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Opposition to the Tories is only growing - Kill the Bill protesters hit the streets nationwide

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 18/04/2021 - 8:06am in

For a second national day of action, protesters marched in towns and cities across the country to oppose the Tory crackdown on protest and police violence; Counterfire members report

Defend the Pimlico Academy students threatened with expulsion

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 18/04/2021 - 4:13am in

Students who organised a protest against their schools racist policies have outrageously been threatened with expulsion, we cannot let this happen, argues Jamal Elaheebocus

[CFP] Conference 2021 – China Working Group

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 18/04/2021 - 2:02am in

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The 11th Annual IIPPE Conference

The Pandemic and the Future of Capitalism: On the Political Economy of our Societies and Economies

Call for Papers
Political Economy of China’s Development (PECD) Working Group

Online, 12-19 September 2021

China’s rapid economic recovery and ending of extreme poverty in 2020 forms a sharp contrast to the on-going struggle to control the pandemic and the steep decline in living standards elsewhere. US sanctions have pushed China to a ‘dual circulation’ strategy and a commitment to bypass the Western technological blockade. The persistence of China’s state-owned and controlled economy and improving outcomes on popular welfare continues to challenge the notion that it is nothing more than an authoritarian form of capitalism. With an emerging consensus in the Western world, including in left circles, that China presents a systemic challenge to the liberal democratic order, are the existing paradigms, orthodox and heterodox, still fit for purpose in this world-historic turn?

The PECD Working Group calls for submissions for individual papers and thematic panels on the following themes:

  • China’s “two centennial goals”
  • Evolution of China’s Five-Year Plans
  • China’s 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) and “dual circulation strategy”
  • China’s response to Covid-19
  • China’s industrial policy
  • The Belt and Road Initiative
  • The political economy of the development of national minority regions
  • Marxian perspectives on the nature of the PRC social formation
  • Implications of rising tensions between the West and the PRC

All proposals are to be submitted via the electronic form on the IIPPE website from 15 April 2021 AND by email to the PECD Working Group coordinator Sam-Kee Cheng (iippechina@gmail.com).

IMPORTANT: Please select Political Economy of China’s Development when you complete the electronic form.

The deadline for abstracts and proposals is 15 May 2021.

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[CFP] Conference 2021 – Moving Beyond Capitalism Working Group

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 18/04/2021 - 2:00am in

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11th International Conference in Political Economy,

The Pandemic and the Future of Capitalism

September 12-19, 2021 / Online Conference

Call for Papers – Panel(s) organised by the Moving Beyond Capitalism (MBC) Working Group

April 16, 2021

MBC WG coordinator: Al Campbell, al@economics.utah.edu

Dear IIPPE members,

In the years before COVID in our conferences in Lille, Pula and Berlin, the Moving Beyond Capitalism (MBC) WG had a number of interesting panels each year. As of when the world went into hibernation (or part of the world …) our WG was hoping to start some projects, besides our continued participation in the yearly IIPPE AGM. We had not got started on those projects when COVID hit, and of course momentum has dissipated in the yearlong hibernation. The hope is that we will be able to have one or two panels in our virtual conference this year, and then start a discussion among ourselves on a project or two that we would like to do before the IIPPE conference in September 2022 (hopefully live???).

While quite obviously this pandemic has strongly highlighted why moving beyond capitalism is continually becoming more necessary for the good of humanity, there is no requirement to tie your presentation to the pandemic (for our WG or any WG). As in past years, we are open to any paper discussing any aspect of moving beyond capitalism, and then we will take what is submitted and work to create panels out of them.

The Electronic Proposal Form (about the same as in past years) is on the IIPPE site at www.iippe.org. It will be open for proposals from April 15 to May 15.

As always, please contact me at al@economics.utah.edu if you have any questions about submitting a proposal to the MBC WG panels.

In solidarity, Al

The post [CFP] Conference 2021 – Moving Beyond Capitalism Working Group appeared first on IIPPE.

