Freitag, 27. Januar 2017

Making America great again or globalisation is coming home.

Now that Donald Trump is President he will start showing his real agenda soon. It might be erratic and sometimes muddled by incompetence, but the overall agenda  that I would assume we will see in his presidency, I call “globalisation is coming home”. It will be the final drive to enrich the richest (and Trump himself) on the backs of American workers.

When I say globalisation, I am speaking about the neoliberal policies as first tested after the CIA backed coup against Salvador Allende in Chile by Augusto Pinochet and his “Chicago Boys” in 1973. There has always been a difference in neoliberalism at home and outside the USA where it was imposed by the IMF and the World Bank. The template for this outside totalitarian, exploitative form of neoliberalism first implemented in chile, that did away with unions, left resistance, civil society, environmental protection and democracy, was much more vicious than capitalism at home in the US. With Trump I suspect, this migt not be the case much longer.

“Making America great again” if I understand Trump correctly, will mean “bringing home” the jobs from Mexico, Bangladesh or Indonesia to the US, and compete internationally with the abysmal wages, non existent environmental protection and poor working conditions in those “offshore” countries. Even “Developing the infrastructure to create jobs” has always been an important part of this strategy for exploitation, as those infrastructure projects vastly benefited those US companies that build them, left the countries in staggering debts and did not help the people at all.

This neoliberal globalisation was the successful strategy to export those drastic forms of exploitation, that (even) Americans would not accept, to the countries that could be bullied to do so. If he can, if nobody stops him, Trump will do away with any workers or left resistance, with free press, with environmental protection and the last remnants of social equality, welfare and democracy, just as the US by proxy of the World Bank and the IMF did in the developed world since the 70s.

So Trumps “protectionism” will not bring the end of “globalisation”, it will bring it home, imposing the most vicious strategies of globalisation onto the American people. Under Trump, Americans will be feeling the hurt that was inflicted on so many others in their name for decades. In this, Trumps presidency might be more honest in many ways than any of the previous decades presidencies. From the outside looking at America, Trump may thus just be the President that America needs to understand what neoliberal globalisation was all about.

I hope that the american people learn this lesson fast. If they do, many examples exist how to organize and fight this. Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela and many others, showed the world what it takes to get rid of the totalitarian overseers of corporate imperialism and fascism. For the american people, and the rest of the world, I hope that this will be the final result of Trumps presidency,

Suggested reads:
Naomi Klein: "The Shock Doctrine"
Noam Chomsky: "Profit over People"

Suggested Link for those that want to resist: "Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies"

Mittwoch, 9. November 2016

Trump is president elect!

The reaction of the western establishment to Trumps election is shock, and rightly so. Politicians of the neoliberal consense in the political center should be shocked into giving up alltogehter. Everything they stood for has gone down the toilet as Trump hit the fan.  Faced with the choice of more neoliberal, global, financial capitalism and a mad, misogynist, racist, clown, the people of the USA voted for the clown. It is crazy, but it reflects on the state that global capitalism finds itself in.

The elites held on to a failed System and the voters now take any chance to "suck it to them". Things could have been different if it had been Trump and Sanders on the ticket, but the democratic establishment forced through their candidate against the public will. In a fair vote with sane election finance legislature it probably would have been Sanders on the ticket, but now we have Trump and maybe america deserves him.

This today is the next big step on the way to the end of capitalism. Republicans have the house and the senate and they have abandoned sanity for some time. They will be able to end the blockade in US politics, but to what end? Trump and the republicans will utterly fail, because they have no answers whatsoever to the problems that capitalism faces today. He and his followers are in total denial to anything concerning the real world. The notion of a failing capitalism is as alien and abhorrent to them as gay marriage. His policy wll lead to more inequality, more violence, more hate against minorities, more prisoners, more burning of fossil fuels, more global warming, more pollution, more power for the rich and more civil unrest. This is the post-factual end of enlightement, humanism and intellectualism. This choice by the US voters has made the smooth transition into a post-growth post-capitalist world lead by scientific necessity unfeasable (if there ever was one). This will mean no less than facing the collapse of our civilisation in the next 4 years. 

Trump will dig the grave of capitalism and there is nothing that our (european) elites can do about it. The will hang on even more to TINA and will use the fear of Trumpism in europe in the elections to come. It will do them no good. The ideological basis that was neoliberalism, has eroded beyond salvation. If there are no rational left alternatives europe will fall to the extreme right, as the extreme centre is lost.

