Friday, March 25, 2016

France: riots against retrograde labor reform

Barricade in Nantes (Público)
It seems that the psychological effect of engineered terror attacks is rapidly declining. People are already back to business and business in Europe means class war.

The retrograde French labor reform that aims to put an end to the 35 hours week and destroy employment guarantees, has been challenged in several cities, notably Paris, Rouen and Nantes, with large demos and riots.

Police has reacted violently, with at least 40 people arrested already and denounces of many incidents of brutality. Notably this case went viral (video):

In the first seconds of the Euronews video we can see a gendarme gratuitously punching an arrestee who could barely stand (after presumable previous beatings, not recorded).

Update: info in French from the popular side.

Let's not fall to the official deceit on Islamist terror, please

The DAESH attacks in Paris and Brussels should be a total political scandal, because it is obvious to those who dare to scratch the surface that they are under the command of those who rule NATO, EU and their member states. The exact details may be murky but overally it is clear that we are under attack by our own rulers. 

Sadly enough, almost nobody seems willing to hang the bell from the cat's neck but rather feel more comfortable ranting inside the official discourse, regardless of the exact details of their empty discourses. 

Let's get specific. For example, Toni Cartalucci explains at Global Research:

All of the suspects have been under the nose, on the radar, and in the prisons of Western security agencies on and off for years, yet were still able to carry out at least one high profile terrorist attack – possibly two, and with the vast majority of the suspects involved having traveled to Syria to fight alongside ISIS before inexplicably being allowed to re-enter Europe and rejoin society without consequence – as if inviting them to take their extremism to the next level.

Let's not forget that the supply lines of DAESH are controlled by NATO, specifically Turkey, whose Hitler-loving President Erdogan even dared to predict an attack in Brussels just a few days ago (astonishing "coincidence").

Even the official channels of DAESH in the Internet are apparently run by NATO and allies. Specifically the Twitter accounts of DAESH propaganda have been tracked via IP to the British Department of Work and Pensions. This ministry has rejected any responsibility claiming that they sold a large bloc of IP addresses to two Saudi firms, Saudi Telecom and Mobile Telecommunications Company, but it does not matter the least because Saudi Arabia is a very close ally of NATO (and of DAESH, Al Qaeda, etc.) and it is ridiculous to think that they would operate without Royal Saudi and NATO/Pentagon consent.

Another specific, already mentioned in this blog, is the implication of a French agent, former security chief of the fascist party National Front and akin to super-judge Marine Le Vert, Claude Hermant, in the sale of weapons to the DAESH cells that attacked Paris. Luckily for us Europeans, there are honest provincial judges who dare to investigate these matters, because all the anti-terrorist apparatus of Europe would not.

There are many more specifics but in many cases we would be going back to the origins of DAESH, a schism of Al Qaeda/Al Nusra, and its financing and even training by the USA and allies. But this is something they even dare to admit, as they do regarding the CIA training and equipment of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. They just pretend that the experiment went wrong at some point, that the Islamists have the tendency to bite the hand that feeds them. However nothing suggests, beyond mere words, that anything has changed at all. Obviously Turkey would not be supplying DAESH and buying their illegal oil if NATO was truly at war with DAESH, or, if they did, they would face the rage of the White House, which has the resources to put Turkey back in line easily. Nope. 

The reality is that DAESH, like Al Qaeda before, is nothing but a useful puppet, a convenient fake "enemy" under control in two ways: first, the direct operative control of the Western and allied secret services and, second, the effective control that prevents them from going rogue: that Islamism is a ghetto ideology that can never spread outside very specific cultural groups (unlike what may happen with Communism, a truly universal and genuinely antagonistic ideology) and that every single reactionary ideas recycled from the feudal period are expendable and can't last for long for intrinsic reasons of inviability. 