[CFP] Conference 2021 – Social Capital Working Group

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 18/04/2021 - 1:56am in

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11th International Conference in Political Economy

Call for Papers – Panel organised by Social Capital Working Group

THEME: Strength in unity: Building alliances and networks for economic and social change

Asimina Christoforou, Panteion University, Greece.

Luca Andriani, Birkbeck, University of London, UK.

In mainstream economics we often use the Robinson Crusoe metaphor. It represents the idealised economic man, the independent, industrious and self-sufficient man, who absolutely knows his needs and his surroundings; who rationally assesses his possibilities and makes choices; who seeks for novel ways to expand his potential; who conquers nature and defies backward-looking social checks; and who ingeniously combines all the means virtually available to him in order to increase personal prosperity and gratification. However, economists seem to be telling half of the story. Robinson Crusoe actually relied on the camaraderie of his fellowman Friday to deal with the obstacles they faced together, and he was only able to survive and progress by joining forces and associating with others. 

The self-serving aspects of economic man are far from reality and overlook the social and institutional dimensions of the economy. The current health crisis strongly demonstrates how much we rely on cooperation and unity, alliances and networks, in order to address the challenges of our times. In fact, economic man is a social construct itself, which places markets over and above social values. In this session we wish to explore the collectives and networks people create to promote material well-being and restore substantive values of social and environmental protection. Examples of collectives include, among others, trade unions; environmental associations; worker-recuperated firms; commons and commoning; local communities; research and policy networks; public-private synergies; and social movements. How do these collectives emerge? What is their purpose? How do they evolve? How are they affected by history and culture, especially by the economic and health crises? How can cooperation be achieved within and between collectives in view of conflicting interests and needs? These are questions we would like to address in the session.    

We also encourage contributions that generally address the topic of social capital. We welcome works that derive from various social science disciplines and use different units of analysis (individual, regional, country or cross-country level), methodologies and techniques (theoretical, empirical, qualitative and quantitative). Participants can submit individual papers or organise sessions.

Please submit your proposal by May 15, 2021.

To submit a proposal, please use the Electronic Proposal Form (EPF), and carefully follow the instructions. You will need to select “Social Capital” from the list to submit a proposal to our sessions. The EPF will be opened on the IIPPE website (www.iippe.org) on April 15. As usual, submissions may be made as (a) proposals for individual papers (which IIPPE will group into panels), (b) proposals for panels, (c) proposals for streams of panels, or (d) proposals on activism. The EPF will be closed on May 15, and notification of acceptances will be sent out by May 31.

For queries and suggestions, you may contact Asimina Christoforou,Coordinator of the Social Capital Working Group: a.christoforou@panteion.gr.

The post [CFP] Conference 2021 – Social Capital Working Group appeared first on IIPPE.

[CFP] Conference 2021 – Neoliberalism Working Group

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 18/04/2021 - 1:53am in

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11th Annual Conference of the International Initiative for Promoting Political Economy (IIPPE), 12-19 September 2021

Neoliberalism Working Group: Call for Papers

Ahead of the 11th Annual IIPPE Annual Conference, 12-19 September 2021 (online), the Neoliberalism Working Group invites paper and panel proposals that fit in with its broad research agenda. The working group brings together researchers interested in the material basis of neoliberalism, its national varieties, and alternatives to it. For the IIPPE Conference 2021, we invite researchers working on themes at the forefront of studies in neoliberalism to submit papers to our panels and streams. Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Can neoliberalism address the climate crisis?
  • How should we theorise and defeat racial neoliberalism and racial capitalism?
  • How have prospects for development altered after the end of the global commodity boom, and are insights from dependency theory still valid?
  • After Trump, is authoritarian neoliberalism dead or alive?
  • Wither neoliberalism’s regional formations e.g. Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, East and South Asia, and the Middle East?
  • To what extent have left governments in Portugal, Finland, Iceland and New Zealand managed to transcend neoliberalism?
  • Has the unprecedented economic and political shock of covid-19 ushered in the end of neoliberalism?

