Society, Politics & Government - Comment

The Most Dangerous SuperstitionLarken Rose: The Most Dangerous Superstition (2015)
Do we actually need government? Who gave the political elite the right to rule us? Larken Rose, author of The Most Dangerous Superstition, encourages us to question some of these basic assumptions that we all have about authority and our uncomfortableness in disobeying it. The fact is that we are soverign beings who have had a government imposed upon us by a bunch of sociopaths who thirst for power over others, and really don't care about how much pain and suffering they cause, both in our own society and abroad. It is time we all start to really question authority and decide whether we really want this group of people bullying and terrorising us so that we give them a substantial part of our earnings so they can line their pockets and that of their corporate friends, and fund political wars that exterminate millions.
DownSize to ThrivePerpetual War For Perpetual Control (Mar 2015)
Since its independence in 1776, the United States has managed just 22 days of actual peace. The rest of the time, the US has been in a permanent state of war: invading 70 different nations, building 737 military bases in 63 different countries, and deploying 225,065 US military personnel worldwide. And over the period 1950-2005, American imperialism has played the primary role in 1.3 billion global avoidable deaths, including many thousands of Americans [source]. This is not an indictment against ordinary Americans — who are generous, innovative, friendly and pro-democracy — but against the elite 1% that maintain their control with a divide and conquer approach, maintaining a distracting Republican-Democrat political divide and a fixation on terrorism, which diverts public attention away from the real goal which is to maintain the current power structure. It is time that Americans from both sides of the political spectrum join together and realize that they actually have far more in common with each other, and the 99% in other countries, than they do with the elite that parasites off them. Wake up America and realize who your friends actually are!
DownSize to ThriveNever trust pledges of politicians (Mar 2015)
In 2013, New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, pleded that he and the head of GCSB would resign if the New Zealand spy agency were found to have conducted mass surveillance. He did this to reassure the public that New Zealand was not undertaking mass surveillance. Now, two years on, it has emerged that mass data collection is taking place, but resignation is the last thing on Key's mind. This is typical of modern policans who try to appear principled but, at the end of the day, actually have none. It is all an act to gain or retain power. It is time we really start questioning whether we need these sorts of slimeball politician and how to prevent them from being able to stand for office. People vote for politicians to represent them in the poltiical arena, and if they are unable or unwilling to do that, then they are parasites that serve no societal purpose.

DownSize to ThriveEU Wastes £33bn/year on Perks & Quangos (June 2012)

Whilst the ordinary people of Europe feel the financial squeeze, the non-elected EU government is quite happy to not only waste billions but award itself an extra 6.8 per cent spending budget next year, cutting only six out of 41,000 EU jobs. MEP salaries and allowances have risen by 77.5 per percent over the past 7 years, in addition to its gold-plated pensions and other perks. For the 17th year in a row, the Court of Auditors have been unable to sign off the EU buget due to unaccounted billions (€4.6bn this year). Analysis by think-tank Open Europe on EU spending has revealed that the budget could be slashed by up to 30 per cent and still deliver what it does. That means the the EU wastes £33bn a year! [Daily Mail]

When the people controlling expenditure have their snouts in the trough you get these ridiculous "Versailles" excesses, whether those people are left-wing, ring-wing or no-wing. Greed is greed no matter what part of the political spectrum a person comes from, it is human nature to grab as much as you can, especially in our modern capitalist system where greed is encouraged.

The EU will eventaully collapse as nations run out of money, but not before damaging and impoverising the lives of many ordinary Europeans, all to satisfy the ambitions of the political elite who wish to rule Europe (and the world). It is time for ordinary people to wake up and stop the contentration of power, whether it be in Europe, the United States, Russia, or Australia/New Zealand, and whether it be in the name of "unity", "safety" or "prosperity". Power always corrupts.
Extreme PrejudiceBOOK: Extreme Prejudice / Susan Lindauer
Lindauer is an ex-CIA/DIA agent who blew the whistle on the false-flag 9-11 attacks. Because she was willing to testify that Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11 and that it was a Mossad operation, she was locked up with no trial for one year under the Patriot Act to keep her quiet. This is her account of the shameful actions of a US government complicit in the murder of its own citizens and that then started two wars on the back of those murders that were solely in Israel's interest. Extreme Prejudice is a warning of what happens when "security" is allowed to take precedence over democracy.
