WATCH: The War on Journalism: The Case of Julian Assange A new documentary by Juan Passarelli can be seen here on Consortium News, followed by a panel discussion with Passarelli, director Ken Loach and filmmaker Suzie Gilbert. Source: Consortium News Journalists are under attack globally for doing their jobs. Julian Assange is facing a 175 year […]Saturday Matinee: The War on Journalism: The Case of Julian Assange — Desultory Heroics
‘(The Oriental spirit) remains impoverished, arid, and just a matter for the understanding. For this reason we find, on the part of Orientals, only reflections, only arid understanding, a completely external enumeration of elements, something utterly deplorable, empty, pedantic, and devoid of spirit, an elaboration of logic similar to the old Wolffian logic. It is the same with Oriental ceremonies.
This is the general character of Oriental religious representations and philosophy. There is, as in their cultus, on the one hand an immersion in devotion, in substance, and so the pedantic detail of the cultus – a vast array of the most tasteless ceremonies and religious activities – and on the other hand, the sublimity and boundlessness in which everything perishes.
There are two Oriental peoples whom I wish to mention, the Chinese and the Indians.’
G.W.F.Hegel, Lectures on the History of Philosophy 1825-6 Volume I: Introduction and Oriental Philosophy, Together With the Introductions from the Other Series of These Lectures, Trans. Robert F. Brown and J.M. Stewart, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 2009, 106
By Caitlin Johnstone Source: CaitlinJohnstone.com There has been a military coup in Bolivia backed by violent right-wing rioters and the US government, but you’d hardly know this from any of the mainstream media headlines. “Bolivian President Evo Morales steps down following accusations of election fraud” proclaims CNN. “Bolivia’s Morales resigns amid scathing election report, rising […]
I highly recommend John Pilger’s film ‘The Coming War on China’. The experimentation by the US capitalist class on the Marshall Islanders, initiated by the former’s atomic tests between 1946 and 1958 on Bikini Atoll and the mockery, documented in the film, they made of the Islanders’ suffering, as with the same experimentation the US capitalist class made on the Japanese they bombed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, itself makes the greatest mockery of the unjustified posturing and war crime charges against Bashar al-Assad by their agents and other representatives of Western capital regarding the recent gassing in Syria.
A criticism of Pilger’s documentary: he fails to address (as pointed out by one of his interviewees) the incompatibility and contradiction between the economic and political structures of China and the capitalist West. In particular, the economic (and hence, political) developments within China (of necessity) are and will be the voice of the future while the economic and political structures of the capitalist West, in the violent process of capitalism’s passing, as did feudalism, of the past.
I listened to your interview of the professor from Defence Studies at the ANU with regard to China.
I wonder if he referred to the many pigs at the trough (the most responsible, unpunished) when the latest crisis of capitalist dynamics – the ‘GFC’ (which came within an ace of bringing down capitalism and has not gone away) broke out? I strongly doubt it.
The Chinese are way ahead of the West for three reasons:
> they have had their socialist revolution which the Western nations are yet to have – for the fundamental reason not that I wish it or to provoke your guest but as Marx identified (I am not a Marxist) – that of the level of development of the productive forces, the uncontrolled ramifications of which can be seen everywhere in the West
> they have the potential of the one-party state (cf. the obligatory myopic street-theatre of Republican/Democrat, Liberal/Labor etc.) which, since Deng Xiaoping, has shown a crucial capacity to release the engine of reward for individual initiative within a socialist framework – something the Soviet Communist Party was never able to do (Lenin first unsuccessfully attempted this with his NEP in 1921)
> bearing on this is the consequential rapid rise into the middle class of hundreds of millions of Chinese – a class historically associated with ‘democracy’ – i.e. ‘a voice’ and power. There will be an increasing tension between the Chinese one-party state and their rising middle-class and I think that the Chinese will continue to successfully address this and other matters and lead the world with forms of political and economic organisation that will be models for it.
Worth considering are Engels’ words from a letter to America in 1894:
‘The war in China has given the death-blow to the old China. Isolation has become impossible; the introduction of railways, steam-engines, electricity, and modern large-scale industry has become a necessity, if only for reasons of military defence. But with it the old economic system of small peasant agriculture, where the family also made its industrial products itself, falls to pieces too, and with it the whole old social system which made relatively dense population possible. Millions will be turned out and forced to emigrate; and these millions will find their way even to Europe, and en masse. But as soon as Chinese competition sets in on a mass scale, it will rapidly bring things to a head in your country and over here, and thus the conquest of China by capitalism will at the same time furnish the impulse for the overthrow of capitalism in Europe and America…’
ABC Radio National/Late Night Live 25.08.15/China crash
SHANE MCLEOD: China’s role in Australia’s economy continues to grow – it’s now our biggest trading partner and vies with Japan as our biggest export destination.
But there are some who believe that China’s growing economic power will bring with it rising military power and conflict with the West.