Contact the co-conveners

If you have any questions about being part of this stream please email Joanne Tomkinson, SOAS University of London (jt49@soas.ac.uk) or Alfredo Saad Filho, King’s College London (alfredo.saad-filho@kcl.ac.uk).

Submit a paper or panel proposal

The process for submitting proposals will be largely identical to our standard procedure, and can be accessed through the following link: http://iippe.org/iippe-annual-conferences/11th-annual-conference-in-political-economy/

The Electronic Proposal Form (EPF) will be opened on the IIPPE website (www.iippe.org) on April 15. As usual, submissions may be made as (a) proposals for individual papers (which IIPPE will group into panels), (b) proposals for panels, (c) proposals for streams of panels, or (d) proposals on activism. The EPF will be closed on May 15, and notification of acceptances will be sent out by May 31. Full details of the call for papers for this year’s IIPPE conference are copied below.

Important, please note: please select the Neoliberalism Working Group when you make your submission.

11th Annual IIPPE Conference, 12-19 September 2021 – General information

The Pandemic and the Future of Capitalism: On the Political Economy of our Societies and Economies

September 12-19, 2021 / Online Conference

Given the continuation of the COVID pandemic, this year’s IIPPE Annual Conference will be online. As we will not all be in one place we will have an issue of time zones. To address this issue and simultaneously to reduce the number of panels at any one time, we plan to have two sessions of parallel panels per day for 8 days, plus an opening and closing plenary. We will have our usual pre-conference workshop the day before the conference begins; that is, on Saturday September 11.

IIPPE calls for general submissions for the Conference, and particularly welcomes those on its core theme on the pandemic and the state and future of capitalism. Proposals for presentations will as always be considered on all aspects of political economy. New participants committed to political economy, interdisciplinarity, history of political and economic thought, critique of mainstream politics and economics, and/or their application to policy analysis and activism are especially encouraged to submit an abstract.

The post [CFP] Conference 2021 – Neoliberalism Working Group appeared first on IIPPE.

A School for Spooks: The London University Department Churning Out NATO Spies

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 17/04/2021 - 6:45am in

LONDON — Last week, MintPress exposed how the supposedly independent investigative collective Bellingcat is, in fact, funded by a CIA cutout organization and filled with former spies and state intelligence operatives. However, one part of the story that has remained untold until now is Bellingcat’s close ties to the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, an institution with deep links to the British security state and one that trains a large number of British, American and European agents and defense analysts.

 

A school for spooks

A prestigious university located in the heart of London, King’s College has, in its own words, “a number of contracts and agreements with various departments within government, including the Cabinet Office, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the Ministry of Defence.” Some of those contracts are up to 10 years long. The university has so far refused to elaborate on the agreements, telling investigative news outlet Declassified UK that doing so could undermine U.K. security services.

A 2009 study published by the CIA spoke approvingly of how beneficial it can be to “use universities as a means of intelligence training,” noting that, “exposure to an academic environment, such as the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, can add several elements that may be harder to provide within the government system.” The paper, written by two King’s College staffers, is essentially a request to the agency to send more of its recruits there, and boasts about how the department’s staff have “extensive and well-rounded intelligence experience” and how their programs “offer a containing space in which analysts from every part of the community can explore with each other the interplay of ideas about their profession.”

In 2013, former CIA Director Leon Panetta took time out of his schedule as then-secretary of defense to visit the Department of War Studies, where he expressed his profound gratitude to the unit. “I deeply appreciate the work that you do to train and to educate our future national security leaders, many of whom are in this audience,” he said, before adding that it was those young leaders who must ensure that NATO had the creativity, innovation and the commitment to develop and share capabilities in order to meet future security threats, citing the need to expand into tech, surveillance and cyberwarfare.

CIA Kings College

Former CIA head Leon Panetta exits King’s College after giving a speech in 2013. Photo | DVIDS

It was this department that Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins joined in 2018 as visiting research associate, with Bellingcat maintaining a close relationship with it to this day.

