Macrons “overpopulation because of the poors” narrative is a farce. Overpopulation has long been cited as the principle problem holding back the global South, always as a tool to blame the poor. Take India for example, a nation with a huge poverty issue & culture where “6-7” kids is a social norm. There have been plenty of condom advertisements & even forced sterilisation & even if the goal was achieved and the poorest 20% did stop being born, They only eat 6% of the food, live in 4% of the housing, use 3% of the electricity. The scarcities of these basics are down to distribution not population. Liberals try to sound magnanimous & hide their racism by claiming that those in poverty “Don’t know any better, (the stupid poor)” this couldn’t be any further from the truth. At 3rd world levels of income within global capitalism, having many kids is the “optimal” thing to do, since you become a net producer at age 12 (in most developing nations). The issue is not over population but a neoliberal ideology that simultaneously blames & forces the third world to reproduce to compete in the free market.
Those who all of a sudden cheer Obama’s clemency today, are the same people who applauded when Chelsea was put in prison. It was the right decision & I’m glad he did it none the less but, freeing Manning, does not absolve Obama of anything.
Chelsea isn’t free yet & Obama has simply commuted a majority of her sentence, she may still have time to do. The Obama Administration leaned excessively on Chelsea, for exposing war crimes during an illegal war America orchestrated (All the while giving light sentences to Government agents who leaked Us Intel e.g General Cartwright who took the fall for Hilary Clinton’s fuck up & CIA operative John Kiriakou who got a mere 30 months down to 2 years). Chelsea’s 35 years was always an over zealous attempt to crush the dissidents of Hacktivism and protests happening in America & to cover up the illegal actions taken in Iraq & Afghanistan.
Don’t Thank Obama, Thank Chelsea Manning.
“Hegel was among the first to see in the geographical triad of Germany, France and England an expression of three different existential attitudes: reflective thoroughness (German), revolutionary hastiness (French), utilitarian pragmatism (English). In political terms, this triad can be read as German conservatism, French revolutionary radicalism and English liberalism” – Slavoj Žižek
In 2003 the Iraq war ignited, with British prime minister Tony Blair fully backing the US led coalition, which was spear headed by George Bush and his administration. This bloody conflict, including the following occupation claimed over a million lives with the effects of this war still pumping out violence today. For those not in the know, we are currently (at last) having the Chilcot report dispensed. As a clear attempt to quell dissidents and ensure the story fades into irrelevance, it has taken seven years for these documents to be made public, in what can only be described as state suppression. This nearly decade long wait for this inquiry was a result to convenient & unspecified “delays” in which evidence of war crimes were kept from the British public. Now it has been clear for many years now that the Iraq war was illegal & at it’s roots the inquiry states what many of us already knew. However, despite stating the absolute obvious, these reports hold evidence to the crimes perpetrated.
Yet despite the value these reports hold, their is a fundamental criticism that must be addressed. The issue lies with Chilcot being solely framed from the liberal perspective. Liberalism key flaw is the idea of the individual being everything & at it’s heart rules out the reality of the dialectics. Because of this Historical correlation is being completely ignored within the framing of this debate. Because of Britain’s dominant liberalism, we are looking at these events as if they were in a vacuum. The divide and conquer of Iraq did not start in the early 2000’s more accurately it took form in 1914 with Britain, France at war with Germany. With Britain & France eyeing new territory in the decaying remnants of the Ottoman Empire, In 1916 British and French drew up the notorious Skyes-Picot agreement to partition the Arab peoples into new states that could become “Area’s of influence” for capitalism. France would take what is now known as Lebanon and Syria while Britain would seize Jordan, Palestine and what we today call Iraq.
This narrow field of perception is not only a fallacy in ignoring the basic concept of cause and effect but, it endangers any real Justice or progressiveness for us as a society to learn from. We must look at the narrative rather than the single sentence to understand how we can move forward. With the apologists & excuses that will come with the inevitable political fall out, we must not lose sight of the reality of the situation, nor allow this to become a sensationalist story to fade into the echoes of time.