As a cynic, I ill end on that note. There is hope that the  radical idiocy of Trump could bring down capitalism and our civilisation soon enough to save the climate. Wouldn't that be great?

Freitag, 4. November 2016

What is mainstream economics?

The Real World Economics Review Blog, a project dedicated to changing economics as a science and as a profession, has recently posted an article called "What is mainstream economics?". It is a very profound criticism of the scientific methods, by which economists develop their models. While I do think that the author captured many of the fallacies of mainstream economics, it failed to answer the question it asked. So what is mainstream economics?

As all science, it is a product of human culture. It can only exist in a codependency with society and not by itself. Any science is also a reflection of the social discourse it is embedded in. As Michel Foucault pointed out, science also is an important instrument of power in the modern world. The alleged objectivity of science will always be a construct of the social discourse and the power relations of its time. What is seen as an unquestionable truth in one period of time, may be unscientific nonsense for another. From Foucault's perspective there is no power relation without the simultaneous existence of a field of knowledge and no field of knowledge that is not constituted by power relations. Power and knowledge are always building an interconnected complex.
In Foucault worldview, all power is the product of inter-subjective relations in the social discourse. The workings of power can be seen in how it shapes the discourse. For Foucault those parts of the discourse that he calls the "muted parts of discourse" are where the workings of power show themselves most prominently. He calls those parts the "Exclusion" and the Dispositif". Who can partake in a discourse and who cannot? What can we speak of and therefore think of? What can't we think of? What defines the basis of common sense, those parts of our worldview that are so deeply inscribed in our thinking that we never even discuss them?

Even a superficial discourse analysis shows that mainstream economics has a prominent role in the social discourse of our time. Not only in the discourse about economy but beyond. What can be said? Who may speak? What is to obvious to even discuss? Many of these questions are today answered by mainstream economists.

Economists are not the only ones that concern them self's with economy There is a discipline of social anthropology that is mostly ignored in the public discourse, called economic anthropology. There are famous scholars of economic anthropology like Bronislav Malinovsky, Marcel Mauss, Karl Polanyi or Marshall Sahlin, who have contributed greately to the ontology of economy, but are not a part of the current social discourse about economy.

Why is that so? Why do economists get all the publicity, the money, the institutions etc. while economic anthropology is virtually unknown in the general public? Is it because economic anthropology is bad science and economics is good science? If we understand how science can be embedded in the power structures of a time we might answer those questions. I will therefore examine one example in the history of science I am familiar with, that is the history of social anthropology in Germany.

Social anthropology as a science has a very dark but interesting history in Germany. In the the 20th century (and some time before) it was called "Volkskunde". Volkskunde was a very conservative and reactionary subject of intellectual exercise with its main interest in constructing and legitimizing the German nation state, that only had existed for a brief time. When the Nazis came to power, Volkskunde had already contributed to their cause for some time by having influenced the social discourse on what "a German" is. Volkskunde then profited extremely from the Nazi regime. Money and influence was raining on them. Most of the institutes and chairs in Volkskunde/social anthropology in Germany were created in Nazi Germany.

All "science" of that time became utterly corrupted by fascism and Nazi-Germany had its very unique Knowledge/Power complex, but Volkskunde took it upon itself, without much pressure from the Nazi party, to mainly provide the alleged scientific legitimacy of Hitlers "Rassenlehre"/ racial ideology, nationalism and other parts of the twisted Nazi ideology.

Obviously Nazi Germany was radically different in its outcomes, ideology and power structures from what the world is today, but we rightly believe that Nazi Germany was not the result of the actions a small group of fascists that led Germany into ruin. When Germany had to face its crimes after WW2, all Germans were considered culpable for the Nazi-regime and its actions, and rightly so.

So after WW2, not surprisingly, Volkskunde also had to face its past and almost vanished in the process. It took Volkskunde more than 20 years to overcome its dark history. In order to do so, Volkskunde had to reflect its role in society and in history very profoundly. This was a very painful process for anybody engaged in this discipline, but today social anthropology in Germany is a very critical and progressive science and brings forth many of the (left?) intellectual critics of capitalism. In short, Volkskunde (in the many names it has today) has distanced itself from power and has therefore lost much of its ability to shape the public discourse.