After studying their writers’ backgrounds, MintPress can confirm that no fewer than six Bellingcat employees or contributors — including Cameron Colquhoun, Jacob Beeders, Lincoln Pigman, Aliaume Leroy, Christiaan Triebert and senior investigator Nick Waters — all pursued postgraduate studies within the department, the most popular being the “Conflict, Security and Development” degree overseen by Professor Mats Berdal.

For 13 years, Professor Berdal was employed by the Norwegian Defence University College, Norway’s version of West Point. Berdal is one of a host of King’s College War Studies academics who previously taught there, including one who continues to be an officer in the Norwegian Armed Forces, serving in multiple NATO conflicts in the Middle East.

While many in the West picture Norway as a peaceful, enlightened nation, the country is actually a key driving force within NATO; former Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg is the organization’s current secretary general. Sending troops and other assistance, it was the U.S.’ partner in attacks on Kosovo, Afghanistan and Libya. Norway has among the highest per capita military spending in Europe and is one of the minority of NATO members to exceed the defense spending benchmark of 2% of GDP.

 

A network of pro-war think tanks

Before joining King’s College, Professor Berdal was Director of Studies at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), one of the world’s most influential think tanks. Also situated in central London, the organization is directly funded by NATO and its member states, as well as by major weapons manufacturers such as Airbus, BAE Systems, Boeing and Raytheon. In 2016, the IISS was the subject of a major scandal after it was found to have secretly accepted £25 million — around $34 million — from the government of Bahrain.

Founded in 1958, the IISS provided much of the intellectual basis behind the Cold War scaremongering around Soviet military capacity, thereby pushing NATO members to spend more on arms. On its advisory board are a former NATO secretary general, the former chief of defense intelligence for the Israeli Defense Forces, and, until recently, the CEO of Lockheed Martin. Today, the think tank is a major driver in the increasing hostility towards China, Russia and North Korea. A number of other current Department of War Studies academics have held positions at the IISS as well. Indeed, King’s College boasts that one of the “key benefits” of studying there is its “established links” with the IISS.

A second pro-war think tank with which King’s College prides itself on working closely is the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI). RUSI’s funding comes from many of the same sources as the IISS’s. Its senior vice president is retired American General David Petraeus and its chairman is Lord Hague, Britain’s secretary of state from 2010 to 2015.

A host of King’s College academics — including Jack Spence, Benedict Wilkinson, Brian Holden-Reid, Walter Ladwig, Thomas Maguire and Neil Melvin — have also held positions at RUSI. Perhaps the most notable King’s College-RUSI crossover is Professor Sir David Omand, who was formerly the think tank’s vice president, as well as the head of GCHQ, Britain’s version of the NSA.


Source | RUSI

Bellingcat writer Dan Kaszeta is an associate fellow at the organization. Bellingcat, RUSI and King’s College often cite each other in papers and reports, providing something of a united front on controversial issues of statecraft.

One man who links the IISS and RUSI together is Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman, a key member of the Department of War Studies who went on to become King College’s vice principal. A powerful figure in British politics, Freedman contributed to Prime Minister Tony Blair’s 1999 speech in which he established the Blair Doctrine, a maxim that NATO could and should militarily intervene anywhere in the world to stop human rights violations.

 

A rogues’ gallery

For an institution that prides itself on cultivating independent thought, there exists a remarkable overlap between the staff of the Department of War Studies and the innermost halls of power of the British state. Professor John Gearson, for example, was principal defence policy adviser to the Defense Select Committee at the House of Commons, a senior adviser to the Ministry of Defense, and taught terrorism and asymetric warfare to military officers at the U.K. Defense Academy.

Another professor, Michael Goodman, is a current British Army reservist and formerly the Official Historian of the Joint Intelligence Committee (a body that oversees Britain’s intelligence organizations).

Visiting professors include Paul Rimmer, who was deputy chief of defence intelligence until last year; Lord Robertson, who was secretary general of NATO at the time of the Afghanistan invasion; and Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the former minister of defense. The longtime cabinet member was the creator of the Rifkind Doctrine — the controversial British policy on nuclear weapons. Rifkind rejected the idea that the country should use atomic missiles only as a last resort after being attacked, insisting that he could also use them simply to “deliver an unmistakable message of Britain’s willingness to defend her vital interests.”