That’s the theory of Professor John Mearsheimer from the University of Chicago.
He says China will want to become the region’s dominant power and it won’t want to have the United States continuing to play a role in military defence in the region in countries like Japan and South Korea.
Professor Mearsheimer is in Australia this week as a guest of the University of Sydney, and in coming days he’ll be giving a lecture about China’s rise.
I caught up with him earlier today and asked him why he thinks that rise won’t be peaceful.
JOHN MEARSHEIMER: Well, I think that as China gets economically more powerful than it is today, it will translate that economic might into military might and it will try to dominate the Asia Pacific region just the way the United States dominates the western hemisphere.
Great powers like to be all powerful in their own neighbourhood. They don’t like neighbours that can threaten them and they don’t like distant great powers coming into their backyard just the way the United States has this Monroe-doctrine which effectively tells the European and Asian great powers to stay out of the western hemisphere.
I believe that as China gets more powerful it will do everything it can to push the United States away from its borders and ultimately out of the Asia Pacific region.
SHANE MCLEOD: Is there not a benefit for China though in the status quo as it currently stands? That the US is a major balancing power, it is a defence ally of countries like Japan, South Korea that could be potential threats to Chinese power in the region. Isn’t there a benefit for China in keeping the US involved?
JOHN MEARSHEIMER: Well, I don’t think that the Chinese is to get more powerful and even now view the United States as quite the benevolent force that you describe them to be. (sic) We have just had a controversy where the United States and the South Koreans decided that they were going to run naval exercises in the Yellow Sea to protest North Korean sinking of a South Korean ship.
This made the Chinese very upset because they view the American navy as threatening just as the United States would view a Chinese navy or a German navy or a Soviet navy on its doorstep as threatening.
So from a Chinese point of view, the best of all possible worlds would to have the Americans far away and for China, not the United States to provide the stabilising factor in the region.
SHANE MCLEOD: But if you take say the United States out of Japan then you have a country that has a constitution imposed by the US after World War II limiting its defence build up, its defence capability. Wouldn’t a country like Japan for example, in a region without the United States there ramp up its own capabilities?
It wouldn’t take much for Japan to become a nuclear power for example.
JOHN MEARSHEIMER: I think that is true but if you look at the balance of power over time between China and Japan, the gap which is now quite large is going to increase significantly, in large part for demographic reasons.
Japan has the most rapidly aging population in the world. It is going to get smaller and weaker over time.
China is going to get more powerful over time. In an ideal situation from China’s point of view is one where the power gap between it and Japan is large and China has the ability to dominate Japan because that is the best way to ensure your security in a dangerous world.
SHANE MCLEOD: Does this happen by force or could China become the regional power through soft power, through coercion by showing itself to be the leader in the region? Would it be such a problem for countries like Japan, Korea, Vietnam, to look to China as the natural power in the region?
JOHN MEARSHEIMER: I think one can make an argument that China, if it continues to grow at the spectacular pace that it has been growing at over the past 30 years for the next 30 years then it will become so big and so powerful that it won’t have to even countenance using force to dominate the region.
It will just be so powerful that countries like South Korea and Japan will have no choice but to in effect dance to China’s tune. But there is a serious possibility along the way of conflict.
If you read the Australian White Paper from last year, it is quite clear from that White Paper that the Australian Government is nervous about the possibility and I want to underline the word possibility of conflict between China and other powers in the region as China continues to rise.
SHANE MCLEOD: How do you see Australia’s role evolving in the region alongside a powerful China and what about the relationship with Australia’s traditional allies, the United States?
JOHN MEARSHEIMER: Well, I think that as China continues to rise that a balancing coalition will form in this region. It will be aimed at containing China much the way we had balancing coalitions in Europe and Asia during the Cold War.
SHANE MCLEOD: They could never say that though could they?
JOHN MEARSHEIMER: No, no it is very hard to say that but I think behind closed doors that is how people are talking and I think that you see all sorts of evidence that the balancing coalition is beginning to form.
If you look at the close relations that now exist between India and the United States, if you look at relations between Vietnam and the United States, Singapore’s approach to dealing with the United States these days.
It is just all sorts of evidence that countries in the region are worried about China as is the United States and this will cause them to eventually come together and form a balancing coalition and I would be shocked if Australia is not part of that balancing coalition as it was part of the balancing coalition against Japan in the 1940s.
SHANE MCLEOD: You made reference to it but the economic ties, will they have a calming effect do you think? If countries in this region like Australia are so strongly tied to China economically, will that offset the potential tensions in the strategic relationship?
JOHN MEARSHEIMER: Well, first of all it is possible that those economic ties could cause trouble. If you had a serious recession or a depression, it could be the case that those ties didn’t work to cause peace – they in fact work to cause conflict between the relevant powers. So economic ties don’t always produce peaceful outcomes.