When power systems change, the underlying power/knowledge complex also changes. Some scientific discipline's standing will rise while others will fall. Foucault was very interested in postwar Germany development, because here he could see this change happening. A new power/knowledge complex had to be established and it was economics that profited most from that change. Why is that?

Is the role that economics plays in our society a result of the scientific achievements it has provided? Are we dependent as a society from the leadership of economists? I would have a very hard time to answer those questions with "yes" and keep a straight face. 

The obvious answer is that today mainstream economics finds itself aligned very closely with the current elite, not only in Germany, but everywhere in the world. Mainstream economics provides the ideologic framework our current worldview rests upon. As it provides the scientific basis of our current economic policies it also provides the legitimacy of the current hegemony.

Just as German Volkskunde had profited from aligning itself with Nazi ideology, mainstream economic science today profits hugely from this close alliance with power. Money from the state, the capitalist enterprises and financial institutions is raining on them in numbers all other fields of science can only dream of and economists are invited by the corporate media to present their work to a broad public.

Today the global hegemony is in question as capitalism is in a fundamental crisis. Its no wonder that with the crisis of global capitalism, economic science finds itself in a fundamental crisis too, even if many mainstream economists are in denial of either crisis. Most of the fixes that are offered to solve this crisis are rooted in questioning its methods and its models, because as it became obvious with the 2008 crisis, those models do not represent the real world anymore.

Without considering the role of economics in todays knowledge/power complexes, criticism on its methods will be self defeating. By questioning the methods and models, heterodox scientists are questioning the alliance with power that provides economics with the funding and standing it has today. Breaking this alliance with power would result in loosing much of the privileges that economic science has today. 

By distancing them self's from mainstream economics orthodoxy, heterodox scientists distance them self's from the elites. For those scientists this choice immediately has severe consequences on their career. In science, the control over publications in scientific journals, very much controls the discipline itself. This control is held firmly by the mainstream.
Holding on to the aliance with power and the privileges that come with it, also has a price. There is a point where holding on to the alliance with power means abandoning the "ideals" of science. There is a general understanding in our society when science leaves the path of science and starts becoming something else. Ultimately there is a point where the standing of the discipline in the social discourse becomes totally discredited. In the event of a post capitalist transformation of society, economic science will then have lost not only its standing and funding but also its legitimacy and could be disposed with altogether. 

If we look at the models, methods, schools of thought etc., to answer the question what mainstream economics is, the result will be not conclusive, just as useless for finding answers, as a historic document without its context. Mainstream economics is all that, but most of all it is the role that it plays in the power structures and discourse of our time.

Donnerstag, 27. Oktober 2016

Ein Angriff auf die Freiheit; Schliessung der Sudbury Schule Ammersee

Es war hier schon einige male die Rede von der allgemeinen Diskriminierung von Kindern und Jugendlichen. Der Ort, an dem diese Diskriminierung so institutionalisiert ist wie nirgens sonst, ist unsere Schule. Mit der Schliessung der Sudbury Schule Ammersee wird diese Diskriminierung von Kindern und Jugendlichen durch unseren Staat offensichtlich.

Um so mehr die Vermarktwirtschaftlichung aller Lebensbereiche voranschreitet, um so mehr steigt der Druck der Anpassung an die Vorgaben einer aus dem Ruder gelaufenen Wirtschaft auf das Leben unserer Kinder und Jugendlichen. Der Zwang sich den Anforderungen eines zukünftigen Berufslebens anzupassen beginnt im dreigliedrigen Schulsystem schon in der Grundschule.  Lehrer, Eltern und vor allem Schüler werden gezwungen sich der Willkür eines Ausleseprozesses zu unterwerfen der die soziale Ungleichheit in unserer Gesellschaft zementiert wie keine andere Institution in diesem Land. Zahlreiche Studien belegen, dass dieser Ausleseprozess, in dem die Kinder in eine der drei Schulformen, Haupt-, Realschule oder Gymnasium, gezwungen werden, eher die soziale Herkunft von Kindern widerspiegelt als die angebliche Leistung.

