Friday, May 11, 2012

Alan Hart: Time for a military coup in Israel?

Radio Fri. 5/11/12, 3-5 pm Central, American Freedom Radio (archived here.) Call-in: (402) 237-2525 or post your questions to my Facebook page.
First hour: Former lead BBC Mideast correspondent Alan Hart asks: Is it time for a military coup in Israel?  "The mounting public criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by past and present members of the Zionist state’s defense and intelligence establishments... recalled a comment made to me by one of its former Directors of Military Intelligence: “If we had a government consisting of only former DMI’s, we’d have had peace with the Palestinians long ago.” The USA, for that matter, needs a Constitutional Counter-Coup to reverse the 9/11 putch and restore the Constitution - as I recently recommended to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey. Knocking off Netanyahu-Barak and the Israeli 9/11 perps at the same time as the American ones would be quite a coup!

Alan Hart, who was a personal friend of both Golda Meier and Yassar Arafat and a high-level back-channel peace negotiator, chose to break his self-imposed silence on 9/11 on my radio show. His trilogy Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews is the best introduction available to the history of the occupation of Palestine.


Second hour: Kevin Carson,  Center for a Stateless Society asks: Are we facing The Normalization of Dystopia? 
 "Lily Tomlin used to say "I try to be cynical, but I can't keep up." Writers of dystopian sci-fi have the same trouble keeping ahead of actual reality.

Kevin Carson
"40 years ago,  Robert Anton Wilson and Robert, Shea, in the Illuminatus! trilogy,  portrayed a near future in which the ruling elite used a wave of assassinations a la JFK,  RFK and MLK to terrorize the American public into accepting a full-scale police state. 'The assassinations, you see, establish the need for such laws in the public mind.' A few years of such orchestrated terror,  and the state would have Americans "under tighter surveillance than Hitler had the Germans".

"As it happens,  the real-world impetus to such creeping totalitarianism was not assassinations. It was the Drug War and 9/11. But the overall effect has been very much the same."

Kevin Carson holds the Karl Hess Chair of Social Analysis at Center for a Stateless Society, a left-wing market anarchist think tank where he writes research papers and news commentary.  He’s the author of The Homebrew Industrial Revolution: A Low-Overhead Manifesto, Organization Theory: A Libertarian Perspective, and Studies in Mutualist Political Economy.  His forthcoming book is tentatively titled The Desktop Regulatory State

6 comments:

  1. the profits of their labor

    and the heads of those stealing the fruits of their labor may have to come first

    :-)

    Good talking with you today! Thanks!

    Still haven't contacted Ed's dad, still haven't researched Henry George, but very much looking forward to it. Still haven't listened to the full Blakeney interview, but very much looking forward to it.

    Marx got a bad rap. As I understand it, via Michael Parenti, he didn't really want to suggest anything as an alternative. All he wanted to do was critique capitalism, which he did very well. He was more or less forced into writing the Manifesto, Engles was the the major voice in that. Marx was all about worker owned cooperatives, which is tough to argue with. Those Nike workers would be rolling in dough!

    Trying to keep up with AE- the final fully edited edition of ESO premieres 5/22 and I'm trying to help out, and outfitting a creek boat at the moment (whitewater kayak).

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  2. ^ How exactly are employers "stealing" from their employees if their employees voluntarily agree to be payed a certain wage for their labor?

    Even if you subscribe to the labor theory of value, to imply that the employer-employee relationship is somehow theft/robbery and justifies the killing of employers is absurd and barbaric.

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  3. Not sure what the above commenter means. But I think that sometimes the employer-employee relationship verges on or constitutes theft. (Marx said always - the surplus value is what is stolen.)

    It could be theft in some conditions despite falling under "contractual freedom." Just as if someone hordes all the food before a famine, and demands an exorbitant price for it, they're "stealing" even though both sides consent to the transaction. I would argue that the same is true with usury.

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    1. The relationship would be "theft" if the employee demands his or her "full due", the employer agrees, yet the employee is not given it.

      But if an employee agrees to do x amount of labor for x amount of dollars per hour (as is the case in probably 95% of employer-employee relationships in the first world), then the idea that this is theft and that the employer should be punished for this is ridiculous.

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  4. That's too narrow a definition of theft.

    In the Qur'an, there is a prominent verse saying "woe to the cheaters - those who insist on taking the full measure, but stint on what they give." (Sura 83)

    On one level, this just means "weigh and measure goods honestly." But in the context of the Qur'an, which inveighs against those who pile up wealth (Sura 102) and repeatedly urges those who have more than they need to give it away in charity, it also means that being too self-oriented in transactions is the equivalent of committing fraud. In any transaction, you should be just as concerned about the other party getting a good deal as you are about yourself getting a good deal. To do less than this is the equivalent of theft.

    As for human nature, only babies what "more more more." Grown ups are spiritual beings. (There are almost no grown-ups left in today's world.)

    The Qur'anic ethos, like that of the Injil of Jesus, is of giving, not taking. Ultimately we are supposed to give ourselves completely to the Other. That's what "islam," surrender to God, means.

    And that's why hoarding food, and selling it at exorbitant prices during a famine, is a very serious crime - even though all the transactions were perfectly consensual.

    So when Pierre Proudhon said "property is theft," he was right in at least one important sense. Most of those who accumulate property (which the Qur'an and Injil tells us not to do) are driven by a kind of constant drive to maximize their own gain in every transaction. Indeed, this is what Adam Smith's economics, which is still the idolatrous religion of the post-Christian West, tries to legitimize. And this, as we have seen, is a form of theft - the self's theft from the other. (The ultimate Other, God, will have something to say about that when you finally meet Him...)

    Now, looking at the employer-employee relationship...the employer is probably someone who has "piled up" wealth. The class of people who have done that have created a non-level playing field for future interactions with their fellow human beings. I think there's an element of theft involved in just becoming part of the class of employers, landlords, etc. This element of theft becomes extreme in some situations, where the labor market is such that a person "freely turning down a job" faces serious hardship, while an employer "freely firing a worker" does not.

    And if that situation was created by the class of employers exercising political power, that makes the theft that much more evil.

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    1. Wait, property is theft? But theft is the unjustified taking of someone else's property!

      What a headache...

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