But let’s assume that they do. The historical record shows very clearly that before World War I, you had economic ties in Europe that should have produced peace yet you had World War I so I don’t think it is impossible that in a world where you have a great deal of economic interdependence and where all the players are doing quite well economically, to still have a conflict between the opposing powers and that is a large part because when push comes to shove, politics dominates economics.
SHANE MCLEOD: That is Professor John Mearsheimer from the University of Chicago and there will be a longer version of that interview available on our website later today.
ABC Radio National/The World Today/02.08.10
Although John Pilger and Julian Assange lack class analysis they are two fine Australians. No aping of the US accent here, no Texan pronunciation of ‘Iraq’ nor beginning every response with ‘So…’.
Principles and no servility, unlike that of their culture and government which can’t wait to abandon Assange to the enraged US capitalist class and their agents (that the ‘Christian’ Prime Minister Morrison said that Assange ‘won’t get any special treatment’ by the Australian government to represent him is an early indicator), just as they did Mamdouh Habib and the token white Taliban David Hicks, even while every other country, including Britain, was demanding the return of their citizens from Guantanamo Bay).
I highly recommend this video.
Watch developments as the Australian government (either Liberal or Labor – note the American spelling – post the upcoming federal election), so big and tough in relation to China (but not too much – as ex-PM Abbott said, ‘fear and greed’ are the drivers in Australia’s myopic relations with China), abandons a fine Australian to his fate.
The Australian media is currently awash with yet another story on those wily, dangerous Chinese (ring any historical bells?) – more likely than not, fronts for their wily, dangerous (to capitalism, that is) Communist Party. Simply say ‘Beijing’ and we’ve got the terrifying picture. An example:
Nick McKenzie and Chris Uhlmann, ’Canberra strands Beijing’s man offshore, denies passport’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 05.02.19
‘Billionaire political donor and Beijing’s former top lobbyist in Australia, Huang Xiangmo, has been stranded overseas after Australian officials declared him unfit to hold an Australian passport and cancelled his permanent residency.
The Age and Sydney Morning Herald have confirmed Mr Huang is fighting to return to his $13 million Sydney mansion after being notified by Australian officials while out of the country that his long-stalled application to become an Australian citizen has been turned down.
The decision is the first enforcement action to be made by Canberra against a suspected Chinese Communist Party influence agent after the Coalition launched a counter-interference campaign against Beijing in 2018.
The blocking of Mr Huang’s citizenship raises questions about whether Labor and the Coalition should return the almost $2.7 million he has made in political donations over five years. …’
Yet in 1967 there was a ceremony at which the then U.S. ambassador Ed Clark symbolically and laughingly gave the then Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt one peppercorn as payment for one year’s rent for what was to become the major U.S. spy base North West Cape in Western Australia (the footage has been removed from youtube) with the words ‘Here then, Mr Prime Minister, I want to present you with one peppercorn payment in full for the first year’s rent.’ Holt stood there grinning like the idiot he was.
Holt had said in 1966 that Australia would go ‘all the way with LBJ’ [then U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson]. 521 Australians lost their lives and 3,000 were wounded in the Vietnam War.
On the 2nd of February 1848, less than two weeks after the discovery of gold in California, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed, which secured peace at the end of the two-year American-Mexican War. This was important for the United States, which obtained several bordering states and, essentially, the ownership of California. The latter was […]
First there were the gold rushes in the U.S. and Australia (where the Chinese were also victimised for basically the same reasons as in the U.S.), now there’s Huawei. You can see what this is developing into and what may be the ideological basis for the next big war – lovers of ‘freedom’ (the freedom to consume) and ‘democracy’ (if anything threatened change, it wouldn’t be allowed) versus a ‘Communist surveillance state’, just as an earlier generation fought for ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ against a Nazi fascist state (Trotsky correctly described fascism as capitalism in extremis, capitalism without pretence).
Where world wars I and II reflected the dynamics of capitalism, the next (at least possible) big war will be between the proponents and dupes of capitalism fighting the inevitable rise of socialism.
Just as it was necessary that capitalism rose from feudalism, so it will be necessary that socialism continues to rise from capitalism – not because I subscribe to socialism, but because matter (objective reality) has precedence over consciousness. The professors who teach Marx know this but then behave as though this knowledge had never penetrated their deeply furrowed brows.
In society, the basis for development is ultimately the level of development of the productive forces.
A review of David Ray Griffin’s “The American Trajectory: Divine or Demonic?” By Edward Curtin Source: Intrepid Report The past is not dead; it is people who are sleeping. The current night and daymares that we are having arise out of murders lodged deep in our past that have continued into the present. No amount […]
An excellent article which I will share on my blog. My criticism of it is the use of the term ‘demonic’ which I think excessively colours the article’s presentation of facts – they speak best when allowed to do so for themselves – and blurs the nature of what has always been done till now (the brutality employed only limited by the degree of technological development) in the rise and maintenance of empire and global domination.