The clout you will get from the rhizzone dot net readership is far more powerful than any other media empire. You’ve crossed us once Parenti, don’t make this mistake again

pogfan1996 posted:

The clout you will get from the rhizzone dot net readership is far more powerful than any other media empire. You’ve crossed us once Parenti, don’t make this mistake again

It's just some random online Marxist magazine, don't worry. The post I'm going to make here is actually going to be better than the review because reviews are limiting and you want to fit in a broad overview of the entire book...trust me brother.

you can always just edit out the post i think

Parenti posted:

drwhat could you please move the post to the .pdf forum?

Just blank it and repost it there

afaik there isn't a quick & easy function to scissor individual posts out and splice them into other threads, WAY more hassle than to just edit it out and repost yourself yeah
also a note that the only reason i care about publishing it is because i got a free review copy and if i don't publish it somewhere i won't be able to get free review copies from public affairs anymore. as a side note if anyone wants free review copies simply ask for them from publishing houses, remarkable how many of them just give 'em away.
yeah sv is right, you can't do that.

(there is technically a way to do anything but it would be like open heart surgery on the website)

drwhat posted:

there is technically a way to do anything

Making my way through Blackshirts and Reds. This is a nice quote, with a line at the end that had me daydreaming a little.

Michael Parenti Posted:

As Fidel Castro tells it:

The revolution has sent teachers, doctors, and workers to dozens of Third World countries without charging a penny. It shed its own blood fighting colonialism, fighting apartheid, and fascism . . . .
At one point we had 25,000 Third World students studying on scholarships. We still have many scholarship students from Africa and other countries. In addition, our country has treated more children who were victims of the Chernobyl tragedy than all other countries put together.

They don't talk about that, and that's why they blockade us – the country with the most teachers per capita of all countries in the world, including developed countries. The country with the most doctors per capita of all countries .

The country with the most art instructors per capita of all countries in the world. The country with the most sports instructors in the world. That gives you an idea of the effort involved. A country where life expectancy is more than 75 years.

Why are they blockading Cuba? Because no other country has done more for its people. It's the hatred of the ideas that Cuba represents. (Monthly Review, 6/95).

A short distance away, Mao and Stalin sitting on a picnic table facing each other turn towards Fidel. Half eaten burgers drop from their mouths in shock of what had just been said.

Stalin brushes aside the crumbs on his sweater. “Forgive me Comrade, but the words you speak sound disconnected from the other struggles in this world.”

Mao stands up, considering for a moment what to say. “This flower should not bloom. May I suggest planting in more fertile soil?”

Suddenly a hand slams down from behind on Fidel’s shoulder. The pain is sharp but quickly fades away. Kim Il-sung’s face comes into focus despite the sun shining behind him. “Dear friend, many of us have experienced your pain and pleasures, let us share these experiences together.”

Another hand grips tightly on the other shoulder. Enver Hoxha leans in with a stern face that melts away into a warm smile as he parts words. “We must stay on the revolutionary path, all else is revisionism.”

Fidel shakes his head and chuckles. “Thank you all for your words of wisdom, however I spoke with Karl last night and he told me this would get you all fuming mad and what a result! Let us laugh together.”

As the picture zooms out, pieces of cheese, pickles and meat can seen flying towards Fidel as he hums in the sun.

how is three body problem's climax a looney tunes caper with cheese wire pulled across the panama canal. "hard" sci fi is so bad, chinese or not

i kinda fucked with the way character interactions have the structure of an ethnic joke, whether with the historical personages in the game world expounding on their theories or later on where it's like the stereotype american will do this, the venezuelan this, the brit this, the hardboiled chinese detective this etc etc. it's like a joke without the punchline. also the occasional intentional clunk to the phrasing in translation made the estrangement better

not as good as say, top soviet prog sci fi i've read but i'd like to familiarize myself with the published space for sure. next i think i'll try reading rise of the red engineers

add me on goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/4735240?page=1

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Parenti posted:

pogfan1996 posted:

The clout you will get from the rhizzone dot net readership is far more powerful than any other media empire. You’ve crossed us once Parenti, don’t make this mistake again

It's just some random online Marxist magazine, don't worry. The post I'm going to make here is actually going to be better than the review because reviews are limiting and you want to fit in a broad overview of the entire book...trust me brother.

lol I published it at the obscure communist webpage like a week ago and today I hear back from the Monthly Review saying they want it for MRonline, so i send them the link but they actually wanted to publish it as a monthly review online essay, not just a repost, and they don't republish obviously. i am completely cursed.


