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TBF's Journal
TBF's Journal
March 17, 2016

Fascism. Can it Happen Here?

(TBF Note - Some of us would argue that it has been ongoing. Neoliberalism=inverted totalitarianism. Trump is only putting a face on it and bringing it into the open.)

“In the election of 1924, [Hitler] did very poorly, for a marginal party. Then you have the Depression in 1929 and 1930. ... There’s this huge economic crisis with tens of millions unemployed, and there’s also a governmental deadlock. You cannot get any legislation passed.” Paxton continued, “The German Weimar Republic really ceased to function as a republic in 1930, because nothing could be passed. ... So, between 1930 and 1933, President von Hindenburg ruled by decree. And the political elites are desperate to get out of that situation. And here’s Hitler, who has more votes by this time than anybody else. He’s up to 37 percent. He never gets a majority, but he’s up to 37 percent. And they want to bring that into their tent and get a solid mass backing. And so ... they bring him in.”

Fascism: Can It Happen Here?
Posted on Mar 16, 2016
By Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan

“When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross,” goes a saying that is widely attributed to the first American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, Sinclair Lewis. In 1935, Lewis wrote a novel called “It Can’t Happen Here,” positing fascism’s rise in the United States. We were taught that fascism was defeated in 1945, with the surrender of Germany and Japan in World War II. Yet the long shadows of that dark era are falling on the presidential campaign trail this year, with eruptions of violence, oaths of loyalty complete with Nazi salutes and, presiding over it all, Republican front-runner Donald Trump.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” the 20th-century philosopher George Santayana wrote. He lived in Europe through both world wars, and witnessed Italian fascism firsthand. Fascism was the violent political movement founded by Benito Mussolini, who took control of Italy in 1922. Mussolini had his political opponents beaten, jailed, tortured and killed, and ruled with an iron fist until he was deposed as Italy surrendered to the Allies in 1943. He was known as “Il Duce,” or “The Leader,” and provided early support to the nascent Nazi movement in Germany as Adolf Hitler rose to power in the 1930s.

Why is this relevant today? It was Donald Trump who recently retweeted one of Mussolini’s quotes: “It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.” When NBC confronted Trump for retweeting the fascist’s words, he replied, “Sure, it’s OK to know it’s Mussolini. Look, Mussolini was Mussolini. ... It’s a very good quote, it’s a very interesting quote.”

If only the fascist comparisons were limited to his tweets ...

More here: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/fascism_can_it_happen_here_20160316z

March 10, 2016

Inevitable (toon) - Steve Sack Rocks

March 9, 2016

Educate, Agitate, Organize

We’re trying agitate the citizenry: not to tell people their interests (which they usually know) but to persuade them that if they act collectively, they can get those interests, which is something most people don’t know.

The Left’s engagement with the Sanders campaign is about more than one nomination in a rotten and compromised party.
by Corey Robin ~ 3/9/16

Last night, Bernie Sanders achieved a stunning upset in the Michigan Democratic primary. Many leftists are riding high on the victory, a blow in equal measure to the pundits, the pollsters, and the political class. I’m one of those leftists. It sucks to lose. I’ve done it more times than I care to remember, and believe me, it’s no picnic. And, as I’ve been saying over and over again, Sanders has a genuine shot.

But lest we get too caught up in the question of delegate counts, which Sanders is still trailing in, we’ve got to remind ourselves that there is a much more important long-term battle going on here. Not merely to gut the Democratic Party, but also to educate, agitate, and organize the body politic.

The Left loves social movements. I do, too. But social movements don’t happen in a political vacuum; they’re not immune to the mood and medium of electoral politics. There’s nothing quite like a presidential campaign for taking pots and kettles long simmering on the Left’s back burner and bringing them to a furious boil ...

More here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/03/michigan-primary-bernie-sanders-nomination/

March 8, 2016

International Women’s Day

The following article was published in Pravda one week before the first celebration of the “Day of International Solidarity among the Female Proletariat” on March 8, 1913. In St Petersburg this day was marked by a call for a campaign against women workers’ lack of economic and political rights and for the unity of the working class, led by the self-emancipation of women workers.

The first International Women’s Day was celebrated 103 years ago by revolutionaries in Russia.
by Alexandra Kollantai ~ 3/8/16

<snip intro>

“Women’s Day” is a link in the long, solid chain of the women’s proletarian movement. The organized army of working women grows with every year. Twenty years ago the trade unions contained only small groups of working women scattered here and there among the ranks of the workers’ party . . . Now English trade unions have over 292,000 women members; in Germany around 200,000 are in the trade union movement, and 150,000 in the workers’ party; and in Austria there are 47,000 in the trade unions and almost 20,000 in the party.

Everywhere — in Italy, Hungary, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Switzerland — the women of the working class are organizing themselves. The women’s socialist army has almost a million members. A powerful force! A force that the powers of this world must reckon with when it is a question of the cost of living, maternity insurance, child labor, and legislation to protect female labor.

There was a time when working men thought that they alone must bear on their shoulders the brunt of the struggle against capital, that they alone must deal with the “old world” without the help of their womenfolk. However, as working-class women entered the ranks of those who sell their labor, forced onto the labor market by need, by the fact that husband or father is unemployed, working men became aware that to leave women behind in the ranks of the “non-class-conscious” was to damage their cause and hold it back ...

