Friday, March 21st, 2014
Ukraine as Stalking Horse: The Rise of Fascism in the West
Norman Pollack – 21 March, 2014 – The 4th Media
Fascism dribbles off the tongue too easily, yet it is possible to wrap one’s arms around the concept and practice with, allowing for historical variations, some degree of precision. Hitler’s Germany may be the gold standard by which to measure all else, but even there correction can be made for both underlying structural features and ideological themes applied to other and different settings.
By that I mean, e.g., functional equivalents of Nazi societal organization, if you will, foundations or perhaps sub-foundations of the social order and political culture.
If we return to Franz Neumann’s Behemoth, the now-neglected classic on the subject and Robert A. Brady’s Spirit and Structure of German Fascism, also near-forgotten, focused on the ideology of business organization, we can say that the primal factor in fascism’s internal composition is capitalism, not your everyday Smithian variety happily ensconced in Econ. 101 textbooks, but the real thing at an advanced form of development: monopolization, greater cohesion through trade associations, neutralization of labor as a collective-bargaining social force, above all, an hierarchical class system with commanding decisions at the top then filtered down through gradations of rank, integrated with and complemented by the political-structural framework of business-government interpenetration.
This paradigm of centralized power embedded in the synthesis of corporatism and the State, the latter, itself the more powerful the better, in order to serve and protect the business system, its dominance over labor, its penetration of foreign markets, its further concentration through preventing internecine competition, is equally characteristic of 1930s Germany (already mostly evident under Weimar) and the US beginning in earnest still earlier but perhaps taking more protracted form.
Diagrammatically, we are, circa 2014, more than superseding that German stage, our “cartels” disguised by other names, our rate of concentration the apogee of capitalist inner logic. From here it is readily apparent the appetitive and combative nature of capitalism, egged on or reinforced by the Statist dimension: America’s version of globalization to a tee.
This underpinning, not the concentration camp or gas chamber, establishes the bedrock on which the fascist edifice rests, makes them possible, embodied in militaristic aggression in Germany, but, for the US, and as Barrington Moore pointed out, in Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy, for Japan as well, what is critical to fascism is not only business-government interpenetration (Masao Maruyama years ago termed this, for Japan, the “close-embrace” system), but also the regimentation of the people, glimpses of which appear in the NSA wholesale surveillance of the public, and a prepackaged ideology of permanent-war readiness buttressed by a saturated climate of counterterrorism.
I think you get the picture. America is not all Innocence and Milk-and-Honey, the hegemonic demiurge in full throttle under Obama, now poised for the much anticipated (and, I believe, welcomed) conflict with Russia, having carefully arranged the chess board, the rooks, IMF and NATO, the queen, all-purpose privatization, the pawns, “friends and allies” persuaded to do America’s bidding, finally, the king, not the innocuous piece, nor here, a single individual, but Obama’s collective national-security advisors, taking in CIA, NSA, Pentagon officials, even then, the tip of the iceberg of war-making, war-striving apparatus, Washington up to its neck from every quarter, bipartisan all the way, in sharpening the killer instinct.
Kerry and Biden are the cheerleaders for imperialism and, increasingly, militarism, for they, and Obama, recognize the two are inseparable, to which they seem especially dedicated. Ukraine has found its soul mates. …more
“American geo-strategic planners are fond of the chess game analogy, as articulated foremost by former National Security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski. In the wake of the resounding vote for Crimean unification with Russia at the weekend, it may be said that this move by the Crimean electorate declares a «check» on Washington’s machinations in the Ukraine…”
Crimean ‘Check’ on Western Machinations in Ukraine
18 March, 2014 – nsnbc – Finian Cunningham
A reading of reactions from officials in Washington and their allies in Europe indicates that the game was not meant to turn out this way. When the US and the EU started to ramp up destabilization of the Ukraine at the end of November, things seemed to go to plan. A concerted campaign of political interference from Western capitals, massive Western media distortion and the covert sponsoring of violence in the capital, Kiev, created unbearable pressure on the incumbent government of president Viktor Yanukovych.
