by Abby Zimet
A powerful, furious, concise look at the history of the American empire, then and now. From Class War Films.
Powerful, sad and too true!!
(this isn't a response to Vermonter; I'm simply exploiting the positional visibility)
Here is an article, and responses, that could bear being read and thought about, perhaps even discussed if that were possible, by every CDer:
Bolshevik Communists in Stalin's Russia used to do the same thing, it's a common tactic by leaders of authoritarian societies left and right to sideline dissidents telling the truth about oppression.
"Oppositional defiant disorder," isn't really a disease it's an ad hominem by illegitimate authority to silence dissent. You link seems to be broken BTW, but this one works:
Looking for examples of how to become the friction.
Tell everyone you know:
1. Bush AND Obama are war criminals who waged illegal wars of aggression in violation of the U.N. Charter, the Geneva Accords, and the Nuremberg Principles.
2. The U.S. militarism budget is larger than the military budgets of Russia, China, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Pakistan, India, the U.K., France, Israel, and NATO COMBINED.
3. The U.S. has 45 military bases surrounding Iran and fleets of nuclear-armed warships off Iran's coasts.
4. The CIA overthrew Iran's democratically-elected president in 1953, the U.S. supplied weapons to Saddam Hussein in his 1980 invasion of Iran, and a U.S. cruiser shot down an Iranian airliner in broad daylight in 1988, all reasons why Iran does NOT trust the U.S.
5. Iareal has hundreds of nuclear weapons and refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or to allow inspections of its nuclear facilities, while Iran has ZERO nuclear weapons, has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (which gives it the right to develop nuclear power generation) and has allowed limited inspections of its nuclear facilities.
6. Since 1945, the U.S. has militarily intervened, invaded, and conducted CIA special operations (overthrows, bombings, assassinations) in dozens of countries, killing close to 6 million people.
See US Military and CIA Interventions since World War II. (Map)
Great post. Most Americans still do not know of the CIA's first covert operation (4), and still have no idea, why the students took Americans hostage. Mohammad Mossadegh was on the cover of Time magazine in 1949, as man of the year, as he was a true reformer, very much in line with what the West supposedly has always wanted in Iran. BUT of course, he took that step of nationalizing the oil resources, to ultimately kick out what became British Petroleum, and of course American oil companies. Churchill, and ultimately Eisenhower would have none of it, and good old Kermit Roosevelt greased the wheels of deception, and bloodied the wheels of terrorism against the Persian people, from inside the American Embassy in Iran. Ah, what a sordid tale indeed!
Actually, the CIA's first covert action was in Italy in the '40s to tip the election away from the left and towards the right. But Mossadegh was definitely another target of their hit parade.
That would have been the OSS. The CIA was established by the National Security Act of 1947.
That would have been the Italian elections of 1948 where the Christian Democrats beat the Popular Front and the Communists and Socialists - so the CIA. Nice try, Bob.
Show up in Chicago on May Day (May 1) for starters.
warning, claims soviet union 'exported' revolution. Who did this video?
USSR was a totalitarian state that crushed all revolutions. Let the partisans in greece be massacred by USA and UK...killed thousands of CNT and POUM in spain....hungary.....czeck..........
neat video...but WHO is class war films?
Agree Bolsheviks are no heroes, read Emma Goldman's "My Disillusionment in Russia," and Orwell's "Homage to Catalonia," for more details.
It's true that most communist revolutions have turned out badly in many ways; but what a different world when the U.S. still had an S.U. to compete against and check its imperial ambitions! And ask the poor peasant in the 3rd world if he or she is better off with the triumph of neoliberalism over "marxist-leaning" ideologies... For all their authoritarian-fascist leanings, many of the communist regimes were able to provide job stability, health care, and housing to a working-class that might never have had such things -- that's why in Russia and the Eastern Bloc there's still a lot of nostalgia for the old days. Before Disaster Capitalism and the Shock Doctrine took over.
That is right. But here we are: An astounding environmental catastrophe is looming which means that our common future is in doubt unless we recall our responsibility to one another and to all of Life. The freedom that the world's people are articulating is not separate from this even if not conscious. So, indeed let our lives BE "a friction to stop the machine".
If you think Bolshevik commies are any kind of environmentalists you are dreaming, the Russians in the Soviet era dumped a lot of utterly unfiltered toxins into lake Baikal.
The real enemy is biggism as articulated by EF Schumaker, Kropotkin, Ivan Illich, etc, the bigger is better mentality will be destructive of the planet and human rights regardless of if it is overseen by a greedy capitalist ownership class, or authoritarian Bolshevik socialists.