Parenti posted:

lol I published it at the obscure communist webpage like a week ago and today I hear back from the Monthly Review saying they want it for MRonline, so i send them the link but they actually wanted to publish it as a monthly review online essay, not just a repost, and they don't republish obviously. i am completely cursed.

yeah, that sucks, there’s one solution i can see: after decades of revolutionary struggle and arduous peoples war, set against a background of spiraling environmental chaos the last vestiges of the parasitic west were crushed in the war to end all wars. the total death toll might never be known. the remnant crackkker population was swiftly dispersed throughout the global south in a heavy handed but ultimately justified attempt to prevent the forces of reaction regrouping. what followed were decades of bitter ideological struggle, setbacks and advances on the demanding road to communism. the seeds of global famine might have planted in the past age by the now crushed bourgeoisie, but it was the people who paid the price and bore the burden of healing the world, regenerating a planet fit for life.

but at the end of the road it was judged that the price paid had been worth it. a classless, global society emerging from dark decades moved into a golden age of artistic and scientific development, with the ability to dedicate productive forces that would have been unheard of in the previous age, along with freedom from the ideological shackles of capitalism, new discoveries and understandings were rapid and monumental. new insights into the deep structure of reality culminated in researchers making startling discoveries. news was swiftly shared across the earth and satellite habitats – debates raged fiercely across the entirety of the highly educated population – convincing arguments on both sides, but eventually, in a whole society vote it was decides that the avenue was too potentially disruptive to pursue, the risks of unintended consequences were too high. ultimately, no message was sent. so I guess this is no solution at all parenti. sorry.


c_man posted:

I remember when that documentary "the act of killing" came out about the people who worked in the indonesian death squads and how they felt abt it today or whatever, and they mentioned that they were US backed very briefly in passing and then never brought it up again but made weird jokes about how much the death squad guys liked elvis

oppenheimer is cool, a committed anti-imperialist, and bevins cites the film & look of silence as inspirations for the book.

act of killing was a very specific depiction of the narratives and fantasies perpetrators of the genocide live out on a social level, while look of silence deals with how those scarred by the events navigate a society dominated by this collective storytelling. they weren't meant to be comprehensive introductions to the actual historical events.

oppenheimer spent close to a decade working with victims and their advocacy orgs in indonesia and is clear on imperialist culpability and direction of the killings in every media appearance he does

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thats all fine but it doesnt really change anything about how the film itself brushes US support for the actions under the rug? everyone ive talked to about the movie who didnt know they were US sponsored going in still had no idea after they saw it. Is it really that meaningful that the director is an "anti-imperialist" if no one who isnt already on board even notices?
Im not trying to take shots at oppenheimers antiimperialist bona fides but i think its notable that every single person i know who saw that movie who didnt already know that the mass killings were US sponsored came out of the movie still having no idea and thought it was just gross stuff happening in nonwhite countries
reading about music

it doesn't brush those details under the rug, it's just not concerned with them from the outset because they're obviously not part of the narrative and identity that the perpetrators themselves live out. and i'm not sure how familiar you are with the details of the production of the film but the majority of people who developed it were activists and victim advocates within indonesia, credited anonymously due to the risk of violent reprisal

obviously bird brained chauvinists are going to be illiterate about the broader context, vulgarising for their benefit will always be a losing game
Idk dude i think the point of a documentary is generally education and propaganda of some variety. It pretty clearly connects the people involved to local historical and contemporary politics and displays those connections prominently. It also talks about american pop culture extensively but explicitly does not take that opportunity to display the prominence of american pop culture in these groups as anything other than a meaningless absurdity to contrast with the brutality of their actions
And if the point of anti-imperialist art is to hide the anti-imperialism in secret messages so that only other people in the club can even notice why bother?
Did you actually watch the act of killing
it was an immensely educational film, it just wasn't narrowly didactic. it directly involves the context of immediate local politics and media because that's the world the perpetrators continue to exist in. even tho the reality is that these people were state department directed death squads, that's not the reality the perpetrators live in, they live in a complicated mesh of fantasy and denial that is reinforced at a local institutional and cultural level.

much of the reality of the killings is left unspoken, because that's how fantasy, reality and myth operate on the social level. this reality is constantly at the threshold of how those complicit understand themselves but we can only see it by its absence, as something too vast and unbearable to directly confront

the cultural reference points of elvis and john wayne films or whatever aren't just presented for their absurd contrast, it's literally how these people identify and articulate themselves and their actions
Again thats fine and it was a good movie but its really just a statement of fact that it glosses over the US involvement in the mass killings. Thats clearly obvious enough that no one had challenged the statement and thats really all i said. going on about how thats not what the film is about is 100% consistent with that and is also clear to anyone who sees the movie. Its a documentary thats very moving and artistically well constructed that happens to have a liberal scope.