DownSize to ThriveWhy is Tony Blair So Unpopular in the UK? (Jan 2010)
This is a question often asked by our readers in the US and Canada. Here are five of the main reasons:
1) Knowing he would get a no-vote in any referendum on surrendering British sovereignty to the EU, Blair went back on his word and took it upon himself to sign up to the EU constitution on 29th Oct 2004, an act of treason by definition.
2) Due to US sycophancy, Blair deliberately mislead the UK and parliament into an illegal war with Iraq that has cost over a million Iraqi lives and hundreds of British personnel, and made the world a lot less safe. And he is unapologetic about his war crimes, defiantly saying he would do them again.
3) Not only did Blair support an illegal US-backed war that was clearly not in British interests and which spilt so much blood, he now profits from his actions in America and Israel where his popularity due to his unconditional support of the US foreign policy has earned him over 30 million dollars to date. He has also represented a South Korean oil firm interested in Iraqi oil, and his support for the EU almost saw him elected as EU President.) And he uses his ex-prime minister status to hide his business empire (some off-shore) and is thought to have rejected a peerage as lords have to divulge their financial interests.
4) Blair has told the British people so many lies over his years in office with silver-tongued eloquence that he is hated across the whole political spectrum, and the "a" and the "i" in his name are often reversed in protest placards.
5) Blair seems to have always acted entirely in his own interests without any regard for those of the British people or his country. He ignored the biggest anti-war protests ever held in the UK, despite himself starting out as a pacifist, he has destroyed British sovereignty with his fixation on EU central control, and is notoriously easily intoxicated by political power and money — a man without a shred of morality or conscience (despite grandstanding as a devout Christian, human rights advocate and peace envoy).
BOOK: Rogue State / William Blum
If you thought that America was and is the bastion of democratic ideals and freedom in the world then this book will make you think again. Written by a former employee of the State Department, Rogue State systematically destroys any notion that America somehow acts in a more enlightened and civilised manner than other brutal and suppressive regimes around the world. This is a warning for both those who live in the "Land of the Free" and those countries that unthinkingly support its international terrorist activity.
DownSize to ThriveDownsize to Thrive - www.downsizetothrive.com
A practical advice-packed website that shows the reader how to find balance in life and with the environment so that we can survive the 21st Century. From inner growth to managing your money, from learning to embrace simplicity to being satisfied with less, this site is a treasure-trove of wisdom that is becoming increasingly non-optional as we teeter towards the possibility of societal and ecological collapse. Check out the Survival Bible section which offers a one-page solution to the global crisis. (Thanks Shaleia:-)
BOOK: Hegemony or Survival / Noam Chomsky
America's domination of the world has become so dangerous that Chomsky, one of the world's most intellectual activists, argues in this fantastic book that this hegemony threatens the survival of the human race — hence its title: Hegemony or Survival. The only thing that can counterbalances this rogue superpower is, Chomsky argues, world public opinion. He also shows us that in this climate of world domination and oppression, the only nations that seem to be able to stand up against this "playground bully" are those with nuclear weapons, a fact that strongly encourages global nuclear proliferation.
Crashing the Party: Scott Ritter's Speech
At the 2008 Crashing the Party convention, former UN Weapons Inspector, Scott Ritter, made a remarkable speech: even though he is a patriotic American, he confessed that the majority of his own people were "sick" because they believe that the US has a right to not only unilaterally dictate terms to the rest of the world, but also to help itself to other country's resources, in violation to international law, to maintain their addiction to rampant consumerism. In the US now, thanks to a virtual media monopoly that has dumbed-down its citizens so that they are now some of the most ignorant and ill-informed people on the face of the Earth, war has become entertainment, a chance for Americans to feel good about themselves as their armed forces mete out "shock and awe" on millions of foreign and frightened citizens. World peace actually hangs in the balance because of the actions of one country — America (two countries if you count Israel). If you are an American, you are urged to listed to Ritter's speech and understand that you are not being "unpatriotic" if you choose to support the vision of your Founding Fathers rather than the nightmare of your current political leaders. To view Ritter's talk, click here. At the same convention, former CIA analyst, Ray McGovern, also gave a talk.