Der neoliberale Mythos von der "Leistungsgerechtigkeit" scheitert an der Realität, dass gesellschaftliche Schichten in dem System Schule heute mehr denn je reproduziert werden. Eine Elite mit einem bildungsbürgerlichen Wertekatalog bestimmt über die Inhalte und Ziele der Schule und entscheidet über den "sozialen Aufstieg" oder das verbleiben in der Prekarität. Inhalte, Fähigkeiten und Begabungen die in der Lebenswirklichkeit bildungsferner und prekärer Schichten eine Rolle spielen haben in unserem Schulsystem keinen Platz. Förderung von sozial benachteiligten Gruppen findet so gut wie nicht statt.

Schule ist allen Bereichen ein hierarchischer, bürokratischer und seelenloser Apparat der vor allem die Unterwerfung unter seine Regeln einfordert. Maßstab des Lernens ist es in einer Welt zu Funktionieren die von wirtschaftlichen Interessen dominiert wird. Die Interessen der Kinder spielen in diesem Schulsystem keine Rolle, eben sowenig wie die der Eltern oder Lehrer. Viele bleiben auf der Strecke, noch mehr empfinden Schule als extremen Angriff auf ihre Freiheit und ihre Persönlichkeit. Messgrundlage des "Erfolges" der Schule und der Kinder sind angeblich "quantifizierbare, standardisierte  Leistungstests". Schüler werden zum "Erfolg" der Schule nicht befragt.

Diese Kritik ist beinahe so alt wie das Schulsystem selbst. Schon 1921 gründete A.S. Neil in England daher die berühmte Summerhill Schule mit einem völlig anderem pädagogischen Konzept. Summerhill ist Schule in der Schüler als Vollwertige Mitglieder einer Schulgemeinschaft alle Entscheidungen mit den Erwachsenen zusammen treffen und in der kein Zwang herrscht den sich Schüler nicht selbst auferlegen. Sie ist das Vorbild für alle Schulen in denen Kinder nicht diskriminiert werden so wie auch der "Sudbury Valley School" in Massachusetts USA, die seit 1968 existiert und die inzwischen viele Nachahmer gefunden hat (60 Weltweit).

Die Angriffe auf diese demokratischen Schulen sind überall die gleichen. Sie entziehen sich staatlicher "Leistungskontrolle" wodurch das Argument konstruiert wird, dass diese Schulen Kinder nicht auf die Erfordernisse der Gesellschaft vorbereiten. Ebenso lange existieren Studien die belegen sollen wie viele ehemalige Schüler der demokratischen Schulen eine erfolgreiche akademische Karriere verfolgt haben. Obwohl diese Statistiken für Sudbury Schulen oft besser sind als für die staatlichen Schulen in den jeweiligen Ländern, stellt sich die Frage nach dem Sinn dieses Maßstabs der Beurteilung.

Der US Wissenschaftler Prof. Peter Gray (Boston College) hat viele dieser Studien begleitet. Es ist aber ein Ergebnis seiner Studien, dass für mich jegliche Frage nach dem Für und Wieder demokratischer Schulen beenden sollte. Obwohl seit fast 100 Jahren Schüler und Schülerinnen aus demokratischen Schulen ins Leben entlassen wurden fand sich unter ihnen kein einziger Schüler oder Schülerin, der/die bereut hatte eine solche Schule besucht zu haben, alle befragten schilderten die Schulzeit als glückliche Erfahrung.

Fast hundert Jahre nach der Eröffnung der ersten freien Schule in England, hat 2014 eine solche Schule in Bayern ihre Pforten geöffnet. Es hat die Initiatorin der Sudbury Schule Ammersee, Monika Wernz,  acht Jahre ihres Lebens gekostet diese Projekt gegen die Bayerische Staatsregierung durchzusetzen. Jetzt nach nur zwei Jahren Betrieb hat die Staatsregierung die Schule per Gerichtsbescheid geschlossen. Die Gründe sind die gleichen wie immer. Auf die Forderung an die Schule durch das Kultusministerium, dass die Schüler standardisierte Test durchführen sollten um ihren Leistungsfortschritt überprüfen zu können, haben die Schüler in einer (anscheinend heiß diskutierten) demokratischen Abstimmung beschlossen dies zu verweigern.

Schüler, Eltern und Mitarbeiter der Schule sind entsetzt über die Schließung. Die Kinder Lieben ihre Schule, die Eltern sind mit der Entwicklung der Schüler zufrieden und die Mitarbeiter können endlich hinter ihrem Beruf stehen. Obwohl also alle Beteiligten ebenso wie die wissenschaftliche Begleitung die Schule verteidigen, wird diese Schule in einem staatlichen Willkürakt geschlossen, der Demokratie, Freiheit und Mitbestimmung mit den Füßen tritt.