Vera Michlin-Shapir

King’s College visiting fellow Vera Michlin-Shapir moderates a panel in Tel Aviv on the future of post-war Syria. Photo | INSS

It is not just British officials who teach King’s College students, however. Christopher Kolenda, for instance, was commander of an 800-man strong U.S. task force in Afghanistan, where he “pioneered innovative approaches to counterinsurgency” according to his bio at the hawkish think tank the Center for New American Security (CNAS), where he is a senior fellow. CNAS recently released a report calling for more “innovative” use of what it called “coercive economic statecraft,” (i.e., sanctions) and continues to saber rattle against China and Russia.

Between 2009 and 2010, Kolenda was a strategic advisor to COMISAF, the Commander of International Security Assistance Force. In plain English, he provided some of the brains behind the occupation of Afghanistan. Before pursuing a role in academia, he was also a senior advisor to Undersecretary of Defense Michele Flournoy and three 4-star generals. Flournoy was President Joe Biden’s first choice to run the Pentagon.

The department also contains a number of Israeli academics, including Vera Michlin-Shapir, a former official in her country’s National Security Council who worked in the prime minister’s office. Meanwhile Ofer Fridman served as an officer in the IDF between 1999 and 2011, during which time it was carrying out some of its worst war crimes against Palestine and Lebanon. After leaving the IDF, Fridman became an arms dealer, becoming the head of non-lethal weapons at LHB Ltd., which describes itself as “the leading company in Israel for security and defense advanced solutions.” In 2016, King’s College also hosted a lecture by the former head of Shin Bet, the Israeli secret police force.

The department has links to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well, with one senior research fellow, Nawaf Obaid, a former special advisor to the Saudi Ambassador in the U.K. and Ireland and a consultant at the Royal Court in Riyadh.

 

Weapons spending good, Russia bad.

While the department’s staff are concerning enough, much of King’s College academic output is even more troubling, and appears to be completely in line with that of NATO and weapons contractors. One study named “A benefit, not a burden: The security, economic and strategic value of Britain’s defence industry,” for instance, reads like a press release from Raytheon, extolling how many people the industry employs. The report claimed that remaining one of the world’s top arms manufacturers was crucial in “build[ing] a secure and resilient U.K. and to help shape a stable world.” “Without a vibrant and thriving domestic defence industrial base,” it warned, “there is a risk that the U.K. will jeopardise its freedom to act in an unstable, fast-changing world,” concluding that the government should protect or “ideally expand” its defense spending budget.

A report from last August also lobbied the government to invest in making the United Kingdom a “leading nation for space.” “Investment in space surveillance capacity is key to seizing the commercial and diplomatic opportunities offered by space while defending U.K. economic and security interests,” it concludes. Surprisingly, the report insists that it would take only a “modest investment” from the government to turn Great Britain into a leading force in a rapidly expanding market.

King’s College also published a study, titled “The future strategic direction of NATO,” advising that the organization “urgently needs a coherent policy on China” and that it must re-up its commitment to countering Russia. It recommends that the majority of member states increase their military budgets and that they must “share the burden of responsibility on nuclear weapons” by allowing the U.S. to store missiles inside their territories.

Meanwhile, their 2018 report “Weaponizing news: RT, Sputnik and targeted disinformation” analyzes Russian state-backed media outlets and accuses them of carrying out a campaign of “information-psychological warfare” over its coverage of contentious events such as the alleged Skripal poisoning and the wars in Ukraine and Syria. The report claims Russian media is turning news into a weapon by projecting an image of strength and stability while highlighting flaws in Western democracies. While praising the work of Bellingcat and disinfo outlet “Prop or Not,” it concludes by advising that the West must “use technical means to prevent propaganda.”