In fact this recycling of ideas from the Ancien Régime is typical of fascism and conservatism, but their practical function is only to serve as pretext to more practical goals: repression, imperialism and exploitation. In this case it is not even "Muslim" imperialism to what Islamism (at least the Sunni version of it, under tight Saudi control) serves to, it serves only to the imperialism of the West, largely against "Muslim" nations themselves. For example DAESH has been used to threaten key states like Indonesia or Nigeria against their drift towards more independent stances that may favor China and harm US/Western imperialism. 

But, beyond being a pretext for imperialist intervention or a tool in the Cold War II, islamo-fascist terrorism serves another key purpose inside the West: to sow fear that serves to justify repression and a drift towards a quasi-fascist political system, towards a totalitarian police state. Fortunately Europeans are showing to be less gullible in this aspect than their North American "friends" and attempts to enshrine a permanent state of emergency, as already happens in the USA, are being stopped. However that is the agenda of the NATO Empire and its key oligarchic shadow leaders: to consolidate itself as true formal and authoritarian empire, Roman style, and therefore it is likely that we will suffer more attacks until we either break free from NATO and Capitalism or we bow to the designs or the dark "masters of the universe", whose only real power is the control of token money (i.e. nothing too real, nothing that cannot be destroyed by democratic legislative action, because only law backs, or not, the dark magic of money).

I want to close this entry to an appeal to the real left: comrades, please, stop being so gullible and "good-ist", no real leftist, progressive, socialist alternative can be construed on the acceptation of the falsehoods of the official discourse. I know that it is not easy to challenge the mainstream discourse, built mostly by the bourgeois media at the service of their wealthy masters, but nothing is easy in the class war, so please, do your homework, document the many many inconsistencies in that official discourse and denounce them with all the loudspeaker power you can muster. What else?!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Islamist terror: nobody points to the culprits

First of all my condolences and solidarity with the victims of the Brussels attacks. Nobody surely deserves that but much less random civilians. 

But then I must say that, when Hollande and others talk of "war", they are not declaring "war" to the perpetrators but to the victims. Because the only victim of the police state is the common citizen, just as the victims of the terror attacks: the police state, the emergency laws are not any solution but exactly what the terrorist bosses intend. 

Even more bewildering is that nobody is declaring sanctions, war or whatever other punitive measure against those states who support DAESH. Turkey and Saudi Arabia are the most prominent and unrepentant ones, with lots of evidence pointing to them in spite of the discourse: the DAESH could not exist without them: Turkey controls its supplies routes but only feigns to "attack" DAESH as a pretext to murder Kurds, Saudi Arabia is not only the main human source of the terror group but also the principal financier and has been moving many of them between Syria/Iraq and Yemen, according to their priorities. Saudi Arabia has been in fact for four decades already behind Sunni Islamist terror worldwide, initially (1980s) in Afghanistan and Algeria primarily but then worldwide. Of course neither of these two could have ever done anything without the support of the United States and its local colony: Israel. While Israel has hidden better its own trail, the USA is well known to have created DAESH and equipped it. To this day it has done nothing to stop Turkey and Saudi Arabia from keeping the terrorist monster alive, on the contrary, it seems that "the problem" for them is only the legitimate governments of Damascus and Baghdad. 

So when are the sanctions and blockade against Saudi Arabia begin? When will Turkey be expelled from NATO and denied any kind of credence by the European Union? If you guys want to make "war" against DAESH terrorism, that's the way to go: attacking, not necessarily by military means, the states that support it, namely Turkey and Saudi Arabia (as well as others, but primarily these two rogue regimes). 

As far as anyone knows neither Iran, nor North Korea, nor Syria, nor Russia, nor any of the capricious victims of US-orchestrated imperialist sanctions supports the DAESH in any way, instead "our allies" do, "we" do. Why are "we" bombing ourselves? Should not we declare "war" on "us" (or should I capitalize "US")?

Let's get real: this is not a time for hystery nor for rallying the masses around those who support DAESH against a ghostly threat. The threat is within NATO, it controls state and even imperial level resources, and therefore the only possible "war" is internal within the imperial alliance against all those who feign outrage but actually allow or even promote this kind of senseless terror. We must wake up, this is just the burning of the Reichstag at another scale and, as soon as we scratch the surface, we can't but know it. 