BOOK: Political Ponerology by Andrzej Lobaczewski
Every now and then a book comes along that shatters our political paradigm. Political Ponerology is about how our current social and political systems are literally being run by psychopaths, because the ruthless lack of conscience that is characteristic of psychopaths is the very quality that guarantees that their rise to the top. This is why we have so many wars and social problems. You can find an interview with friends of the author (Laura Knight-Jadczyk and Henry See) which you can find at www.sott.net. Perhaps we should start screening potential politicians for psychopathic tendencies so that we avoid the havoc that psychopathic leaders invariably cause. (Thanks M for link:-)
BOOK: Imperial Ambitions / Noam Chomsky
This books consists of a series of interviews with David Barsamian that Chomsky gave, post 9/11, regarding the US Empire and its relation to the rest of the world. In it, Chomsky, in very clear and unambiguous language, shows the reader the mechanisms of modern day empire building and how domestic propaganda is central to maintaining public support for terrible atrocities and war crimes committed by the US and its allies in the name of democracy and liberation. Chomsky also argues that change requires dedication, and just because the Iraq anti-war demonstrations did not achieve their immediate objective does not mean that activists should just give up and go home.
Democracy's Last Stand in the European Union (Jun 2008)
When Ireland voted against the EU Lisbon treaty this month, throwing a spanner in the works of the ever increasing centralization of EU power, it showed the danger of allowing EU citizens the luxury of referendums. If truth be told, given a democratic choice, citizens of the EU would not vote for the totalitarian European superstate we are fast approaching. Brussels and pro-European governments know this: ALL of them, except Ireland which has to by its own constitutional laws, withheld giving their people a democratic choice in the matter, which meant that Non-Irish Europeans have had ratification of this treaty imposed upon them. Not that the Irish vote will ultimately make any difference — as Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, the architect of the EU Constitution said: "Future referendums will be ignored whether they are held in Ireland or elsewhere." The UK government continues to avoid a referendum that it once promised its electorate, preferring to play down the erosion of democracy by focusing on potential economic benefits of a superstate. When MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) are unelected and referendums are avoided or ignored, when our rights as free citizens get eroded by faceless bureaucrats in Brussels, when potential economic benefit takes precedence over considerations of personal freedom and hard-won democracy, we know that Hitler's dream of a "united" Europe has finally been realized, this time by political means.
BOOK: Year 501 / Noam Chomsky
This is one of Chomsky's best and most scholarly political works, which outlines the history of Western governments' rise to world-domination over the past 500 years. Chomsky paints a bleak picture of how these countries (Europe and later America), under the guise of "free-market" and "freer-people", have actually used intimidation, subsidies, protectionism, violence, civil-war and occupation to subjugate Third World countries and steal their wealth. This book can be heavy reading but it is well worth the effort.
2,000,000 Organisations Oppose Globalization (Jul 2007)
A new book by Paul Hawken claims that there are about two million organisations around the world opposed to globalization and the whole process of turning us into slaves to a corporate system. However, if you are one of those who do not like what is going on, you have to act with your wallet, not just with your sentiments. For example, if you oppose the scourge of drug medicine (that kills an estimated 100,000 people annually in the US alone), then you have a responsibility to start weaning yourself off the non-essential drugs you habitually take and start pursuing natural and alternative routes. And if you oppose genetic modification or the poverty induced by supermarkets from which you buy your sterilized food packages, you have a responsibility to start buying fresh organic food from local suppliers. We cannot ideologically oppose globalisation and go about our lives 'normally' because we forget that we — little you and little me — are actually the ones bankrolling big business and their globalisation agenda with our basic consumer choices.