Thomas Rid King's College

King’s College professor Thomas Rid testifies before a Senate committee on Russian meddling. Photo | CSPAN

These technical solutions, we now know, have largely entailed NATO indirectly taking control of social media. In 2018, Facebook announced that NATO’s cutout organization, the Atlantic Council, was becoming its “eyes and ears,” giving it significant control over curating its news feed, supposedly in an attempt to limit disinformation. Yet many of the most lurid stories around RussiaGate were started by the Council itself, which pumped out report after report accusing virtually every political movement in Europe outside the establishment beltway as being the “Kremlin’s Trojan Horses.”

King’s College staff have also been crucial in propagating the idea of Russian interference in American politics, with Professor Thomas Rid testifying before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on the “dark art” of Russian meddling, and condemning WikiLeaks and alternative media journalists as unwitting agents of disinformation. Rid previously described 2016 as the “biggest election hack in U.S. history.”

Earlier this year, Facebook also hired former NATO press officer and Atlantic Council Senior Fellow Ben Nimmo as head of its intelligence team. Meanwhile Reddit appointed former Atlantic Council Deputy Director of Middle Eastern Strategy Jessica Ashooh as its head of policy. And Eliot Higgins, of course, was a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council as well. In recent years, social media giants like Facebook and Google have radically altered their algorithms, demoting content from adversarial nations, but also attacking alternative media that challenge the power of NATO and the national security state.

Today, the Department of War Studies hosted an online seminar with two senior NATO officials who discussed what they saw as Russia and China’s increasingly aggressive actions, as well as new ways in which NATO can secure its control over the internet.

 

A military-academic-journalistic nexus

What is being described is a network of military, think-tank and media units all working towards furthering the goals of the national security state. Bellingcat regularly holds seminars and courses at King’s College, teaching the next generation of state officials how to use big-data and surveillance tools.

While King’s College provides an academic veneer for the national security state, Bellingcat provides a journalistic one. This cluster of think tanks, academic reports, and newsy investigative articles all cite one another as credible, independent sources when, in reality, they are all part of the same network furthering an agenda. It should be noted that this was an investigation into just one department in one school in one college of the University of London. The links to the highest levels of power were so profound and so manifold that it often seemed harder to find someone in the department who was not linked to military or intelligence communities. Thus, one could be forgiven for mistaking the Department of War Studies for a department of war mongers.

Feature photo | Photo by King’s College. Editing by MintPress News

Alan MacLeod is Senior Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent, as well as a number of academic articles. He has also contributed to FAIR.orgThe GuardianSalonThe GrayzoneJacobin Magazine, and Common Dreams.

The post A School for Spooks: The London University Department Churning Out NATO Spies appeared first on MintPress News.

Lessons need to be learned from the British Gas defeat - News from the Frontline

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 17/04/2021 - 6:27am in

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The CIA Used To Infiltrate The Media. Now The CIA Is The Media.

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 16/04/2021 - 10:13pm in

Back in the good old days, when things were more innocent and simple, the psychopathic Central Intelligence Agency had to covertly infiltrate the news media to manipulate the information Americans were consuming about their nation and the world. Nowadays, there is no meaningful separation between the news media and the CIA at all.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald just highlighted an interesting point about the reporting by The New York Times on the so-called “Bountygate” story the outlet broke in June of last year about the Russian government trying to pay Taliban-linked fighters to attack US soldiers in Afghanistan.

“One of the NYT reporters who originally broke the Russia bounty story (originally attributed to unnamed ‘intelligence officials’) say today that it was a CIA claim,” Greenwald tweeted. “So media outlets — again — repeated CIA stories with no questioning: congrats to all.”

Indeed, NYT’s original story made no mention of CIA involvement in the narrative, citing only “officials,” yet this latest article speaks as though it had been informing its readers of the story’s roots in the lying, torturing, drug-running, warmongering Central Intelligence Agency from the very beginning. The author even writes “The New York Times first reported last summer the existence of the C.I.A.’s assessment,” with the hyperlink leading to the initial article which made no mention of the CIA. It wasn’t until later that The New York Times began reporting that the CIA was looking into the Russian bounties allegations at all.

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This would be the same “Russian bounties” narrative which was discredited all the way back in September when the top US military official in Afghanistan said no satisfactory evidence had surfaced for the allegations, which was further discredited today with a new article by The Daily Beast titled “U.S. Intel Walks Back Claim Russians Put Bounties on American Troops”.