The papers have been ablaze with headlines about the recent exposé of Mossack Fonseca & Co and the 2.6 terabyte file containing 11.5 million leaked documents about the internal operations of one of the world’s leading firms in the incorporation of offshore entities, and which is head-quartered in the Republic of Panama. Dubbed the Panama papers by the media, the data shows that Mossack Fonseca was working/worked with more than 14,000 banks, law firms, corporations and other men in black to set up companies, foundations and trusts for clients who with the company’s expertise profited hugely from off shore accounts and various Tax havens. The files were originally obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and then shared with ICIJ (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists) and then leaked to more than 100 media partners.
The core of this investigation contains nearly 40 years of records, and includes information about more than 210,000 companies in 21 offshore jurisdictions. The countries most heavily implemented in the crime were Hong Kong, UK, USA and Switzerland with the British Virgin Islands being the most popular tax haven for clients of Mossack Fonseca to use. As well as corporations such as HSBC, Rothschild Trust and Landsbanki Luxembourg many of the world’s elite were implicated in the data. Dictator and agitator of Syria Bashar al Assad, authoritarian, manipulator Putin as well as Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson,who has now resigned after leaks exposed his offshore accounts he had set up secretly with Mossack Fonseca.
The British prime minister David Cameron was also exposed in the leaks, with his late farther Ian Cameron being linked to off shore accounts and profiting from a “unit trust” fund; this is where a group of people pool their money (by buying shares, or units) and use it to invest in a variety of companies, to spread out the financial risk. The money from this passed to David Cameron upon his father’s death. The documents also shine a light on Britain’s capitalist relationships, exposing Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan president of the UAE (United Arab Emirates) who up till now had secretly been UK’s biggest offshore landlord with a 1.2 billion property portfolio.
Now it is important to keep things in context by pointing out that under our current political structures, i.e capitalism, off shore accounts are not completely illegal; and instead they often exploit legal loop holes to bypass current laws set up to halt tax avoidance. In fact, the rhetoric from the bourgeois and Cameron’s allies would have you believe that nothing damnable has happened. Herein lies the fundamental problem which makes this much more criminal, and in turn, exposes the deeper rooted sickness embedded at the heart of our society’s ideology that allows such inequality to inherently exist within our economic systems.
These leaks are but a glimpse of the ruling class and no doubt just scratch the surface of the accumulated wealth hoarded by the rich. For those wishing to look at the raw data click here. What is so appalling about the revelations the data shows, and why so many are in an uproar, is due to the utter hypocrisy that is highlighted in the leaks. Although not everyone who uses off shore accounts is automatically a crook; it does seem to appear to be a morally questionable way to profit, especially seeing it was only last year British PM David Cameron took to a stage in Singapore and said “the corrupt, criminals and money launderers” take advantage of anonymous company structures. The government is trying to do something about this. It wants to set up a central register that will reveal the beneficial owners of offshore companies. claiming that UK companies will be forced to reveal their “significant” owners for the first time. which now seems almost laughable seeing when confronted about his affiliation with the data dump Cameron claimed he did not have to disclose the information calling it a “private matter”. Tory MP Alan Duncan yesterday described the non-wealthy as “low achievers” in defence of Cameron in the House of Commons. If it wasn’t so insulting, it would almost be laughable especially from a mostly self- employed oil tycoon millionaire, who back in May 2009 appeared on the satirical BBC programme Have I Got News for You. The programme showed footage of Duncan’s previous appearance on the show in which he boasted about his second home allowance, denied that he should pay any of the money back and stated it was “a great system”.
However finding hypocrites within the political class seems far too easy and at the heart of it, it should be expected from this fall out. The important thing outside of the data that the Panama Papers will inject into society is, that it will dispel this myth that the wealthiest amongst us got their wealth through hard labour that has somehow been adopted by the mainstream. We need only look to the London protests starting and the people of Iceland, who are now calling for their entire government to resign. The only benefit of these scandals are the power they give the left and its various movements, that blossom when economic corruption is exposed.