Darf es kein Schulsystem geben, in dem die Unterwerfung unter staatliche Vorgaben nicht erfolgt? Darf es keine Schule geben in der demokratische Mitbestimmung ab der ersten Klasse praktiziert wird? Was ist unsere Schule? Ist sie ein Ort an dem Kinder lernen oder an dem sie gebrochen werden sollen?

Niemals war die Zukunft so ungewiss wie in unserer Gegenwart. Die Lösungen die wir in der Vergangenheit gefunden haben versagen auf ganzer Front. Welche Anforderungen kommen auf künftige Generationen zu? Wir wissen es nicht, aber es ist sicher nicht die Unterwerfung unter die Macht- und Profitinteressen weniger. Gerade Orte wie die Sudbury Schule Ammersee könnten genau die Fähigkeiten vermitteln mit denen künftige Generationen das Erbe bewältigen, dass unsere aus dem Ruder gelaufene Gesellschaft ihnen hinterlassen hat.

Dienstag, 11. Oktober 2016

Merkel, Niger und die Fluchtursachen

Bekanntlich befindet sich Frau Merkel gerade auf einer Afrikareise. Auf dem Programm stand auch eines der ärmsten Länder der Welt, Niger. In diesem Beitrag der Tagesschau wird viel von Niger als "Knotenpunkt der Flüchtlingsströme" geredet und über "Schlepper und Schleuser".

Man hätte in unseren Medien auch die Gelegenheit nutzen können und über die tatsächlichen Misstände in Niger zu sprechen, die die Ursache für Flucht sein könnten. In Niger beutet der Konzern Areva, dessen Umsatz ein Vielfaches des BIP des Landes ist, in großem Stil Uran ab. Französische Spezialkräfte "beschützen" die Minen, deren Umweltschäden zu den schlimmsten gehören die wir im Bergbau finden. Die Menschen im Niger werden an den Profiten so gut wie nicht beteiligt, ihnen bleibt der Uranmüll.  und der Krebs. Die Krebsraten sind im Niger erschreckend während die medizinische Versorgung gleich null ist. Das kann ich mangels echter Daten so nicht stehen lassen. Krebsraten im Niger sind einerseits unbekannt und andererseits wohl geringer als im Westen, da die Lebenserwartung im Niger nur 55 Jahre beträgt. Krebsopfer im Westen sind meist weit älter was die Statistik erheblich beeinflusst. Interessant wären Leukämie und andere Krankheiten die Kinder betreffen. Echte Daten zu Kindersterblichkeit durch Krebs existieren aber nicht, da die medizinische Versorgung extrem schlecht ist.

z.B. Zitat Organisation ContrAtom:
"Im November 2009 hat Greenpeace in Zusammenarbeit mit dem unabhängigen französischen Labor CRIIRAD und einer Umweltorganisation aus Niger in den Städten Arlit und Akokan im Norden Nigers Untersuchungen durchgeführt. Die Ergebnisse sind schockierend. Durch den frei herumwehenden Uranstaub aus den Tagebauminen und von den Müllhalden sind Luft, Wasser und Boden teilweise stark verseucht. Bei vier von fünf Wasserproben aus der Umgebung von Arlit, nur wenige Kilometer von einer Mine entfernt, liegt die Urankonzentration höher als der WHO-Grenzwert für Trinkwasser zulässt. Im benachbarten Akokan liegen die Strahlungswerte 500-fach höher als die normalen Hintergrundwerte in der Umgebung. 80.000 Menschen sind durch die radioaktive Belastung gefährdet. Der Atomkonzern AREVA leugnet alles. "

Mehr über die Umweltschäden durch den Uranabbau im Niger hier bei "Robin Wood".

Dass der Konzern die Umweltbelastung bestreiten kann, liegt natürlich daran, dass es niemand gibt, der über die Krebsfälle "kompetent" sprechen könnte. The Vanguard', eine nigerianische Zeitung, berichtet, dass es in der 300 Millionen Einwohner zählenden Region Westafrika gerade einmal 60 Onkologen gibt, von denen 20 im 160 Millionen Menschen zählenden Nigeria ihren Beruf ausüben.

