“Peter Kropotkin”: :

bq. Russian has shown us the way in which Socialism cannot be realized…The idea of workers’ councils for the control of the political and economic life of the country is, in itself, of extraordinary importance…but so long as the country is dominated by the dictatorship of a party, the workers’ and peasants’ councils naturally lose their significance. They are degraded to the same passive role which the representatives of the Estates used to play in the time of the absolute Monarchy.

“Rudolf Rocker”: :

bq. the dictatorship of the proletariat paved the way not for a socialist society but for the most primitive type of bureaucratic state capitalism and a reversion to political absolutism which was long ago abolished in most countries by bourgeois revolutions.

via “American Power: and the new mandarins” by Noam Chomsky

30 April 1975

On that day, Vietnam was united; the “Vietnam War”: finally ended with over 1.4 million military personnel were killed in the war (only 6 percent were members of the United States armed forces), while estimates of civilian fatalities range up to 2 million.

Political rights

bq. Political rights do not originate in parliaments; they are rather forced upon them from without. And even their enactment into law has for a long time been no guarantee of their security. They do not exist because they have been legally set down on a piece of paper, but only when they have become a ingrown habit of a people, and when any attempt to impair them will meet with the violent resistance of the populace. Where this is not the case, there is no help in any parliamentary opposition or any Platonic appeals to the constitution. One compels respect from others when one knows how to defend one’s dignity as a human being. This is not only true in private life; it has always been the same in political life as well.

“Rudolf Rocker”:

However, it takes a long time for a populace to embraces an idea and internalize it. The establishment is not interested in educating its people about their rights; especially when these rights are against the establishment’s interests. In history, changes only came after some catastrophes happened, partly because the populace did not realized their rights. For example, the Vietnamese during French colonization had to fight with both feudalism and colonialism; yet many Vietnamese at the time still believed that feudalism is a legitimate form of government. As in our modern ages, Internet offers a better way to spread ideas and educate people of their rights. Internet is also a best way to mobilize grass roots movements as seen in Ron Paul presidential campaign.

Reading List: Animal Farm

“Animal Farm”: by George Orwell.

A beautiful written book, George Orwell is considered one of the best political authors. He wrote about politics without losing the beauty of literature. Before reading, I thought this book was written like a children book similarly to the Little Prince, but it is not. I wonder who is the George Orwell of the current age?

Reading List: Palestine Peace not Apartheid

“Palestine Peace Not Apartheid by Jimmy Carter”:

Cater is considered one of most dove figures in US politics. In this book, he criticized Israel’s policy as the main obstacle to the peace in Middle East. The book spelled out many Israel’s crime toward Palestinians, those facts are not normally reported in mainstream media. However, as a regular reader of Noam Chomsky’s work, I would urge you not to fall for all the things Carter said in the book.

IMHO, Carter has a bias against Palestinians, even though in a subtle form of wording. For example, in many places in the book, he often expressed the conflict as “” Israel responded the the violence committed by Palestinians” but not the other way around. Or “Palestinians provoked Israeli response”. He also omitted many inconvenience truths. He did not project a correct picture of the important role US has in the region. US has a lot of influence on Israel policy, however in the book, Cater gave an impression that US gov could not do anything (at least under his president term) but try to convince Israel on certain issues.

Btw, Carter is not really a dove as mainstream media suggested, Having said all these, the book still spoke a lot of truths. I just want you not to take his words for granted but try to learn about this complex matter from many different point of views.

Updated: (from “Link”:

AMY GOODMAN: Do you think it’s changing, for example, with Carter’s book coming out?

NOAM CHOMSKY: I think it’s one of the signs of change and there are many others. Or is it just a change mood in the country, I mean, anybody who’s been giving talks about this just knows it from personal experience. I mean not very long ago, if I was giving a talk on the Middle East, I mean, even at MIT, there would be armed police present, or at least undercover police to prevent violence, disruption, breakup of meetings and so on. That’s a thing of the past. By now it’s much easier to talk about this. Actually, Carter’s book is quite interesting. Carter’s book was essentially repeating what is known around the world.

AMY GOODMAN: Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.

NOAM CHOMSKY: Yeah. He — there were a couple of errors in the book, they were ignored. The only serious error in the book, which a fact checker should have picked up, is that Carter accepted a kind of party line on the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. Israel invaded Lebanon and killed maybe 15,000-20,000 people and destroyed much of southern Lebanon. They were able to do it because the Reagan administration vetoed Security Council resolutions and supported them and so on.

The claim here, you know, you read Thomas Freedman or someone, is that Israel invaded in response to shelling of the Galilee from — by Palestinians, Palestinian terror attacks and Carter repeats that, it is not true. There was the border, there was a cease-fire, the Palestinians observed it despite regular Israeli attempts, something as heavy bombing and others to elicit some response that would be a pretext to the planned invasion. When there was no pretext, they invaded anyway. That’s the only serious error in the book, ignored. There are some very valuable things in the book, also ignored. One of them, perhaps the most important is that Carter is the first, I think, in the main stream in the United States to report what was known in dissident circles and talked about, namely that the famous road map, which the quartet suggested as steps towards settlement of the problem, the road map was instantly rejected by Israel.

Wealth Creates Poverty?

Globalization is an attempt to extend corporate monopoly control over the whole globe. Over every national economy. Over every local economy Over every life.


HARDtalk by Tim Sebastian

I used to watch HARDtalk often back when it hosted by “Tim Sebastian”: . He was far better than the current host “Stephen Sackur”: . Tim could be annoying for his pushy style which might not truly give a fair ground to answer complicated questions. However, his guests were all smart(tricky) politicians, so in some ways he needed to be that way. Above all, he demonstrated that he understood the interview subject very well, and asked intelligent questions (read: not too mainstream propaganda). Also, Tim has the personal charm for political debates.

Stephen, in some recent talks I watched, were simply could not counter the arguments of his guests. I felt he did not have much actual facts to back up his questions, and in many ways he framed the topic in discussed under the mainstream Western media thoughts which are obviously biased to those understand the topic. That could be the reason his guests could easily defend the supposedly-tough-questions.

Gulf of Tonkin

History repeats itself.

“Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.”—George Santayana

“If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.” —George Bernard Shaw

Obama’s victory speech

Obama is definitely a very good orator, an important quality for a politician. However, judging him from the policy point of view, he is no less B.S. than others. Only “Ron Paul”: seems to me speak the truth, for example, on the Iraq War.

Reading List: A Bright Shining Lie

“A Bright Shining Lie”: by Neil Sheehan.

This is one of classic books about Vietnam War. Solid research, detailed analysis. I read it some time ago and it was a huge book, hence I could not really give a detailed review. However, you can read some of the comments in Amazon page, they are good. The book is excellent, however it is too long.

I think the book gave quite a good understanding about military aspect of the war. It also gave a lot of information about the political situation, yet this is a complex war, keep in mind that this is just one point of view. The author talked very little about the North Vietnam and National Liberal Front (NLF). Without understanding two sides, it is hard to get a “overview” of the war.