Into "the holy lake, the sacred Bajkal"? I don't think so, certainly not as compared to what the Capitalists have done.
There's a lake and a river that hold a mythic place in Russian consciousness: Lake Bajkal, associated with escape from Siberian exile; and the Volga, "mother of us all, Russian river".
The Volga has suffered a lot of pollution because it wasn't until recently clear to anyone that even though she's a river, she can't really clean herself because she discharges into the Caspian, a closed environment. They're trying to fix that.
Agree. Bolsheviks we co opted by wall st... read a sutton @ http://reformed-theology.org/jbs/books/insiders/index.html and therefore never evolved into marx's worker's democratic political economy.
When will the divided hoodwinked US unite is the question.
Bolshevism as an extension of an already flawed Marxism was a doomed project from the start, here is a hint, once a "vanguard" obtains power it never relinquishes it. The anarchist Prouhon tried to warn in the 19th century that Marxism is full of toxic authoritarian ideas, but sadly no one in the international was listening.
"Let us seek together, if you will, for the laws of society, the manner in which these laws are manifested, the progress of our efforts to discover them. But for God’s sake, after having demolished all a priori dogmatisms, let us not in turn dream of making our own, of indoctrinating the people. Let us not fall into the same contradiction of your countryman Martin Luther, who, having overturned Catholic theology, immediately set about founding a Protestant theology with excommunications and anathemas. For the last three centuries, Germany has been largely engaged in tearing down all that Luther built. We should not leave humanity with a similar mess as a result of our own efforts. With all my heart, I applaud your idea of bringing all opinions to light; let us show the world an example of learned and insightful tolerance, but since we are in the lead, let us not set ourselves up as leaders of a new intolerance; let us not be the apostles of a new religion, one that makes itself a religion of reason, a religion of logic. We should welcome and encourage all protestations. Let us get rid of all divisiveness, all mysticism. Let us never consider a question exhausted, and when we do get down to our last argument, let’s start again if need be with wit and irony! I will join your organisation on that condition — or else not.
I also want to make a few observations on this phrase in your letter: “At the moment of action.” Perhaps you are still of the mind that no reform is possible with a coup de main, without what we used to call a revolution, and what is in reality nothing but a jolt. That opinion — which I understand, which I excuse, which I would willingly discuss having myself held it for a long time — I must admit to you that my latest studies have made me completely abandon it. We do not need it to succeed, and as a result we do not have to promote revolutionary action as a means to achieve social reform, because that pretended method is only simply a call for force, for arbitrariness — in short, a contradiction. I have set out the problem like this: to bring back to society through an economic combination the wealth that has left society by means of a different economic combination. In other words, via political economy, to turn the theory of property against property in such a way as to bring about what you German socialists call community [communauté] but which I prefer to call freedom or equality. But I believe in a little while I will have the means of solving this problem. I would therefore prefer to burn property slowly with a small fire than to give it new strength by carrying out a Saint Bartholomew’s Night of the Proprietors."
A secular prophecy on how power grabbing violent revolutions with rigid intolerant end badly with a new boss. The best we can do at this point IMO is up the level of protests including general strikes with eeeek scary balack blockers AND small business people and farmer owner operators welcome, and model a new inclusive society with co-ops and farmers markets, CSAs, etc, and use of consensus at demonstrations. Occupy can be a great start IF it doesn't get co-opted by Democrats, authoritarian socialists, or shallow identity politcs mavens who have no social, economic and foreign policy analysis.
"IF it doesn't get co-opted by ....."
I think this is the key problem, because TPTB will not ideally watch their "empire" being stripped by the people. They will try (slowly) to destroy any movement from within. I think it is a must to be on the look out for this. A Cat and Mouse Game.
A good question to ask oneself is HOW the Bolsheviks got their money to organize a revolution. Without money you will get nowhere. Who gave these psychopaths the money ?????
Is this rhetorical based on your reading of sutton? Although I disagree with his analysis (in re: hegelianism to explain financing of opposites to acheive synthesis because we all know that capital is only about profit seeking), he does provide documentary evidence of collusion.
War Films is stating the truth in its manifesto. The Soviet Union is no more, has paid for it's failures and crimes. The Soviet Union was ruling Russia and a lot of other countries when the Germans tried to take over eastern Europe and enslave it's people. The Soviet Union bore the brunt of Nazi Germany's imperialism. But the Soviet Union was to socialism as United States capitalism is to Democracy, a travesty and a lie. War Films is giving truth to the lie of United States capitalism and the myth it has foisted upon us. The lie of the Soviet myth has been ravished, and is now believed by only a few die hard communists. So, tommy, stop trying to raise the specter of Soviet Communism. You are flailing a dead horse. As the manifesto states, the lie of the American myth is still cherished by a majority of the American people. It is time for this lie to go the way of the Soviet myth. The world didn't have room for Soviet communism, and it doesn't have room for an imperialist, capitalist United States.