The Daily Beast, which has itself uncritically published many articles promoting the CIA “Bountygate” narrative, reports the following:

It was a blockbuster story about Russia’s return to the imperial “Great Game” in Afghanistan. The Kremlin had spread money around the longtime central Asian battlefield for militants to kill remaining U.S. forces. It sparked a massive outcry from Democrats and their #resistance amplifiers about the treasonous Russian puppet in the White House whose admiration for Vladimir Putin had endangered American troops.

But on Thursday, the Biden administration announced that U.S. intelligence only had “low to moderate” confidence in the story after all. Translated from the jargon of spyworld, that means the intelligence agencies have found the story is, at best, unproven — and possibly untrue.

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So the mass media aggressively promoted a CIA narrative that none of them ever saw proof of, because there was no proof, because it was an entirely unfounded claim from the very beginning. They quite literally ran a CIA press release and disguised it as a news story.

This allowed the CIA to throw shade and inertia on Trump’s proposed troop withdrawals from Afghanistan and Germany, and to continue ramping up anti-Russia sentiments on the world stage, and may well have contributed to the fact that the agency will officially be among those who are exempt from Biden’s performative Afghanistan “withdrawal”.

In totalitarian dictatorships, the government spy agency tells the news media what stories to run, and the news media unquestioningly publish it. In free democracies, the government spy agency says “Hoo buddy, have I got a scoop for you!” and the news media unquestioningly publish it.

In 1977 Carl Bernstein published an article titled “The CIA and the Media” reporting that the CIA had covertly infiltrated America’s most influential news outlets and had over 400 reporters who it considered assets in a program known as Operation Mockingbird. It was a major scandal, and rightly so. The news media is meant to report truthfully about what happens in the world, not manipulate public perception to suit the agendas of spooks and warmongers.

Nowadays the CIA collaboration happens right out in the open, and people are too propagandized to even recognize this as scandalous. Immensely influential outlets like The New York Times uncritically pass on CIA disinfo which is then spun as fact by cable news pundits. The sole owner of The Washington Post is a CIA contractor, and WaPo has never once disclosed this conflict of interest when reporting on US intelligence agencies per standard journalistic protocol. Mass media outlets now openly employ intelligence agency veterans like John Brennan, James Clapper, Chuck Rosenberg, Michael Hayden, Frank Figliuzzi, Fran Townsend, Stephen Hall, Samantha Vinograd, Andrew McCabe, Josh Campbell, Asha Rangappa, Phil Mudd, James Gagliano, Jeremy Bash, Susan Hennessey, Ned Price and Rick Francona, as are known CIA assets like NBC’s Ken Dilanian, as are CIA interns like Anderson Cooper and CIA applicants like Tucker Carlson.

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This isn’t Operation Mockingbird. It’s so much worse. Operation Mockingbird was the CIA doing something to the media. What we are seeing now is the CIA openly acting as the media. Any separation between the CIA and the news media, indeed even any pretence of separation, has been dropped.

This is bad. This is very, very bad. Democracy has no meaningful existence if people’s votes aren’t being cast with a clear understanding of what’s happening in their nation and their world, and if their understanding is being shaped to suit the agendas of the very government they’re meant to be influencing with their votes, what you have is the most powerful military and economic force in the history of civilization with no accountability to the electorate whatsoever. It’s just an immense globe-spanning power structure, doing whatever it wants to whoever it wants. A totalitarian dictatorship in disguise.

And the CIA is the very worst institution that could possibly be spearheading the movements of that dictatorship. A little research into the many, many horrific things the CIA has done over the years will quickly show you that this is true; hell, just a glance at what the CIA was up to with the Phoenix Program in Vietnam will.

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There’s a common delusion in our society that depraved government agencies who are known to have done evil things in the past have simply stopped doing evil things for some reason. This belief is backed by zero evidence, and is contradicted by mountains of evidence to the contrary. It’s believed because it is comfortable, and for literally no other reason.