Der Konzern Areva ist zu beinahe 60% französischer Staatskonzern und Deutschland kauft 1/3 seines Urans von Areva. Im Beitrag der Tagesschau zeigt sich wieder, wie die Imperiale Ausbeutung, vor allem in Ex-Kolonien, von der Politik und den Medien durch das Auslassen wichtiger Informationen getragen wird und wie sich diese Ausbeutung in Armut und Tod übersetzt und zur Fluchtursache wird, die dann dazu Führt, dass von Politik, Medien und Eliten die Flüchtlinge instrumentalisiert werden um von den eigentlichen Problemen abzulenken.

Seit 2012 gibt es ein Gesetz, dass die Uranbergbauregionen an den Gewinnen mit 15% beteiligt. Dies wird von vielen als "großer Erfolg" gefeiert. Diese 15 % sind natürlich ein böser Witz, angesichts der schrecklichen Zustände. Der Konzern Chevron wütete auf ähnliche Weise in Ecuador bis eine linke Regierung unter Raffael Correa dieser Ausbeutung ein Ende bereitete. Auch hier sprengten die Umweltzerstörungen jede Vorstellung. Heute muss Chevron für die Schäden aufkommen und die Regierung lässt den Betrieb von Ölförderanlagen zu wenn die Regionen mit 80 % beteiligt werden. Offenbar haben Areva und Frankreich die Möglichkeiten die Regierung im Niger zu weit schlechteren Bedingungen zu zwingen.

Auch im Niger haben religiöse Fundamentalisten sich als Führer im Kampf gegen die westliche Ausbeutung in Stellung gebracht. Nigerische Tuareg befinden sich im bewaffneten Kampf gegen das "Sicherheitspersonal" von Areva. Die Ausbeutung befördert im Niger wie anderswo Radikalisierung und das Entstehen von bürgerkriegsähnlichen Zuständen die wiederum für Flucht und Vertreibung sorgen. Um den Niger zu unterstützen hat Frau Merkel daher Rüstungsexporte für die Nigerische Armee versprochen. Ja, so bekämpft Frau Merkel Fluchtursachen.

Aber wir hier in Europa sprechen von Flucht als hätten wir nichts mit ihren Ursachen zu tun, als würde nicht "jede zweite Glühbirne" in Frankreich mit dem Uran aus dem Niger befeuert, als wäre unser Wohlstand unser Erfolg und nicht die Folge des Leidens der andern.

Wir sehen das Leiden im Niger nicht, weil unter anderem die Tagesschau nicht davon Berichtet wenn sie über Merkels Besuch im Niger spricht. Man könnte sich auch Journalisten vorstellen die uns einen solchen Kontext liefern. Leider sehen wir statt dessen nur Hofberichterstattung.

Sonntag, 11. September 2016

David Harvey and the End of Capitalism

Another very isolated marxist thinker in the USA is David Harvey. He is isolated not because his lack of influence, but because the lack of other marxist thinkers other than him and Richard D. Wolf, that are able to formulate ways out of the current crisis of capitalism. He does so in this lecture:

Samstag, 10. September 2016

Conspiracy Theories and Power

After delving into the source of the video in the last post, I feel I have to issue a warning. It seems, that James Corbet is carried away in an unhealthy direction in some of his reports. While I would certainly use every ressource of information available, especially if it includes extensive research as the video from James Corbet, it has to be taken with some grain of salt.

The phrase conspracy theory is in itself very ideologically loaded and is used to discourage the public to delve too deeply into certain topics (like 9/11, or the death of the Kennedies), but!:

To blame a "secret cabal" of powerful people for the issues we are dealing with in our societies is VERY problematic. The truth is, everybody is responsible for what is happening in our world today, and every single being contributes in some way. It was not a small group of nazis funded by rich individuals who brought about the third reich, it was the people of Germany who let the nazi coup happen. It was not a small group of wall street thugs and the military industrial complex that installed the american empire, it is the responsibility of all US citizens.

This is important, because, what can we do as individuals when there are those "powerful figures" controlling the "New World Order"? This believe in a conspiracy of the few who rule the world denies us the power we have and it absolves us from the responsibilities we have to face. One of our responsibilities is to understand the institutions of power we have allowed to exist and to question them and James Corbett brings to us great analysis of these power structures.

With little power comes great responsibility! 