Yes, absolutely true, "the times really are a changin" :
and fascist amerika has no place in the new compassionate planet. The empire IS done for...all good !
I found the film moving and helpful, but I have to agree with those who want to see a better analysis of the Soviet Union. It's true that it's dead and gone, but we have to have an analysis of that experiment. The SU is largely left alone in this film...we could even conclude that it was a great thing that mysteriously "imploded." We need to do better. If the victims of US imperialism deserve to have voices, so do the victims of the other "superpower." Otherwise, the message of the film lacks human authenticity, integrity and credibility. And we will have lost an opportunity to figure out where to go--and where not to go--in the future.
I am not an apologist for the Soviet Union or for communist socialism. I don't think there are many positive lessons to be learned from communism, even Castro's brand, no matter how much I admire that man. I do think that this short manifesto or history of American capitalism is not the place for an analysis of Soviet Communism. I'm sure that's already been done, or will be in the near future. Meanwhile, there are plenty of more positive brands of socialism to learn from. One thing for sure, we can't afford a continuance of the American Myth or the brand of exploitive capitalism that it fosters and protects.
I've seen this 23 minute masterpiece over and over to catch all the nuances;your explanation is priceless!
"Revolution" does not mean everything is nice and free afterwards. It means the social order has been turned over. Iran had an "Islamic Revolution" in over-throwing the Shah, and that is not about freedom and justice. The so-called "American Revolution" was actually a war of independence, or even a civil war, but it was reactionary, intended to keep things the way the were in the earlier colonial period before King George started asserting authority.
A few brilliant film makers
Bravo and 100 percent correct.
Interesting. I just saw this today on another forum. I was going to recommend it to CD, but someone beat me to it. Excellent video, by the way.
Chilling, but so necessary. I hope millions see this.
Many thanks Class War Films. Good job!
An excellent film, however the blanket condemnation of all who founded this country, who wrote the Constitution, who saw that the Bill of Rights was added, is wrong. The founders, and many eminent people throughout its history warned repeatedly that the republic must be guarded, that wealth and privilege could subvert the nation unless We the People mounted continuous guard over its institutions. Warnings were given over and over by Presidents and statesmen, that allowing wealth and banking to take financial control of the nation would be its downfall as a republic.
We the People, except on rare occasions, let the bankers and the Robber Barons do as they wished. The prophecies and warnings of our founders have come to pass. Not through their desires, but through our neglect.
Can we turn this mess around? Can we regain our nation at this late date? I do not know, but we must try with the same determination that the founders of this nation had, to rid itself of British rule and corporate greed that was causing unrest and greater poverty in England, Europe, Russia, and in the vast colonial empires that they had conquered.
Most of that has collapsed, but the loathsome dragon of unrestrained Capitalization and Greed simply moved to the "New World" and quietly began to build its power here.
The battle remains. The result? Undecided.
Jefferson wrote in his journal that once the war was over and the wealthy no longer needed the rest of us for cannon fodder, they'd start stripping our rights. And we'd let them because all our focus would be on economic survival/getting rich. And the stripping would go on and on until we could no longer ignore what was being done to us, and our rights as citizens "would revive or expire in a convulsion".
In Massachusetts, they didn't even wait til the war was over: they already had it rigged up such that the small farmers and shopkeepers who did all the bleeding were made responsible for most of the dollar cost of the war, too. Paid off for their service in worthless paper funny-money, they found that their taxes had to be paid in gold or silver so that the wealthy wouldn't suffer -- remarkably like the "austerity" schemes today, amazingly enough. Whence the mis-named "Shays's Rebellion" and the creation of the standing army that now sucks up most of our national wealth every year.
One rip off was when the debate came up as to whether to back our "Continental" scrip issued during the war. It was finally decided to redeem the scrip at face value. When the decision was made, certain people "in the know" sent outriders to the small towns and the farming areas, offering to buy "worthless" Continentals at about ten cents on the dollar or less. As the people had pretty well given up on ever getting paid, many took the devaluation and turned over their scrip.
A few days later, it was announced publicly that the scrip would be redeemed in full. Those who had sent their riders out into the country became very wealthy overnight.
Those farmers and merchants who had been paid in scrip to provide for the war and then were conned out of it were left with nothing. When I was a kid, the phrase "Not worth a Continental" was still a synonym for worthless.