BOOK: Free to be Human / David Edwards
The subtitle of this book is "Intellectual Self-Defence in an Age of Illusions" and that is exactly what it is. This book should be required reading for anyone interested in looking below the surface dross of modern living to the core issues that are spiralling us towards social, economic and ecological collapse. Edwards writes with passion, clarity and insight, and it is a mystery why the book doesn't have a higher profile. In case you have trouble finding it, the publishers are www.greenbooks.co.uk ( tel +44 1803 863260) and the ISBN is 1 870098 88 9.
Joe Bageant's new book is now published (July 2007)
Bageant has been a regular contributor to this magazine for a few years now so it is with great pleasure that we can announce that his new book, Deer Hunting With Jesus, has finally been published. You can buy Bageant's book from his website at www.joebageant.com. There is also a good podcast interview with Bageant out on the net at www.electricpolitics.com.
New European justice system for the United Kingdom
Known as Corpus Juras (body of law), this is the Norman legal system that will shortly override quaint Anglo-Saxon law of "innocent until proven guilty" and trial by jury:
• Trial by Jury will be replaced by trial by the decision of a state appointed judge
• Habeas Corpus will be scrapped, replaced by arrest without charge and detention for up to 9 months without any evidence
• "Innocent until proven guilty" will be dropped so that citizens must prove their innocence to the State
• Double jeopardy, the right not to be tried for the same offence twice, will go out the window.
Watch the following film to understand some of what is going on in the corrupt dictatorship of Europe — The Real Face of the EU.
BOOK: Making Terrorism History / S. Elworthy & G. Rifkind
Want to end terrorism for good? This little book should be required reading for all politicians in their "battle" against terrorism, and for the rest of humanity if we want to finally realize lasting world peace. Elworthy and Rifkind put forward solutions that heal the very heart of terrorism — abuse and trauma — rather than outdated methods of diplomacy which only serve to proliferate terrorism, as we are witnessing in the Middle East today. The stakes for the West have never been higher as terrorism is no longer something that happens in far-off places, and we we ignore the methods outlined in this book at our peril.
Bush's War on Terrorism Increases Terrorism (April 2007)
A study by the NYU School of Law shows that the invasion of Iraq has made the world a much more dangerous place, serving only to spread the deadly virus of Al-Qaeda ideology. This study used data from the MIPT-RAND Terrorism database, considered to be the most accurate publicly available record of terrorist acts. This study has revealed that, due in large part to Middle Eastern reactions to the Iraq war, there has been a global 607% rise in the average yearly incidents of terrorism. A large part of this has occurred within Iraq, but even excluding this country, jihadist attacks have risen by 265% and fatalities by 58%.
BOOK: The Exception To The Rulers / Amy Goodman
Amy Goodman is an award-winning journalist with one of the most popular shows on American public radio — one of the few independent media outlets in a country saturated by right-wing media corporations. Goodman shows us what true investigative journalism should be like as she exposes the lies, corruption and crimes of the American power elite. For them, 9/11 was the windfall that allowed the Bush administration to force through its Orwellian control of the men, women and children of America, taking political spin and rhetoric to new depths. This book is an education in the abuse of democracy.
US Gets a New Peaceful Government — Unofficially
It may seem way-out to some, but it is an idea with huge merit at a time when the US seems out of control with a government bent on militarization and world-conquest. The US Peace Government was set up a few years ago, in its own words, "to promote harmony in America and peace in the world." Its president, Dr. John Hagelin, a renowned quantum physicist and follower of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (the Indian holy man who brought Transcendental Meditation or TM to the world) believes that world peace can only be achieved by cultivating peace and harmony inwardly through meditation, which cuts out the roots of violence and disharmony in our minds rather than trying to deal with the outer political systems and disharmonies which sprout from those roots. A crazy idea? Well it certainly cannot be crazier than bombing the hell out of defenseless countries and mass-murdering their citizens in the name of "democracy" and "freedom". Their site is at www.uspeacegovernment.org and you can watch their a 2 hour presentation here.
BOOK: Love All The People / Bill Hicks
Bill Hicks is an American Comedian, now tragically deceased, who you either love or hate. But most would agree that the man was a genius at expressing alternative perspectives of modern American society. Hicks never went to college and is no academic; instead, he picked up the insights he expresses whilst on the road doing stand-up comedy, something he did professionally since he was thirteen years old before dying of cancer at the age of 32. This book is likely to get you laughing out loud in public places, and its only drawback is the slight repetition of jokes because it is basically a transcript of some of this live comedy routines.
