April 2022

In moments of absolute certainty

...which we seem to be experiencing as a whole society, it might be useful to remember the great Red hunts of the 50's and Edward R. Murrows' commentary.--blj

Closing a half-hour television report on Senator Joseph McCarthy in March 1954, American journalist Edward R Murrow delivered a stinging editorial about McCarthy’s tactics and their impact:

Simone Weil, from “Sketch of Contemporary Social Life,” (1934).

To imagine that we can switch the course of history along a different track by transforming the system through reforms or revolutions, to hope to find salvation in a defensive or offensive action against tyranny and militarism—all that is just day-dreaming. There is nothing on which to base even attempts. Marx’s assertion that the regime would produce its own gravediggers is cruelly contradicted every day, and one wonders, incidentally, how Marx could ever have believed that slavery could produce free men. Never yet in history has a regime of slavery fallen under the blows of the slaves.

Silence on Ukraine

My silence about the Ukraine war is sorrow for the complete collapse of American journalism and most of the academic community, both institutions which should know much better and entities America relies on for accurate information. We are being fed complete lies. This really is something Orwell described best. And this time the fascists really are fascists, really are American and those who could say something and don't are cowardly grifters. The rest is just parrot talk.

Pepe Escobar: an essay on Russian history

We've been so grateful to great Brazilian, Pepe Escobar, one of the last genuine foreign correspondents in the world, for his coverage of the Far East and Eurasia, which we first saw in TomDispatch.com around 2010. Since then we've been taking the Escobar series of courses on such complex topics as Pipelineistan (oil-distribution networks in Central Asia) all the way to his newest subject, NATOstan, a contemporary comedy of stupidity and violence.