The enemy is inside, the war, the only possible war, the only logical and fruitful one, is against those who control DAESH inside our very own states and imperial alliance.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Nationalism. How to overcome it?

Often people talk about nationalism with generalizing negativeness. For many people: one word equals one simple meaning, or at least that's how they use it. However the simple meaning attempted to convey is as subjective as the speaker. Let's try to clarify.

Since the 1930s and 40s, the word nationalism has become negatively loaded in English, while its synonym patriotism is instead preferred, as it conveys more positive connotations. This seems to come from the use in English journalism of the word "nationalist" to refer to fascists, notably Franco's, when actually he and his followers hated that word, which they associated with Basque and Catalan independentism, calling themselves nacionales, that is: nationals, without the "-ism". In Spanish it is the other way around: it is the word patriotism and its root patria (fatherland), which is loaded with negative connotations, precisely because Franco and his mind-slaves used and abused it, while nationalism has for many positive connotations, precisely because democrats and socialists used it with preference. It's all very capriciously loaded on 20th century historical accidents.

The Basque language case is different: Spanish borrowings follow the Spanish cultural rule but Basque lacked originally for any word for nation, let alone fatherland, different than herri (people or country). So back in the late 19th century, when the Arana brothers reinvented Basque Nationalism in terms that have gone mainstream, they also invented many neologisms of their own, quite arbitrary, thought, one of them being aberri (fatherland, from Sumerian and/or Semitic aba = father, in funny amateurish linguistic exercise¹). The derived word abertzale, now fully consolidated, would then translate as patriot but, as this term is seen as negative in the Iberian Peninsula, it is translated as nationalist instead This may sound odd for native English speakers but that's how the subjectivity of meanings go, depending on cultural specifics. Specifics that have a very shallow history in any case.

In addition to that fatherland and patriot have clear patriarchal connotations (they directly appeal to the father and the father's line), while nation and nationalist do not (they appeal to the place and community of birth instead: natio = birth). This may also weight for some in their choice of words and one can well argue that they are indeed more neutral etymologically speaking.

All these arbitrary, subjective and slippery concepts associated with words are not useful for the analysis I intend to make here. I will therefore consider patriotism and nationalism as the synonyms they actually are, and just use nation and nationalism, avoiding hence the patriarchal load of the word patriot.

Two types of nations and two types of nationalism

What is a nation? For many it has become synonym of an established state. However that's not the original meaning and is only a forced recycling imposed by those so-called nation-states in concert, particularly those who fear their own minority nations' rightful claims to sovereignty, to self-rule.

As I said before, nation comes from a Latin word natio, meaning birth. Traditionally and often also in modern speech it refers to a distinctive ethnic community (Greek: ἔθνος = nation). As nation and state were often dissociated in ancient times, at no time this concept meant state (Lat. res publica = public thing, the word state does come from Lat. status but with a modern evolution in meaning) nor polity (Greek: πόλις = city). Only with the invention of modern nationalism, which is the idea that state and nation should be the same, either by giving a state to each existing nation or by forcing all people in each state to be assimilated into the core nation (or sometimes even exterminated or expelled, i.e. various forms of genocide). 

We see in the very definition of nationalism that it has two contradictory implications. In fact this means that there are two types of nationalism: defensive nationalism, that of stateless nations striving for self-rule, possibly in the form of a new nation-state, and aggressive nationalism, that of states and its core nations, trying to absorb everybody in their boundaries into the core nation or even expel/mass-murder them. 