With Western-backed covert terrorism claiming up to 100 deaths among protesters and police, as well as hundreds injured, and with anarchy descending on government buildings, the elected authorities capitulated on February 22. The unelected regime that came to power in Kiev, led by self-styled prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, has quickly moved to implement the regime-change agenda of Washington and its European allies. Financial, trade and military pacts are already being drawn up with Washington, Brussels and NATO.
So far, so good, it seemed, from the Western point of view. The ultimate geopolitical prize from regime change in Ukraine, as set out by Brzezinski and other US planners, is to roll back Russia’s presence in a vital sphere of influence. In this calculus, plucking Ukraine into the Western/NATO orbit would weaken Russia, politically, economically and militarily. This tactic has already succeeded with Western incorporation of the Baltic states, in addition to Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, parts of the Balkans and Georgia on Russia’s southern flank. But Ukraine represents a quantum leap towards corralling Russia. It would allow the ever-closer installation of US missiles on Russia’s borders, making an American first-strike offence a greater enfeebling threat to Moscow. A pro-Western regime in Ukraine would also mean the end of Russia’s naval presence at Sevastopol on the Black Sea, which would in turn undermine Russian energy interests in the Caspian region and with regard to the lucrative European market.
But then came the surprise counter-move. Russia increased its military security on Ukraine’s southern Crimean Peninsula within days of the Western-backed coup d’état in Kiev. This gave a political space for the autonomous republic to assert its pro-Russian loyalty without the threat of intimidation from the Kiev junta and its fascist paramilitaries. Given the limited transport access to the Crimea from the Ukrainian mainland, Russian defenses were able to seal off the peninsula from the intrusion of neo-Nazi shock troops that had ushered in the regime in Kiev and who have since gone on to threaten other cities in the East of Ukraine. Several people have been killed in clashes in the cities of Donetz and Kharkiv where the neo-Nazi Svoboda cadres have attacked pro-Russian rallies. There are also reports of Western-backed mercenary gunmen operating in the Eastern cities, while, ironically, Kiev and its Western sponsors accuse Moscow of deploying agent provocateurs and of overseeing the election in Crimea under armed threat. …more
Western Media is a Propaganda Arm of the State
by Finian Cunningham – Veterans News Now
Western news media have long functioned as a propaganda arm of the state, concealing elite corruption at the heart of government: the collusion between corporate, financial and ruling power and the deeply anti-democratic nature of that power. Despite the formality of recurring elections and parliamentary style appearance, Western states are in the nuts-and-bolts of working power more accurately described as fascist corporate entities with a patina of popular democracy for window-dressing.
Wall Street BailoutLook at the global financial collapse that was triggered in 2008. From the US to Europe, the crisis can be attributed to the criminal practices of major banks and other financial institutions operating casino capitalism – the last refuge of bankrupt capitalism as an organizing social system. Yet far from being pursued with prosecutions, the financial oligarchy has been bailed out time and again by their bought-and-paid political rulers to the tune of trillions of dollars with public money, while the public is clobbered with swingeing austerity and poverty. How can we describe this arrangement as anything but fascism – the inexorable endpoint of capitalism?
In this audacious, gargantuan expropriation of wealth by the financial oligarchy in cahoots with the political class – all across the Western world – where is the critical, campaigning, investigative functions of the supposed «free press» – the much-vaunted «fourth estate» which conceitedly refers to the media acting as a guardian of public interest and democratic rights? It does not exist. The Western media are an integral part of the fascist plutocracy.
The established media have thus acted as a vital propaganda arm of the fascist state by concealing or diverting from what is a huge systematic crime of corporate theft and public immiseration.
Of much more damning importance is the question of war. The wholesale mass murder of people and destruction of countries – without even a modicum of justification on the principle of self-defense – is the supreme crime. This crime of war of aggression was established at the post-1945 Nuremberg Trials of Nazi German leaders.
The American-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, beginning in 2001 and 2003, which together have resulted in more than one million dead and millions more wounded, their livelihoods destroyed, are episodes that clearly conform to the category of «wars of aggression». The official justifications used by American and British leaders to instigate these wars – eradicating global terrorism and weapons of mass destruction – have transpired to be baseless, or at the very least cry out for proper investigation. More than this, there are serious grounds to support a prosecution case that these wars were based on deliberate fabrication and lies. …more