Sadam Guilty And Sentenced To Death (5 Nov 2006)
The farcical trial of Saddam Hussein has finally come to a climax, with Saddam found guilty of mass-murder and sentenced to death. Without the capture of Osama bin Laden, Saddam has become the face of international terrorism for most ignorant people in the West, thanks to lies of the Bush administration and despite irrefutable evidence that he had no involvement in 9-11. Although the judges in both his trials were replaced for being too lenient (hardly an indictment of a fair trial) there is little doubt that Saddam was a brutal dictator who murdered many thousands of people. But let us not forget that he was supported in his climb to that murderous position by the West. And let us also not forget that that support did not waiver despite Saddam's genocide of the Kurds, using chemical weapons and armaments supplied by the West. We support many a brutal dictator around the world because international politics is nothing to do with justice or democracy: it is to do with money and power. The irony is that whilst Saddam's crimes have at least been recognized, Bush and Blair who are also mass-murderers, but on a scale that dwarfs Saddam, remain "respectable" world leaders. Let us not forget that we are all involved in this farce as most of us benefit in some way from the murderous arms trade that gives psychotic men the teeth to repress their people, with of course the blessing of our "moral" leaders. And will one more murder really help matters, or does it just spill more blood on the long road to resolution?
BOOK: How to be Idle / Tom Hodgkinson
I originally got this book for some humorous light reading… a welcome respite from some of more weighty political books. What a surprise to find that this book not only carries a profound message to those of us caught up in the fast pace and production-fixation of the capitalist machine, but it is brilliantly written in a compelling and humorous way that belies the profoundity of its message! Hodgkinson makes a very convincing case for sitting back in our dreams and watching the world go by. This book is a antidote to the self-help and "how to" books that pollute our bookshops, and try to turn us into "productive" citizens.
Bush in denial over US intelligence report (27 Sept 2006)
leaked US intelligence report has admitted that the Iraq war has only served to inflame Islamic terrorists worldwide, becoming a "cause celebre" and great recruitment tool for the "supporters for the global jihadist movement." It states that Islamic militants, although small in number, are now multiplying and dispersing geographically, and that the conflict has bred "a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world." It also considers that Europe is now seriously endangered because it is an easier Western target (thanks George and Tony) and that the loss of al-Qaeda leaders will probably only serve to fracture the terrorist group, without decreasing its threat. Predictably, Bush is in complete denial over his own intelligence and stated that it is a mistake to believe that "going on the offence against people who want to do harm to the American people makes us less safe." Of course he failed to mention that Iraq was never a terrorist hot-bed and posed absolutely no threat to the US at all — a fact that even he must have known before he invaded Iraq.
BOOK: Arguments Against G8 / Gill Hubbard & David Miller
If you have always wondered why G8 summits are plagued by demonstrators when G8 rhetoric involves such noble things as helping Africa and reducing green house gases then you must read this book. Hubbard and Miller have done an excellent job in creating a one-stop guide to everything about G8 — what it is, what it does, and why it is actually the cause of most of the world's problems rather than their solution. This book also includes chapters by leading writers and activists such as Noam Chomsky, George Monbiot, Caroline Lucas, Mark Curtis and Susan George. By the end of this book you will understand that G8 spells war, poverty and environmental ruin to much of the world. An informative read!
Israel & Hezbollah terrorize Lebanon (July 2006)
Once again the Middle East has erupted in violence as Israel pummel Lebanon in an entirely disproportionate response to the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers by the terrorist organization Hezbollah. And as usual, the main victims of war have been ordinary citizens, with Israeli strikes in Lebanon responsible for the murder of many hundreds of civilians, despite their transparent media propaganda about attacking only Hezbollah positions. It is time the rest of the world, and especially the US, stop taking sides in these conflicts and acknowledges that BOTH parties are acting as terrorists and therefore BOTH need to be sanctioned by the international community. The problem in this region is America's knee-jerk support for Israel, support which discourages diplomacy: after all, if you are under the protection of the playground bully (the US invariably vetoes UN censorship of Israeli terrorism), you don't bother with diplomacy. Instead, you act aggressively and with impunity. And whilst Hezbollah is a terrorist organisation, although one with political legitimacy, Israel is supposed to be a responsible democratic nation — part of an international community — and so it should know better. But instead, it is waging a war on unarmed Lebanese civilians, cutting the country to pieces with US-supplied bombs.