The CIA should not exist at all, let alone control the news media, much less the movements of the US empire. May we one day know a humanity that is entirely free from the rule of psychopaths, from our total planetary behavior as a collective, all the way down to the thoughts we think in our own heads.

May we extract their horrible fingers from every aspect of our being.

____________________

New book: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix.

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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It’s The Media’s Job To Normalize War: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 16/04/2021 - 12:10am in

Exactly zero percent of the world’s worst criminals are in prison. Imperialists. War profiteers. Ecocide profiteers. The very worst of thieves are financial elites. The system isn’t designed to protect us from society’s worst, it’s designed to protect society’s worst from us.

I don’t write much about the specific individuals who drive the oligarchic empire because individuals are not the problem, the system is. Right-wing conspiracy analysts prefer to focus on specific corrupt elites because they like to think if you just got rid of them, capitalism would work fine. And it just wouldn’t. If you rounded up and executed all the sociopathic ruling elites today but left our current systems intact they’d just be replaced tomorrow. A competition-based model where war, corruption, oppression and exploitation remain profitable guarantees this.

A lot of right-wing conspiracy analysis today ultimately boils down to “These bastards are ruining the capitalism!” But capitalism is already ruined, and ruinous. As long as it’s profitable to destroy each other and our ecosystem, the ruin will continue. That’s the real problem. Making it about individuals feeds into the false impression that the individuals are the problem, and absolves us of our collective responsibility to move out of our competition-based model to one in which we collaborate with each other and our ecosystem to create a healthy world.

As long as we have systems in which it’s advantageous to be sociopathic enough to do whatever it takes to get ahead, we will find ourselves ruled by sociopaths. The names and faces on those sociopaths are ultimately irrelevant. They’re a symptom of the underlying disease.

It’s the mass media’s job to normalize war and abnormalize peace. It’s our job to do the exact opposite.

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People who say cops are fine to kill people for disobeying orders are saying they believe in a death penalty without trial.

“The black man deserved to be killed because he disobeyed the authority figure” is nineteenth century slaver talk.

Sure I guess spending your nation’s wealth and resources on an endlessly expanding worldwide military campaign while impoverishing your citizenry at home and keeping them in line with an increasingly violent and militarized police force is one way you can choose to do things.

The fall of the US empire wouldn’t necessarily be a concern if its government hadn’t espoused the neoconservative doctrine that US unipolar hegemony must be preserved and prolonged at all cost. That last bit is what’s frightening.

I’ve been tripping on the frenzied propaganda campaign against China a lot lately because it’s so effective. People are swallowing it en masse, which means that when things get ugly (and they will get ugly), people will be easily manipulated into playing along with that ugliness.

I write about narrative control all the time because that’s ultimately what it’s all about. If you don’t believe that human life is dominated by mental narrative on all levels, sit down, close your eyes, and try to still your mind for a few minutes. Try as hard as you can. And watch what happens.

Easy right? You can stop your thoughts and rest in stillness for as long as you like. Right?

Of course not. Most people’s lives are dominated by a relentless deluge of thought stories from the moment they wake up in the morning to the moment they go to sleep at night. We say we think our thoughts, but in reality they’re more like something that happens to us whether we like it or not. Our entire experience of life is shaped by story. By narrative.

Because humans are so pervasively dominated by mental narrative, whoever can manipulate the narratives about a given subject can manipulate humans at mass scale. That’s why so much energy goes into propaganda: narrative control is the real crux of power.

This is how you can spot someone who prioritizes manipulation in their lives: they pour a tremendous amount of energy into influencing the thoughts people think about them and the stories they tell each other about them rather than making real changes to themselves and the world. This applies to people you know personally, all the way up to politicians and plutocrats.

Narrative rules the earth. If we can free our minds we can free the world.

Your life touches so many others in more ways than you know. The more conscious you become, the more consciousness you bring to others through all those connections. You can become a light for the world by enlightening yourself. Awaken your mind. Heal your wounds. Shine bright.

____________________

New book: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix.

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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