The believe that we are inconsequent in the face of powerful institutions thus is false, as we have ourselfs created them. It is part of the strategies that the global hegemony has successfully used to make us accept its rule and promote the feeling of powerlessness in the public.

People like Allen Dulles are indeed powerful individuals in positions of power that we created and that we could as easily topple. Their position of power is given to them only by us. The individual itself in this position of power is not consequential, the position of power itself is. Allen Dulles was formed by this position of power we granted him and removing the individual from the position of power would probably have changed nothing. Another individual would have taken the place and the systemic pressures might have taken him on a very similar path.

The power that controls us and that produces the institutions of power exists only in our own minds and is called ideology. To attack individuals of power will not change anything. Dont't get me wrong, this does not absolve those individuals, who might have more individual responsibility or guilt than others, and I believe that war criminals in government positions should be charged and tried for their crimes.

In order to know our own power we have to recognize the fact, that this ideology is imposed on us by power techniques, like propaganda and the control of knowledge by the elites. The knowledge that ideology is imposed on us in this way does also not absolve us from our responsibilities even if the techniques of power are very sophisticated today. It is our responsibility to know about the power techniques and question the ideology they impose on us.

So, yes, there are powerful individuals and yes, they do use the most sophisticated power apparatus ever known, but they don't have power. The power comes to them by the positions they are in and we allow them to have those positions of power by all the intersubjective power relationships we develop in our society. This in essence is what Michel Foucaults theory of power tells us. To a very short introduction to Michel Foucaults take on power, watch this video:


After reading the above again I want to clarify a very important point. The elites are not a cabal, because they are as much a group of individuals with different interests than any other social group or class. We have to understand, that they themselfs are ruled by certain perspectives, values and stereotypes that define their frames of conscious and subconcious practices. They dont have to get together in cabals and plan world dominance, because they already share a certain ideology. This ideology is free market, neoliberal capitalism. The ideology is the narrative of the elites that legitmizes their own practices for themselfs. Just as the slave master of old was telling himself that he "cared" for his slaves and their wellbeing and saw himself as the enlightend father entitled by his intellectual and moral superiority to rule over his "childlike" slaves, incapable of ruling themselfs, the elites tell  themselfs that they are entitled to rule in the interest of the people.

The neoliberal ideology also legitimizes the exploitation of the working majority and our planet by the very rich and the suppression of any competing ideology by any means neccesary. Not because they are evil bastards, but because they truly believe the other ideologies to be wrong and dangerous. The elites do not share an ideology because they decided to rule the world in a sinister cabal (like the super villains from James Bond movies). The elites grew up and have been formed by the ideology like all the rest of us. Actually I would guess, that reflection on the believes imposed on them by their socialisations happens less often than for the rest of the public. Many of the stories told on behalf or by the elites in defence of the hegemony are told because they want to believe them as much as they want anybody else to believe them. It is much easier to sleep at night if you believe that the billions you own were not stolen from the poor but that you earned them yourself.

The system of neoliberal free market capitalism created the institutions of power, like the CIA, where the individuals making up those institutions largely make the institution act against those individuals interests. This is also true for most large corporations. People are forced to work for these institutions by the systemic pressures of neoliberal capitalism, even if they do not agree with the goals of these corporations. The story of Allen and James Dulles shows, that their upbringing as part of the self entitled elites and the many ties to wallstreet and the very rich made up their agenda. It seems obvious, that only a capitalist system could have created the CIA as it was created by Allen Dulles.

There is therefore no question, that the systemic forces of free market capitalism are very much working against most of its subjects interests in many ways and are and always have been undermining democracy. Critique of the institutions of power, like the banks, the CIA, the "government" or the corporations is therefore pointless without critque on the system that created them. The system, on the other hand, can only be changed by changing the dominant ideology and the discourse.

So we need to face capitalism and have a true discourse about it, if we want any change to happen. To topple the power structures that have dominated world politics, without also tackling the underlying ideology it stands for, seems futile. The pentagon system, the industrial military complex and the secret state are just other names for capitalism itself. To think there can be a capitalism without structures like those is ignoring all historical evidence.

Non systemic critique is also opening the door for identity politics. If its an invisible "evil cabal" that rules us, somehow, someone always gives those invisible bodies the faces of some minority group (like
"the jews"). Conspiracy theories are therefore open to fascism and those that are truly conspiring to kill or suppress whoever they choose to hate.