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found some solace and grounding today rereading a single spark can cause a prairie fire
America's Panhandles, Ranked From 1 to 10

i read this hot nonsense the other day. literally the first thing in it is the guy going thru customs with his copy of 1984 (whoa) and an aphex twin cd (holy shit. badass).

duder does animation work there and gripes about "the regime" the whole time. maybe, like, don't take a job in another country?? that you don't wanna go to or support....? idk just spitballing here.

there's obviously a lot of childish "UGH wish i could be free from my HANDLERS" stuff. at one point there's a "here there be dragons" style map of the DPRK with a scaaaary northeastern part in shadow, where "everybody knows the hard labor/death camps are"

anyway, sometimes it's fun to hate-read a graphic novel you know is gonna be the pits
every time someone mentions 1984 you know they haven't read a book that wasn't harry potter since high school
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one of my big brained leftist Whoa moments as a rowdy young man was at a party when i suddenly realized 1984 was just Orwell expressing his guilty anxious worries that the cop snitching violence he'd perpetrated on others might one day be turned around on him
there's a wyndham lewis book where among other things he critiques george orwell and it's hysterical to read because while he's ostensibly writing in support of orwell's work he's constantly damning him with faint praise by saying that all his books other than 1984 and animal farm are garbage and all his characters are paper thin types rather than people, and he goes on to say that orwell's 'socialism' was motivated by patriotic feeling and snobbery rather than any leftist sensibility, so much so that orwell would have been an SS man if he'd been born in germany. he also talks about the influence of trots and soviet dissident writers on orwell's views.
actually i'm gonna post a screencap of the pdf because the ownage has to be read to be believed and it's incredibly funny that most of what he says lines up well with left critiques of orwell
a lot of people poke fun at the politics of 1984 and george orwell but its cool to me how a major aspect of the most powerful book of the 20th century or whatever is the george orwell self insert character having lots of epic taboo sex with a young woman
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Jesuits thought they staged the suicide of Robin Williams to perfection. But Robin shared his heart with Gail from heaven to tell his version of events.
finished Blackshirts and Reds. was pretty familiar with the topics but it’s nice to have a refresher sometimes. some light criticism: i'm not sure if he changed his views later but at this point in time you can tell he believed the Khrushchev speech so reading anything related to that is a bit awkward. also, a lot of the statistics and stories aren’t cited which makes it hard to recommend to other people who may be more skeptical

really liked this passage:

Learning to Ask Why

When we think without Marx’s perspective, that is, without considering
class interests and class power, we seldom ask why certain
things happen. Many things are reported in the news but few are
explained. Little is said about how the social order is organized and
whose interests prevail. Devoid of a framework that explains why
things happen, we are left to see the world as do mainstream media
pundits: as a flow of events, a scatter of particular developments and
personalities unrelated to a larger set of social relations—propelled
by happenstance, circumstance, confused intentions, and individual
ambition, never by powerful class interests—and yet producing
effects that serve such interests with impressive regularity.

Thus we fail to associate social problems with the socio-economic
forces that create them and we learn to truncate our own critical
thinking. Imagine if we attempted something different; for example,
if we tried to explain that wealth and poverty exist together not in
accidental juxtaposition, but because wealth causes poverty, an
inevitable outcome of economic exploitation both at home and
abroad. How could such an analysis gain any exposure in the capitalist
media or in mainstream political life?

Suppose we started with a particular story about how child labor
in Indonesia is contracted by multinational corporations at near-starvation
wage levels. This information probably would not be carried
in rightwing publications, but in 1996 it did appear—after
decades of effort by some activists—in the centrist mainstream
press. What if we then crossed a line and said that these exploitative
employer-employee relations were backed by the full might of the
Indonesian military government. Fewer media would carry this story
but it still might get mentioned in an inside page of the New York
Times or Washington Post.

Then suppose we crossed another line and said that these repressive
arrangements would not prevail were it not for generous military
aid from the United States, and that for almost thirty years the
homicidal Indonesian military has been financed, armed, advised,
and trained by the U.S. national security state. Such a story would be
even more unlikely to appear in the liberal press but it is still issue-specific
and safely without an overall class analysis, so it might well
make its way into left-liberal opinion publications like the Nation
and the Progressive.

Now suppose we pointed out that the conditions found in
Indonesia—the heartless economic exploitation, brutal military
repression, and lavish U.S. support—exist in scores of other countries.
Suppose we then crossed that most serious line of all and
instead of just deploring this fact we also asked why successive U.S.
administrations involve themselves in such unsavory pursuits
throughout the world. And what if then we tried to explain that the
whole phenomenon is consistent with the U.S. dedication to making
the world safe for the free market and the giant multinational corporations,
and that the intended goals are (a) to maximize opportunities
to accumulate wealth by depressing the wage levels of workers
throughout the world and preventing them from organizing on
behalf of their own interests, and (b) to protect the overall global system
of free-market capital accumulation.

Then what if, from all this, we concluded that U.S. foreign policy
is neither timid, as the conservatives say, nor foolish, as the liberals
say, but is remarkably successful in rolling back just about all governments
and social movements that attempt to serve popular needs
rather than private corporate greed.

Such an analysis, hurriedly sketched here, would take some effort
to lay out and would amount to a Marxist critique—a correct critique—
of capitalist imperialism. Though Marxists are not the only
ones that might arrive at it, it almost certainly would not be published
anywhere except in a Marxist publication. We crossed too
many lines. Because we tried to explain the particular situation
(child labor) in terms of a larger set of social relations (corporate
class power), our presentation would be rejected out of hand as "ideological."
The perceptual taboos imposed by the dominant powers
teach people to avoid thinking critically about such powers. In contrast,
Marxism gets us into the habit of asking why, of seeing the linkage
between political events and class power.