Update: Washington's continued opposition to an immediate ceasefire in a conflict killing hundreds of civilians, many of them children, can only imply complicity in the killing.
BOOK: Culture of Complaint / Robert Hughes
As an Australian who has lived in America for a couple of decades, Hughes set out to show the "hollowness at the cultural core" of the country, criticizing in this book, which was based on a series of lectures, trends from across the political spectrum including political correctness, Afro-centrism and the Reaganite demagogy.
US Spys On Own Citizens (12 May 2006): At the behest of the Bush administration, the NSA, America's National Security Agency, has been spying on tens of millions of its own citizens under the guise of fighting terrorism. According to a report in USA Today, the country's three biggest phone companies — AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth — have been handing over the landline and mobile phone recordings of tens of millions of ordinary citizens since 2001 so that that the NSA can compile a call database. All parties involved in this spying campaign — the government, the security agency and the phone companies — have unreasuringly defended themselves by stating that "no laws were broken". From their point of view, putting together phone conversations into a large computer database does not constitute "wiretapping" in the original sense of the word. However, experts disagreed with this play on definitions: Prof Greenberger of the University of Maryland school of law said, "I'm quite confident that if it's true it's illegal."
BOOK: BlowBack / Chalmers Johnson
As professor emeritus at the University of California and president of the Japan Policy Research Institute, Johnson talks with authority and understanding in his devastating expose of the consequences of US policies around the world. "Blowback" is a CIA term that refers to the negative consequences of political meddling in other countries, something we will no doubt are witnessing not only in 9-11 but also in the consequences of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. This book should be required reading for every American.
Nuclear Threat Increasing (Apr 2006): Ahmadinejad's defiance of the international community by making Iran a nuclear power nation is a serious threat to world peace and regional stability because it gives Bush the excuse he needs to continue empire building into Iran. As Paul Krugman said in the New York Times: "Given the combination of recklessness and dishonesty Bush displayed in launching the Iraq war, why should we assume that he wouldn't do it again?" And as Bush's ratings are at an all time low, such action would boost his support. Iran's defiant stance, although deplorable given the potential consequences, does not actually breach the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that it has signed. Countries are permitted to develop nuclear power, and that is what Iran has ostensibly done. The four main countries that have not signed the NPT treaty are India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea, all of which have surreptitiously developed nuclear weapons. However, the only signatory to seriously breach the NPT treaty terms is the US, as it continues to develop new nuclear weapons, shares them with NATO countries and has even offered to trade nuclear technology with non-NPT member India. This flagrant disregard for international law sets a dangerous example for other nations.
BOOK: The Shock Doctrine / Naomi Klein
In the early 1950s, the CIA did experiments to show that human beings will reduce to a child-like state when shocked either by some real or imagined threat, and will unhesitantly follow the dictates of authority. As a result, Milton Freedman, the economist, advised that the time to pass laws that are not in the interest of the people is straight after a disaster. This doctrine has been used to devastating effect after the shocks of 9-11 and the Iraq invasion. As a result, modern democracies have been eroded by politicians who have deliberately induced fear and shock in society so that the people blindly accept the erosion of their liberty and become willing slaves to dictatorial agendas.
