Tea Party howled about every kind of political establishment in bed with Wall Street, crony capitalists, cultural and sexual deviants, free-traders who scarcely blinked at the jobs they incinerated, anti-taxers who had never met a tax shelter they didn’t love, and decriers of big government who lived off state subsidies. In a zip code far, far away, a privileged sliver of Americans who had gamed the system, who had indeed made gaming the system into the system, looked down on the mass of the previously credulous, now outraged, incredulously.

In the process, the Republican Party was dismembered and it was The Donald who magically rode that Trump Tower escalator down to the ground floor to pick up the pieces. His irreverence for established authority worked. His racist and misogynist phobias worked. His billions worked for millions who had grown infatuated with all the celebrated Wall Street conquistadors of thesecond Gilded Age. His way of gingerly tiptoeing around Social Security worked with those whose neediness and emotional logic was captured by the person who memorably told a Republican congressman, “Keep your government hands off my Medicare.” Most of all, his muscle-flexing bombast worked for millions fed up with demoralization, paralysis, and powerlessness. They felt The Donald.

In the face-off between right-wing populism and neoliberalism, Tea Party legions and Trumpists now find Fortune 500 CEOs morally obnoxious and an economic threat, grow irate at Federal Reserve bail-outs, and are fired up by the multiple crises set off by global free trade and the treaties that go with it. And underlying such positions is a fantasy of an older capitalism, one friendlier to the way they think America used to be. They might be called anti-capitalists on behalf of capitalism.

Others -- often their neighbors in communities emptying of good jobs and seemingly under assault -- are feeling the Bern. This represents yet another attack on neoliberalism of the limousine variety. Bernie Sanders proudly classifies himself as a socialist, even if his programmatic ideas echo a mildly left version of the New Deal. Yet even to utter the verboten word “socialism” in public, no less insistently run on it and get away with it, exciting the fervent commitment of millions, is stunning -- in fact, beyond imagining in any recent America. 

The Sanders campaign had made its stand against the liberalism of the Clinton elite. It has resonated so deeply because the candidate, with all his grandfatherly charisma and integrity, repeatedly insists that Americans should look beneath the surface of a liberal capitalism that is economically and ethically bankrupt and running a political confidence game, even as it condescends to “the forgotten man.” 

To a degree then, Trump and Sanders are competing for the same constituencies, which should surprise no one given how far the collateral damage of neoliberal capitalism has spread. Don’t forget that, in the Great Depression era as the Nazis grew more powerful, their party, the National Socialists, not only incorporated that word -- “socialism” -- but competed with the Socialist and Communist parties among the distressed workers of Germany for members and voters. There were even times (when they weren’t killing each other in the streets) that they held joint demonstrations.

Trump is, of course, a conscienceless demagogue, serial liar, and nihilist with a belief in nothing save himself. Sanders, on the other hand, means what he says. On the issue of economic justice, he has been a broken record for more than a quarter-century, even if no one beyond the boundaries of Vermont paid much attention until recently. He is now widely trusted and applauded for his views. 

Hillary Clinton is broadly distrusted. Sanders has consistently outpolled her against potential Republican opponents for president because she is indeed a limousine liberal whose career has burned through trust at an astonishing rate. And more important than that, the rebellion that has carried Sanders aloft is not afraid to put capitalism in the dock. Trump is hardly about to do that, but the diseased state of the neoliberal status quo has made him, too, a force to be reckoned with. However you look at it, the age of acquiescence is passing away.

Steve Fraser, a TomDispatch regular, is the author of The Age of Acquiescence, among other works. His new book is The Limousine Liberal: How an Incendiary Image United the Right and Fractured America (Basic Books). He is the co-founder and co-editor of the American Empire Project

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Copyright 2016 Steve Fraser

SOURCE | http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176148/