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David Ranney on “The New World Disorder”
An Insurgent Notes Presentation
DATE: Sunday, April 6, 2014
TIME: 4:00 PM
PLACE: Room 5414, CUNY Graduate Center, Fifth Avenue & 34th Street, New York City
David Ranney has just published his latest book New World Disorder: The Decline of U.S. Power (2014). Ranney, author of Global Decisions, Local Collisions: Urban Life in the New World Order (2003) argues that the global system that President George H. W. Bush first called the New World Order is now in a deep systemic crisis and has become a new world disorder.
The political and economic instability that rages around the world, Ranney contends, cannot be attributed to simply a great recession. The global crisis that we face today is inherent in capitalism itself and has appeared historically again and again. Ranney lays out the source of today’s new world disorder and explains its historical precedents. He then raises critical questions about the future.
As the crisis deepens, players around the world are lining up to knock the U.S. out of its self-proclaimed position as the most powerful nation on earth. What are some possible outcomes? Are we doomed to live through a long period of narrow political bickering, a deteriorating environment, declining living standards, permanent war, and government surveillance? Will super global corporations enforce a new and possibly brutal form of capitalism that is removed from the reach of any particular government? Will we see the frightening emergence of 21st Century fascism? Or will we find a way toward a global system based on liberty, equality and environmental sustainability that aims to meet the needs of humanity and the planet?
David Ranney has been a faculty member of the College of Urban Planning and
Public Affairs at the University of Illinois Chicago. Ranney has also been a factory worker, a labor and community organizer and an activist academic. He is the author of four books and numerous articles and monographs on issues of employment, labor and community organizing and U.S. trade policy. In addition to his writing, he gives lectures on economic policy and politics and also finds time to be an actor and director in a small community theatre.
He will be speaking about the major themes of his new book and answering questions from those in attendance.
For more information, email email@example.com.
COINTELPRO and Divisive Hate
Bill Weinberg, World War 4 Report
The very point of the FBI's COINTELPRO strategy of the 1960s was paranoia, divisive hatred, and ultimately cannibalization of radical opposition movements in the United States. And it was grimly successful. Now that there are signs that US police agencies are reviving such tactics, it is imperative that activists learn from the mistakes of their counterparts two generations ago, and find rational, principled, humane and above all tactically astute ways to respond.
The FBI's own webpage on COINTELPRO (from a section entitled "FBI Records: The Vault") states that the agency launched "COINTELPRO—short for Counterintelligence Program—in 1956 to disrupt the activities of the Communist Party of the United States. In the 1960s, it was expanded to include a number of other domestic groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan, the Socialist Workers Party, and the Black Panther Party. All COINTELPRO operations were ended in 1971. Although limited in scope (about two-tenths of one percent of the FBI's workload over a 15-year period), COINTELPRO was later rightfully criticized by Congress and the American people for abridging first amendment rights and for other reasons."
"We Have Populism Because There Is No People"
'Quite a number of the terms that we use all the time, and which we thus believe that we understand in all their significance, are, in reality, only fully clear to a privileged few. As in the case of the terms “circle” or “square”, which everyone uses, though only mathematicians have a clear and precise idea of what they really mean; so, too, the word “people” is on everyone's lips, without them ever getting a clear idea in mind of its real meaning'. So said the mathematician and philosopher Frédéric de Castillon, victorious participant in the 1778 contest held by the Royal Prussian Academy on the question, close to the heart of Frederick the Great, 'is it useful for the people to be tricked?' 'Normally, by “the people” we mean' – Castillon continued – 'the majority of the population, almost constantly occupied by mechanical, rough and wearisome tasks, and excluded from government and roles in public life'. Here, we are dealing with the eve of the French Revolution – but in Germany, where nation and people had not yet met, as they already had some time before in England, France and Spain, by way of their absolute monarchies. Thus we are also talking about here, in Italy. Frédéric de Castillon arrived in Berlin having come from Tuscany. Nation and people grew together in the modern age. And what brings them together is the modern state. There is no nation, without the state. But there is no people, without the state. This is important, first in order to understand the question, and moreover in order to grasp it within the time that concerns us, and in which we are engaged. Because the theme is an eternal one, Biblical more than it is historical.