Un Report on Guantanamo Bay (16 Feb 2006): The UN released its report today demanding the immediate closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison around further allegations of torture and inhuman treatment, including pictures and video evidence. The white House response? To call the report "a discredit to the UN." [The only thing discrediting to the UN is the fact that this report has taken so long to be released.] White House's response to these crime against humanity is to ravage the UN, in a way that shows complete disrespect for any form of political limits or international community. The US will do what it likes in "defending" its citizens even if, in the process, it incites a growing backlash that will be far more harmful in the long-run. Any moral high-ground assumed [falsely in this case] in "liberating" Iraq has been completely eroded by the use of such inhuman ways of dealing with prisoners. Just because these men are dangerous, does not give licence for inhuman treatment, for in torture the US destroys its own humanity and that of every other nation that supports these actions. And most seriously, and there is no question about this, such actions erode international human rights. There isn't one humanity for us and one humanity for them; torture and brutal treatment have no absolutely no place in any democratic modern society.
BOOK: Rule By Secrecy / Jim Marrs
This well researched shows that you don't have to be a paranoid to accept the existence of secret societies that have ruled and shaped our civilisation since the dawn of time. Today, those societies and cabals are as stronger than ever, and most of us would be shocked to learn how powerful they have become both politically and economically. The leading nations (US / EU) and hence the whole world are today ruled by a tiny elite minority, and this is essential to understanding modern Western "democracies" and the current breakdown of society.
Shock and Awe In Iraq: It is the responsibility of our media to show us the consequences of our choices, both in our own countries and abroad, so that we can steer our democratic systems in a direction that respects life. Otherwise, we can end up unwittingly making choices that are not in our interest because they destroy life. For when we destroy life, we destroy ourselves: we destroy the living spirit that can only survive if we have honoured, to the best of our ability, other human beings, animals and the eco-system of this planet. The corporate media in the US is partly responsible for war-crimes and the moral decay of our societies because it continues to deliberately hide from us the consequences of our actions and political support. And by hiding it, it perpetuates those ignorant choices, and in so doing it colludes with the consequences of those choices. The choice to support the foreign policies of Bush and Blair is an evil one. "Evil" is a harsh word, something that we associate with blind religion, but evil is the word that best describes the deliberate policy of smashing people to pieces — physically, mentally and spiritually — for the sake of political and economic ambition. It is our responsibility, therefore, to make sure that we are not ignorant of the consequences of the choices we make. So let us see for ourselves the blood running in the streets in far-off places, and then let us try to preach our right-wing "bring 'em on" ideology that was only ever supported by what Pinter describes as "a veil of lies", ideology which, if it survives the onslaught of a cold reality-check, only betrays psychopathic tendency. Please visit www.marchforjustice.com.
BOOK: Hidden Agendas / John Pilger
This book is not easy reading material for a Westerner because it exposes how our "civilized" countries have raped the resources of the Third World in a ruthless effort to protect their interests. In the process, nothing has been allowed to get in the way of the West's hidden agendas, resulting in millions of innocent people being murdered and oppressed. Pilger is a first class journalist who meticulously backs up his message with facts and observations — many of them first hand. One cannot fail to read this book and see Western politics in the same way again.

"What no one seemed to notice… was the ever widening gap… between the government and the people… And it became always wider… The whole process of its coming into being, was, above all, diverting. It proved an excuse not to think for the people who did not want to think anyway… [It] kept us so busy with continuous changes and "crises"and so fascinated… by the machinations of the "national enemies", without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us… Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, "regretted", that unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these "little measures"… must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing… Each act… is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others , when such a shock comes, will join you in resisting somehow. You don't want to act, or even talk, alone… You don't want to "go out of your way to make trouble"… But the one great shocking occasion, when tens of hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes. That's the difficulty. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying if with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves. When everyone is transformed, no one is transformed… You have accepted things you would not have accepted five years ago, a year ago, things your father… could never have imagined."

They Thought They Were Free: the Germans, 1938-1945
by Milton Mayer (Quoted from The Ecologist, July/Aug 2005)
BOOK: The New Rulers of the World / John Pilger
Pilger does not pull any punches in this book that challenges the manner in which the West is trying to deal with terrorism in the Middle East. He cogently argues that bombing Iraq will be the very worst decision the West could make if it really wanted world peace. For example, the US bombing of Afghanistan has only reinforced the very conditions that breed violent extremism. Pilger shows us the hidden agendas that the West has in perpetrating this campaign of "stamping out terrorism". This is a very well written, heartfelt, eye opening and timely book.