More here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/03/international-womens-day-kollontai/

March 7, 2016

Consequences of a Warming World

The researchers say cautiously that climate change—driven by greenhouse gas emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels in the last century or so—“can reallocate natural capital, change the value of all forms of capital, and lead to mass redistribution of wealth”. And it isn’t obvious, they suggest, that even the better-off will always benefit from changes of natural capital, such as a shift in the fishing grounds. An influx of desirable species off the more northerly fishing ports could actually reduce the cash value of catches.

A Warming World Would Rob From the Poor and Give to the Rich
Posted on Mar 7, 2016

By Tim Radford / Climate News Network

LONDON—Climate change could seriously redistribute resources and reallocate wealth—but not in a fair way.

In a reverse of the famous Robin Hood folklore, it could rob from the poor to give to the rich, according to researchers. Yet even the rich may not feel any richer.

In one clear instance, as scientists have repeatedly warned, fish stocks are likely to move away from the equator and towards the poles, as the tropics heat up and expand.

This means that at least one valuable resource will move away from some of the world’s poorest nations, and in the direction of societies that are relatively wealthier—if only because economic power has for so long been vested in the temperate zones. And this shift will have economic consequences ...

More here: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/a_warming_world_would_rob_from_the_poor_and_give_to_the_rich_20160307

March 5, 2016

Happy Birthday Rosa

Rosa Luxemburg was a Marxist theorist, philosopher, economist and revolutionary socialist of Polish-Jewish descent who became a naturalized German citizen. She was, successively, a member of the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania (SDKPiL), the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), the Independent Social Democratic Party (USPD), and the Communist Party of Germany (KPD).

Luxemburg's last known words, written on the evening of her murder, were about her belief in the masses, and in what she saw as the inevitability of revolution:

"The leadership has failed. Even so, the leadership can and must be recreated from the masses and out of the masses. The masses are the decisive element, they are the rock on which the final victory of the revolution will be built. The masses were on the heights; they have developed this 'defeat' into one of the historical defeats which are the pride and strength of international socialism. And that is why the future victory will bloom from this 'defeat'. 'Order reigns in Berlin!' You stupid henchmen! Your 'order' is built on sand. Tomorrow the revolution will already 'raise itself with a rattle' and announce with fanfare, to your terror: I was, I am, I shall be!"

3/5/1871 - 1/15/1919 (47 years old).

Rest in Power, Sister.

March 5, 2016

Honduran Women on Hillary

Do Feminists Support Coups? Honduran Women on Hillary Clinton

teleSUR talked to feminists in Honduras, where the U.S. State Department backed a military coup in 2009, about Hillary Clinton’s so-called feminism:

U.S. Democratic Party presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has built her campaign around her self-proclaimed dedication to fighting for women’s rights, as well as her superior experience in the realm of foreign policy.

Many feminists have disputed that, and the women on the receiving end of her foreign policy, in particular Latin America, are even less likely to see the former Secretary of State as a champion of their rights.

For Honduran feminist artist Melissa Cardoza, Clinton’s policy in Central America has shown her true colors as an instrument of empire representing patriarchal, not feminist, ideology.

“As is well known, she supported the coup d’etat in my country, which has sunk a very worthy and bleeding land further into abject poverty, violence, and militarism,” Cardoza said of Clinton’s legacy in Honduras. “She is part of those who consider only some lives to be legitimate, obviously not rebel women and women of color that live here and who do not, at least not all, fit in with imperial interests.”

This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address:
"http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Do-Feminists-Support-Coups-Honduran-Women-on-Hillary-Clinton-20160225-0050.html". If you intend to use it, please cite the source and provide a link to the original article. www.teleSURtv.net/english

March 3, 2016

Berta Cáceres Assassinated

TBF Note: And I'm not even going to go into Hillary Clinton's role in the coup whether as a participant or bystander ... but it certainly is also a topic to discuss

Since the 2009 military coup, that was carried out by graduates of the U.S. Army School of the Americas, Honduras has witnessed an explosive growth in environmentally destructive megaprojects that would displace indigenous communities. Almost 30 percent of the country’s land was earmarked for mining concessions, creating a demand for cheap energy to power future mining operations.

Breaking: Honduran Indigenous Leader Berta Cáceres Assassinated, Won Goldman Environmental Prize
March 03, 2016

Honduran indigenous and environmental organizer Berta Cáceres has been assassinated in her home. She was one of the leading organizers for indigenous land rights in Honduras.

In 1993 she co-founded the National Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH). For years the group faced a series of threats and repression.

According to Global Witness, Honduras has become the deadliest country in the world for environmentalists. Between 2010 and 2014, 101 environmental campaigners were killed in the country.

In 2015 Berta Cáceres won the Goldman Environmental Prize, the world’s leading environmental award. In awarding the prize, the Goldman Prize committee said, “In a country with growing socioeconomic inequality and human rights violations, Berta Cáceres rallied the indigenous Lenca people of Honduras and waged a grassroots campaign that successfully pressured the world’s largest dam builder to pull out of the Agua Zarca Dam.”

More here: http://www.democracynow.org/2016/3/3/honduran_indigenous_leader_berta_caceres_assassinated

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About TBF

The most violent element in society is ignorance. Emma Goldman
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