As a self-proclaimed cultural Marxist & someone who is normally labelled a “leftist,” it may come to most people’s surprise that I’m not a Labour voter & never have voted for our very British, Red party. What will shock people who know me even more whether in real life, or through my online aliases, is that I am also not a huge fan of Jeremy Corbyn. Before I go on and explain my argument, I should clarify. Any observer of politics can see that Corbyn is a figure both under fire from the right and hailed by the left. I have nothing against Jeremy Corbyn as a man, I agree with a lot of what he says, and even what he stands for. However, I do not support him nor has this Labour reform really changed my mind about voting for them.
I can see now the flock of Corbyn disciples rushing in to defend their “personal Jesus”, but hear me out before group mentality sinks in, and you sweep me under the umbrella of “Corbyn haters”. I do not support Corbyn, not based on his values, but based on his position within mainstream politics. I do not personally see him as a vessel of change as so many of the UK’s ‘left’ do. This inherently lies with me considering myself more of a radical rather than a liberal. The difference between the two, being that most liberals believe they can change the system through ideology, normally through education. They hope that if a population becomes enlightened systematic change will happen. A radical on the other hand believes that only after the destruction of existing power structures & constraints can change & progress really happen.
To look at an example of why I personally do not throw myself at jezzer, we need only look to our European neighbours in Greece and the SYRIZA political party. Founded in 2004 by a coalition of leftist parties, SYRIZA was anti-capitalist, democratically socialist and seen as the hard left . The party itself was labelled as radical, unrealistic and mocked as ideological nonsense by mainstream media outlets as well as centre & right political figures (not too dissimilar to how the papers and pundits view Corbyn today). Despite this, the party was praised and hailed by anarchists, lefties and progressives all across Europe as a positive movement of real drastic change. The party was meant to help Greece break out of Europe’s class wars with the banking system and direct it away from the Americanization and potent corporate threat that plagues Europe. Greece, like many others, was a country hit hard by the 2008 global economic crash caused by Wall Street. By 2010, Greece had to avoid bankruptcy by taking a bail out from the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank. However, these came with strict austerity measures (Here). The price of this austerity hit pretty much instantly, and throughout 2010 several demonstrations sprung up around the country. These protests grew in mass and were provoked by the cuts to public spending and rise in tax. Protests and the anger behind them carried all the way up to 2014. The left relied on SYRIZA, and in 2012 began to throw itself behind the party hoping for a surge of socialism throughout Europe. This did not happen… Despite all the fancy words, violent clashes and anarchist mentality the party has been crushed by the blockades of capitalism & current politics. Despite its best efforts, the cries for cancellation of it’s debt from this “hard left” party quickly shifted from an ultimatum, to a debate and now lingers in political bureaucracy. With the exception of Ireland and Spain,
Greece is one of the few rare European societies that has had a hard left ideology drilled into its populace. Yet despite a huge anti-austerity backing and a history of being anti-fascist, the country was unable to bypass the ‘barriers’ of our modern political systems. Where are those leftists now? Well, without the party, riots have stopped, protests are much smaller & change has yet to come for Greece. A contributing factor that I believe is overlooked within the Greek Crisis is this blind faith in one icon, and lack of diversity in the political movements that Greece had. This has led to the stale mate in negotiations that SYRIZA is currently embroiled in. The anti-capitalist movements have crumbled and the anti-austerity protests have been quelled. This is because there was no other viable choice around to grab the movement, and once the party had failed or slowed down, those behind it began to have their faith shaken. The left soon disbanded and Greek citizens returned to their homes still discontent, yet, like a victim of beatings they had become silent in face of their abuser. I fear Corbyn may mean the same for the British public. The hysteria that surrounds him seems appealing to those disenfranchised with politics, or those on the fringe of it, but despite Corbyn’s views being socialist he himself is a bureaucrat. Yet again there is the tendency to throw ourselves behind a messiah figure regardless because the left seem so rare in mainstream politics. But no matter how hard we wish for it, Corbyn will be faced with those same barriers that SYRIZA came across in its confrontation with austerity, and will arguably crumble in the same fashion. It all boils down to whether one truly believes that change can come from within the system. I personally find this notion insulting. I’m not saying changes don’t happen from within, but true change arguably does not. To put this into perspective we don’t ask domestic abuse victims to try and change the relationship with their partner “from within” – we tell them to leave that partner and report them to the proper authorities. So why do we assume we can barter with abusive political systems? As if we ask nicely enough through the proper channels, that the same system that abuses so many will stop? Appealing to our oppressor’s humanity is an oxymoron in itself and I do not believe that without revolution that we will ever have true change. For me personally Corbyn becomes irrelevant to the fight against austerity, and capitalism as a whole, and despite being a bishop for the UK’s left he’s still a chess piece in a fixed game.