This game was played in USSR with a few twists but the idea was the same. "Gosh, you have those few shares of Yukos. Come on, I'll give you 10 rubbles per share." A few years later the shares were worth hundreds of rubbles if not thousands due to devaluation of the rubble and the bringing of the shares on the world market.
Some people out right lost the shares because the company that "managed" them for them disappeared. We can only guess into whose pocket they disappeared.
So true as you say, "We'd let them because our focus would be on economic survivalgetting rich" That's it... so many identify with the rich.... we can't shake them loose.... the rich I mean.... if we could keep the education flowing.... I recently had quite a few articles printed off and a few copies made. When I went to a neighboring school my daughter's basketball team was playing, I strolled through the school and shot a few copies under the doors of 4 class rooms.... climate change, peak oil and one on fractional reserve banking and limits to growth.... someday I'm sure I'll get some feedback on this probably shocking incident in this sleepy town school.
Watch TV but when commercials come on turn on MUTE !!!!
It does not matter what those founders SAID about a banking systemm leading to the financial control of the nation on then its downfall. Again I can quote passages of Eisenhower SAYING things about the MIC yet pointing out his entire presidency was one where that MIC grew and where he supported coups in nations the world over on behalf of those same Corporations.
Eisenhower gave the Ok to the coup in Iran and Coups in Haiti and the Honduras and Guatemala and worked on the behalf of companies like United fruit company to gain control over those nations resources.
I can quote speeches by Barack Obama where he warns of bankers taking over the Economy.
The WORDS are meaningless and are as meaningless as "All men are created equal" as the person who put those words to paper held slaves as his personal property.
All that matters is what those Political leaders did to STOP this. Those prophecies of your founders and their warnings are worth SPIT when they were participants in the crime.
Exactly! No matter how many words are written to excuse our "founding fathers", the fact remains that most of them were property owners, and that property was taken from Native Americans and that property contained slaves. You can talk about the "rights of man" until you are blue in the face, but if you own one slave or have stolen land you are a hypocrite.
Such bitter cynicism serves no one but the masters of empire. It DOES matter what people say who have acknowledged their own complicity and hypocrisy and learned from their mistakes.
Eisenhower was one of several presidents who issued such warnings only as they were leaving office and relieved of the burden of leadership. Similarly, Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler understood his role as a "gangster for capitalism" only after completing a lifetime career in the military. Jefferson knew his own hypocrisy about slave-holding, but honestly believed in the principles he enshrined in the Declaration.
Who among us is so ideologically pure in our lives that we can cast aspersions on those who, after learning vital lessons, warned us to not make the same mistakes? Precious few of us today possess the greatness of character that Paine, Jefferson, Madison and many subsequent leaders demonstrated.
And Bill Clinton said he made a mistake in Haiti. What good does that apology do for the people of Haiti?
I do not buy it. It all too easy to utter mea culpas after the harm done . In fact this is a TOOL for the Established powers to stay in power.
People buy into the myth they had good intentions all along but it just turned out wrong.
Yes there are examples of people that truly having an epiphany, but I measure those persons are far more then just the words they utter.
I think you have right there, in part. The only problem is trying to guess which part is as you say.
Clinton is no Jefferson or Smedley. Opportunist to the end, just look at his wife.
Clinton learned from Reagan. Reagan said "I take full responsibility", but it was meaningless, just empty words without substance. Clinton said "I feel your pain", and "I made a mistake" and they were lies of that same kind: empty, meaningless words, no substance at all.
Very well said!
Capitalism, the free market unregulated, war for profit, the republican war against the American working class, elderly and poor.
This is way beyond party. Don't you yet get that? Are you blind? It is a Democratic President that has attacked the working class, the elderly, and the poor, by ensuring cuts in the New Deal programs, while ensuring that the Pentagon will still maintain ridiculous 600 billion dollar budgets, not even counting spending on past wars.
The few Democrats that might nod their heads while watching this, are absolutely invisible to the power structure that dominates both parties in this country. Those powers have won, and are in complete control, and the Democratic Party is, if anything, more responsible for that situation. Barack Obama has killed whatever tiny bit of progressivism still existed in the Democratic Party.
"the republican war against the American working class, elderly and poor."
Didn't you mean to say "the Republican and Democratic Parties' war against the American working class, elderly and poor?" Did you forget that Obama is gutting Social Security? Did you forget that Obama is murdering brown people on the other side of the world for oil company profits? Did you forget that under Obama none of the financial criminals of Wall Street are doing any prison time, and in fact are once again being bailed out by the taxpayers whose money they will use to pay their $25 billion dollar penalty for a financial fraud totalling in the trillions? Shall I go on?
No need to go on, I get fox news on my TV too.
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