I will argue here that the categories are therefore:
  1. People-nationalism: a nation is formed naturally (historically, ethnogenetically) and it deserves its own self-rule, sovereignty, independence and possibly state. 
  2. Imperial-nationalism: a nation is only those that control a state and everybody who falls out of the line must be punished. This one has two variants:
    1. Roman style: the outlier nations must be assimilated.
    2. Racist style: the outlier nations must be exterminated and/or expelled.
Imperial nationalism is intrinsically genocidal, either in the "soft" cultural way or in the "hard" murderous one. To some extent every single established nation-state falls into this category. It may be latent but it is there and sooner than later it will become a problem. Even nations that have not yet achieved independence and that are therefore victims of others' imperial-nationalism face this reactionary risk if they ever manage to succeed in their legitimate fight for freedom. 

Of course people-nationalism is invariably legitimate, as long as the people-nation historically holds a territory. By this I mean that, for example, it does not apply to Israel, which is an artificial colony on other people's territory, i.e. falls into a sui-generis variant of imperial-nationalism of the racist and genocidal type, the worst type of all. 

But it can perfectly happen and does happen that a successful people-nationalism turns petty imperial-nationalism once statehood is achieved. For example the very legitimate Norwegian or Finnish nationalism, turns out as problematically genocidal, at the very least in the cultural way, towards the Sámi nation; the very legitimate Dutch or Portuguese nationalism turned out imperialist against African, American and Asian nations. 

I guess that's why many people dislikes the very concept of nationalism. However this stand is utterly naive and, almost invariably, turns out as accomplice of imperial-nationalism. 

The naivety of anti-nationalism

Anti-nationalism cannot exist. It can be, I guess, subjectively imagined but it is an error of concept. Nations do exist naturally (historically) and often come into conflict with other nations. You cannot just erase them, just like you cannot erase history, customs, languages, etc. Doing so could only be done by assimilation, always unfair for the new arrivals, into a larger nation. 

For example we may imagine a single unified Humankind that only speaks English and holds not anymore any customs, even the calendar may be redesigned to be religion-neutral, proclaiming next year as "year one" of Human Unification. However this would indistinct from an overwhelming success of English imperial-nationalism. Same thing, mutatis mutandi, if the chosen language is Chinese, Arabic or Spanish. One can be passionately humanist but one cannot be naive. It is almost impossible that an artificial language like Esperanto could succeed but, even in such case, it would still be loaded (Esperanto is heavily Latin and other Indoeuropean-based, not neutral at all). 

Anti-nationalism is therefore, as such, heavily utopian in concept and camouflaged imperial-nationalism in practice. In fact most anti-nationalists I know are just Spanish-nationalists with a very poor pretext and/or a most worrisome confusion. 

Democratic Confederalism as only real solution

The concept of Democratic Confederalism is a quite new one by that name, one proposed very creatively and wisely by Kurdish nationalists aiming to overcome this profound problematic. How? Going beyond the concept and praxis of the state, proclaiming in theory and practice the states obsolete and illegitimate: only the self-given democratic institutions of each community have real legitimacy but none of them is legitimate to interfere into the internal affairs of any other democratically self-ruled community. Common affairs will be taken care of via freely established confederate institutions.

The concept by that name may be new but we do have a historical model for something very similar to such solution in Switzerland. A model that, in general terms, has withstood the test of time, with a record longevity of almost 800 years, something that no other democratic polity can claim. It is a system that is not only based on very radical decentralization, even in its current more centralist form, not just for the cantons (states) but also for the municipalities, but also on a democracy that is far more real than that of any other state I know: with referendums being a regular way of establishing or challenging laws, something that in nearly every other democratic (?) country is rejected as chaos and anarchy, populism and what not! 

Switzerland is not a nation-state but a multi-national federation, exactly what we need at larger scale, world-wide even. 

Of course our Kurdish comrades go a step or two further but the basic idea is the same one. This is the only way out of the nationalist quagmire: one that respects, on democratic and confederal basis, the differences as something that makes us better, not that attempts to suppress everything and everyone that is different and wants to remain so. 

The issue is not being not-nationalist or anti-nationalist, that's just a stupid ill-thought or outright hypocritical stand, the issue is going beyond the state. The problem is not in the nation but in the state, whose greater or lesser lack of democracy is nothing but tyranny.