Thursday May 3, 2012 an article was released in the British newspaper ‘The Guardian’ entitled: Journalists being killed at ‘astonishing pace’. The United Nation Associated Press reported that ‘Reporters without Boarders’ were condemning the ‘astonishing pace’ journalists were being killed. The reality of the deaths has a chilling threat upon our freedom of press. According to The Committee To Protect Journalists, in 2014 67 journalists were killed. There is tragedy in all loss, however, the death of a reporter is an important one to highlight.
Journalists have the ability to be our one true public servant & play a key role in any true democratic process. Despite mine & most likely all of our inherent mistrust in media,which is certainly not misguided, when we live in such a corporate sponsored era of reporting, the journalist is still a figure in society we should hold in regard. Algerian born philosopher and author, Albert Camus, once said: “A free press can, of course, be good or bad, but, most certainly without freedom, the press will never be anything but bad.” I believe this to be true – the media is simply a proving ground and it can be either full of bad reporting or good – it all depends on the journalist. So far this year, another 44 journalists have been murdered but not all get named:
Serena Shim was a 29 year old Lebanese/American reporter born October 29th 1985. On October the 19th 2014 she was assassinated. Now, to understand how & why Serena is so important you will need a little context. According to her mother Judith Poe, Serena was a “loving daughter” & “had a thirst for truth”. Serena worked as a reporter for Press TV, an English language Iranian news network that broadcasts world wide. On October 18th 2014 Serena aired on TV with a breaking story. She had reported that Islamic State/ISIS militants had crossed from Turkey into Syria on trucks bearing the symbols of the World Food Organization and other NGOs. Serena also stated in her report that the Turkish intelligence agency had threatened her and accused her of spying & that she was “a bit frightened” by what Turkish intelligence “might use against me.” It would seem that she had every right to be fearful – Serena is not the first journalist to die in Turkey. The country’s human rights record is tarnished by the bodies of dead members of the press. Turkey is labelled according to the press freedom watchdog, ‘Reporters Without Borders’ as the world’s largest prison for journalists. Between 1992 -2015, 1118 journalists have died in Turkey either murdered or caught in cross fire/combat. This high death toll and infamous title becomes that more damning when we consider Turkey is part of NATO with America while it sits on the European Commission with the UK & other EU countries.
Serena had been hounded by Turkey’s national intelligence agency over her reporting of the region. Her reports shone a light on Turkey’s involvement with the IS crisis, and how the country seemed comfortable with ISIS militants within the region of Kabonê, which is now a battlefield between Kurdish forces & IS. We now know Turkey used this situation to it’s advantage to attack the Kurdish populated territory on August 12, 2015 (instead of ISIS). The evidence out there points to Turkey striking a deal with ISIS & allowing the movement through the country. Without Serena’s reporting this would have been lost in history and these crimes forgotten.
One day after her report on October the 19th 2014, Serena was tragically killed in a mysterious and suspicious car crash in a rental car with her cousin on her way back to her hotel. The report states she was hit by a heavy vehicle that collided with driver’s side killing Serena. Her cousin fortunately managed to escape with injuries.
It should come to no surprise that the Turkish press was sketchy on it’s report & gave very little details to what actually happened. Media censorship is a frequent abuse in Turkey. A current example of this can be found in the recent attack in Ankara where we can see how restrictive the Turkish media is (Link). Press TV tried to reach out and find out more but claimed that both the vehicle & driver had disappeared despite the Turkish government alleging his arrest. In a report on the Press TV website, a London-based political analyst claimed that “our sister Serena” had been “assassinated by the government of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.”
Serena had dedicated her life to reporting & was torn away from her family at far to young of an age. Her name should be remembered and her contribution to the truth should be heard.