On the G20/12
This week’s latest reunion in Mexico of the G20 country-governments—that is to say, the ‘most advanced’ States within the global capitalist system—predictably continued in the tradition of mindlessness and unreason for which the transnational oligarchy should by now be well-known. Meeting in the luxury-resort town of San José del Cabo in Baja California Sur—a locale which, like Cancún in the Yucatan, effectively functions as a beachside colony for the most privileged, whether Mexican or foreign—the parties to the G20 merely worked to attempt to stabilize their dominion over the peoples of the world and non-human nature.
James Howard Kunstler
Question du jour: why is Jon Corzine still at large? In what fabulous
Manhattan restaurants has he been enjoying plates of cockscombs and
lobster with sauce hydromel and cinghiale ai frutti di bosco, while less
well-connected citizens of this degenerate republic have to order their
suppers from the dumpster in the WalMart parking lot where they have
been living lately.
Is there still an Attorney General in this country? Will somebody please
follow Eric Holder down a hallway and see if he leaves a trail of
sawdust on the floor. Or did congress just retract all the fraud
statutes by stealth in the same way that the Federal Reserve handed out
$7.7 trillion in bailouts back in 2008 (much more than the generally
accepted figure of the $800 billion TARP) without anyone finding out
until three years later when some Bloomberg reporters rooted the numbers
out of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) filing. And by the way, what
is the US Federal Reserve doing handing out billions of dollars to the
Royal Bank of Scotland? Was Scotland admitted to the Union by stealth,
too? Or did Jamie Dimon just buy it as a birthday present for Barack
Obama, who likes golf.
Wikileaks Publishes "Spy Files," Revealing Vast Surveillance Industry
On Thursday, December 1st, 2011 WikiLeaks began publishing The Spy
Files, thousands of pages and other materials exposing the global mass
Mass interception of entire populations is not only a reality, it is a
secret new industry spanning 25 countries.
Prosecution Explains Jury Tampering Charge
Julian P. Heicklen, a 79-year-old retired chemistry professor, has often stood on a plaza outside the United States Courthouse in Manhattan, holding a “Jury Info” sign and handing out brochures that advocate jury nullification, the controversial view that if jurors disagree with a law, they may ignore their oaths to follow it and may acquit a defendant who violated it.
Then, last year, federal prosecutors had Mr. Heicklen indicted, charging that his activity violated the law against jury tampering. Lawyers assisting him have sought dismissal of the case on First Amendment grounds.
But now prosecutors are offering their first detailed explanation for why they charged Mr. Heicklen, arguing in a brief that his “advocacy of jury nullification, directed as it is to jurors, would be both criminal and without Constitutional protections no matter where it occurred.”
The Third Republic of Movements: Considerations on the alternative and the constituent conflict in Italy
Francesco Brancaccio, Alberto De Nicola, Francesco Raparelli
Following the events of October 15th the main challenge the Movement faces is to avoid being pressed in the grip of simplification and strict dichotomy, and at the same time to preserve its open and varied nature. We believe this risk has been outlined better than elsewhere in the editorial by Piero Ostellino published by Corriere della Sera. Ostellino uses the riots that took place during the demonstration to worn that there is no possibility of transforming the present beyond the choice between civil war or respectful reform of representative democracy and of the capitalist market rules
Tertium non datur. Even radical conflict, when it comes onto the scene, is bound to follow one of these two paths sooner or later, leaving behind any ambition to modify social relations.
The Creeping Nausea of American Exceptionalism
James Howard Kunstler
History, that coy dominatrix, loves to trick the credulous human race.
In a moment when something we call "democracy" seems to be spreading
through the dodgy precincts of the world like a contagion of virtue,
the trend is actually going the other way in countries that have
practiced it for a while.