¹ It was then en vogue for every other language to claim relatedness to Sumerian and Basque was no exception. There are two basic words in Basque vocabulary that have an ab(a)- root: one is apaiz (priest), which clearly evolves from romance for abbot, having in turn a recent Semitic (Hebrew) root aba=father; the other is "abere" (domestic animal or livestock) much older and quite possibly related to Sumerian "ab", meaning cow, as well as some other words scattered in West Asian vocabulary. In this case it's probably a very old Neolithic term and has nothing to do with the idea of "father" or "parent".

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Wahabi style massacres by Turkish Army in Kurdistan

Burned alive, beheaded... Sounds familiar? Sounds to DAESH. And that is exactly what "our NATO friend" Turkey is doing against its own (forced) citizens in Kurdistan:

Between 45 and 50 people were burned alive in one of the buildings, according to a local woman speaking to Whiteman. What is worse, many of the victims appear to have been cold-bloodedly beheaded by the Turkish troops, she said.

It's not just Cizîr‎ (Cizre in Turkish) but everywhere, also in the Northern capital Amed (Diyarbakır in Turkish), with a population of almost a million people:

Is this a new Armenian Genocide? A Kurdish Genocide in the making? Quite possibly, let's not forget that Erdogan has openly expressed his admiration of Hitler. 

“The objective of the Erdogan government is to completely have a genocidal campaign against the Kurds, because that’s what’s now occurring,” said Gregory Copley, editor of the journal Defense and Foreign Affairs. “This is now genocide, because the Turkish government has denied that there is any major military operation underway there.”

Erdogan and his growingly totalitarian Islamist regime are a terrorist force that is causing utmost grief in the territories of Syria, Iraq and Turkey itself, either via his puppet militias (Al Nusra, DAESH, etc.) or directly with the Turkish Army. He must be removed and made to pay for his crimes.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Arnaldo Otegi walks out of prison

Today, after six years of the most unfair imprisoning, precisely for impelling peace, even unilaterally, Basque independentist leader Arnaldo Otegi finally could walk free.

Video of his exit from Logroño prison:

Before traveling back to his hometown of Elgoibar, he issued a brief but, to my eyes, passionate and hopeful discourse. Video with the Spanish-language version of it:

Translation (boldface is obviously mine):

As the French say, in this occasion "bref",  we will have time to continue talking. 

There are those who claim that there are no political prisoners in the Spanish state, they say it with fruition, some with animosity, but we only need to look at all those cameras that are recording us to confirm that indeed there are political prisoners in the Spanish state. All these cameras are not here when, from this very prison, the social prisoners walk out, all these cameras are not present when immigrants are expelled from these prisons, all these cameras do not exist when humble, when working people are evicted from their homes. That's why we say, for those of us who are Marxist: evidence is what can be contrasted with facts. And fact is that there would not be here all those cameras if they would not know that today, as in many other occasions, a political prisoner walks out from a Spanish prison

More than six years ago, they tried to imprison us and actually got us into prison, for making a bet for peace. And I want to congratulate you all for having kept that bet against all provocations. Indeed peace is the way but, on this way, the bet has to be carried on until the end. And that is what I mean to do with all of you. When we were imprisoned, we went in as Basques and as Basques we come out, as independentists and as independentists we come out, as socialists and as socialists we come out. That is why the only thing I want to tell you to finish, because I know that there's a lot of morbid interest in all this issue, that the best President and the best Mayor: the People. Viva you!

Otegi has been banned from holding public office until 2021, however he will certainly run for Lehendakari (Western Basque President) in the elections to be held by the end of the year. 

Many political prisoners, a growing number of which are, like Otegi, prisoners of conscience, punished for their peaceful political activity and/or opinions, still remain in prison. Maybe the most notorious one is Rafa Díez, former secretary general of the Basque worker union LAB, sentenced in the same case as Otegi, for promoting the abandonment of armed struggle by ETA.