"While the rulers of the world cloister themselves behind the fences of Seattle or Genoa, or ascent into the inaccessible eyries of Doha or Kananaskis [or Gleneagles]… they leave the rest of the world shut out of their deliberations. We are left to shout abuse… They reduce us, in other words, to the mob, and then revile the thing they have created… They, the tiniest and most unrepresentative of the world's minorities, assert a popular mandate they do not possess, then accuse us of illegitimacy. Their rule, unauthorised and untested, is sovereign."

George Monbiot, The Age of Consent, (quoted from Arguments Against G8 by Hubbard and Miller)
BOOK: Uncommon Sense / Gregory Sams
As a pioneer in chaos theory and founder of Strange Attractions, the world's only shop that was dedicated to chaos theory, Sams argues that the world has so many problems precisely because there is so much control, and that loosening up the constraints in society many make it a little more chaotic, but paradoxically will also make it find a more living and harmonious order (order out of chaos). This unique book is available free on the web at www.chaos-works.com and is highly recommended for its originality and readability.
G8's Hypocrisy over African Debt Relief (2005)
So you think that G8 is pulling out all the stops to try to help African debt? That they are doing everything they can to prevent climate change? G8 is actually an octopus of imperialism that thinks nothing of environmental destruction, impoverishing developing nations and starting wars to maintain the elite status of the eight member states. The escalation of African debt, for example, was a deliberate policy to enslave a resource-rich continent. G8 is the problem, not the solution.
BOOK: American Dream Global Nightmare / Sardar & Davies
This book investigates the American Dream, how it developed, what it means to America, and the consequences of this dream around the world. The Dream begins with the assumption that because America is different, is exceptional, it is somehow held by most Americans to be exempt from from being judged by the same standards as other societies around the world. The result is a country, whether it is led by democrats or republicans, that feels justified in illegally invading other soverign states, murdering many thousands of their people, stealing their resources, and destroying their culture… all in the of "freedom", "progress" and "democracy".
"People had no hair because their hair was burned, and at a glance you couldn't tell whether you were looking at them from front or back, and their skin — not only on their hands, but on their faces and bodies, too — hung down. If there had been only one or two such people… perhaps I would not have had such a strong impression. But wherever I walked I met these people… Many of them died along the road. I can still picture them in my mind — like walking ghosts." A survivor of Hiroshima, 1945
BOOK: The Unconscious Civilization / John Ralston Saul
Saul is a philosopher and in this book he shows us how the economic machine coupled with disproportionate political representation resulting from escalating self-interest has steadily eroded democracy and taken us back to 1930s corporatism. Saul is a deep and passionate writer who strongly puts forward the need for society to get back to a more participatory democracy, freed from the shackles of the corporate machine.
An alternative perspective on the US Constitution:
"Why should we feel bound today by a document produced more than two centuries ago by a group of fifty-five mortal men, actually signed by only thirty-nine, a fair number of whom were slaveholders, and adopted in only thirteen states by the votes of fewer than two thousand men, all of whom are long since dead and mainly forgotten?" Robert A. Dahl
BOOK: Blackwater / Jeremy Scahill
This book documents the rise of the world's most powerful mercenary army, Blackwater USA, a 23,300-strong private army that was established by in 1996 by ex-Navy Seal Erik Prince, a billionaire Christian conservative and Republican Party supporter. Not only is Blackwater focused on overseas missions, playing for example a bloody role in Fallujah, but it is also used domestically — for example it was used to patrol some of the streets after the New Orleans disaster. The problem with Blackwater is that as it operates as a private contractor it is largely above the rule of law.
BOOK: Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace / Gore Vidal
This anti-what-America-has-become book is so good that it actually sold 100,000 copies in America itself! Gore Vidal is one of the most witty, erudite and insightful political and social commentators you are ever likely to read. The subtitle of this book neatly sums up what is in its covers: "How We [America] Got To Be So Hated — Causes Of Conflict In The Last Empire". Pushing past simplistic and media-promoted aphorisms such as Bush's "They are evil, we are good," Vidal follows the terrorist scent to the door of American government itself. This is a fantastic book.