Sunday, March 19, 2017

"Benign Hegemony." What US capitalism calls mass slaughter. How to read the capitalist media.

US capitalism tentacles in South East Asia.
Sean O'Torain.

For those of us who want to fight US capitalism we need to know what our enemy, the US capitalist class is thinking and what it is capable of doing. Capitalism has its huge mass media to convince the working class of its ideas. As this Blog explains capitalism wages a non stop war for the consciousness of the working class. The objective of this war is to convince the working class that there is no alternative to capitalism, that the working class cannot build a new society which it would control and which would act in its interests and in the interests of the planet and life on earth as we know it. This Blog also explains the task of those of us who want to end capitalism is to combat capitalism's war for the consciousness of the working class and wage our own struggle for the consciousness of the working class. As we wage this struggle we have to follow the mass media of capitalism and see what they are saying and counter their lies.

Trotsky the revolutionary socialist said there was two kinds of capitalist media. The gutter capitalist media which tells lies 90% of the time. Included in this lot would be outfits like Fox News and the tabloid press and the myriad of right wing nut case radio stations. Then there is the more serious capitalist media which is aimed more at its own class and which tells the truth the majority of the time in order to be able to lie convincingly when it matters. In the latter lot would be outlets like The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times etc. Of course since Trotsky wrote we have the development of the Internet and social media so things have changed a bit. The capitalist class no longer has the same monopoly of propaganda it once had. This is good. But one of the weaknesses of the Internet and the social media is that while it makes the dissemination of information much easier,  the forces, including the more anti capitalist and anti establishment forces within it have no concept of the existence of the working class and that it is only the working class that can change the world. This is a serious weakness. So while there is much exposing of the evils of capitalism and this is good no alternative is put forward.

But to go back to the capitalist media. I will leave aside the gutter media for the moment. Look instead at the serious capitalist media. Part of our struggle is to train ourselves how to read the capitalist media.  We have to read this media and contrast it to information from other sources and also use our imagination and see what words are used and what is not being said. In other words we have to read between the lines.  This is one area where the Internet is invaluable. If we read what the capitalist media is saying about something we can google the topic and get different opinions and actual facts. As an example of what I am talking about let us take an excerpt from a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. It was about the visit of Tillerson the US secretary of State and major hood of the US oil and gas capitalists to South East Asia and China. The Wall Street Journal gave its version of the background and role of US capitalism in this region in an article on his visit.

It wrote: "For more than seven decades, US armed forces have presided over a benign hegemony in Asia. After defeating Japanese fascism, they stayed on to help build prosperity from the rubble of war and fend off communism. Nowadays, the US Pacific Command from Hawaii looks after a territory that embraces ("embraces"? S.O'T.)almost half of humanity and boasts a force of five aircraft-carrier strike groups and some 1,500 aircraft. China is convinced all this firepower is here to keep it down, but cannot yet match the strength. Rather, it seeks to undermine US credibility and prestige by intimidating its Asian partners. Already, the Philippines is bending to Beijing's will. But the stakes are far higher in South Korea, an industrialized economy with a war-ready military. Effectively, China is trying to dictate the security options of a sovereign nation whose safety-and that of some 28,000 US troops it hosts-is imperiled by North Korea's mastery of missile and nuclear technology. Today Mister Trump's challenge will be to turn back a nuclear threat from Pyongyang, while somehow holding together a fading imperium that Mr Xi is anxious to consign to the dustbin of history."

US capitalism's "Benign Hegemony" in Laos. A defenseless population
Where to start? This piece from the Wall Street Journal is staggering in its lies and its making up of a history that never happened. Let us look at it. For "seven decades it presided over a benign hegemony" in Asia. What was the reality of this "benign hegemony". The Wall Street Journal propaganda and lying machine leaves out a few details. This "benign hegemony" included dropping nuclear bombs on the civilian population of Japan. US capitalism is the only force that ever dropped nuclear bombs on civilian populations. This "benign hegemony" included conducting, with the help of remnants of the Japanese fascists it talks about, the invasion and brutal war in Korea.

In this war MacArthur the US commander "ordered all air forces under his command to "destroy every means of communication, every installation, factory, city, village from the Yalu river forming the border between North Korea and China." US capitalism's "benign hegemony" in South East Asia also included its invasion of Vietnam, with an estimated 3 million Vietnamese and 58 million American workers in uniform killed. It also included its carpet bombing of Cambodia and Laos. Carpet bombing means to bomb every inch of a country like a carpet covers a floor. Kissinger the US war criminal explained what the US did to these countries with its air power. "Everything that flies on everything that moves."  Its "benign hegemony" also includes its organizing of the mass slaughter of more than half a million anti capitalist and activist forces in Indonesia. Looking further afield one study estimates that since World War 2 US capitalism has killed between 20 and 30 million people in 37 nations. This is not to mention how many Americans died at home in America due to the vicious anti worker policies and the contradictions of the policies of US capitalism including the spending on wars to defend the US corporations profits and property, billions of dollars which could have been spent on improving the living standards of the US working class and the working class internationally.

US capitalism is backing itself into a corner in South Asia and especially with North Korea. It needs China to pressure North Korea to denuclearize. Meanwhile it Trump rails at China and increases the tensions between the US and China. China and for that matter North Korea are not stupid They see what happens when US capitalism goes after a small country which has no nuclear weapons. Qaddafi in Libya made a deal with US and other advanced capitalist powers to end its countries nuclear program. A few years later these same powers supported his overthrow and he was dragged from a ditch in which he was hiding and raped and killed. The lesson has not been lost on North Korea. If US capitalism attacks North Korea it would cause an enormous crisis in South East Asia. Nuclear weapons would be used. This would kill millions. And not only in North Korea but in South Korea and China. There would be millions of refugees fleeing in China. South Korea would be hit if not by nuclear weapons at least by the massive artillery weaponry of the North which can reach the South's capital city.

US capitalism's "benign hegemony" in South East Asia is cracking. It will either lose its hegemony or its hegemony will become less "benign." Its control is loosening. It has its other wars in the Middle East. It has the first beginnings of a what will become serious problems within its military with the opposition of some of its drone operators to killing civilians and with the new crisis in the marines with the internal divisions there over the spreading of nude photos of female marines on the Internet.  It has its huge budget deficits and 19 trillion dollars national debt and so cannot continue to fund its hundreds of military bases abroad and its war machine.

US capitalism is heading into a major crisis. It has to deal with this crisis with the idiot Trump in the White House. Trump is pushing measures that will drastically further cut the living standards and health care for hundreds of millions of Americans. At the same time a new world economic recession lies ahead, one that will be much worse than that of 2008. US capitalism's arrogance will make this world crisis worse. Of course it is not ruled out that Trump would launch a new war somewhere to try and undermine the opposition that is rising against him at home. But while this might work for a time it would only postpone the crisis and make it much worse when it struck.

As we read the serious capitalist press as we follow events we must break from old stale conservative  methods of thinking. We must use our imagination. The world will not continue with the "relative stability" of the past decades. We are heading into a period of economic and political and military crisis that has not been seen since the 1930's and 1940's. This will not leave any of our lives untouched. Do not think that we will proceed as we have done for the past decades. Look at the nations around the world that have been shattered in pieces. Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen. A new crisis is about to explode in Latin America. Europe is breaking up. Russian capitalism is making its play to face up to US capitalism. The giant of China continues to seek a larger world role. However it will soon be wracked by a movement of its own working class. India has had the huge one day strike of 160 to 180 million mainly women workers for better wages and labor rights. However it is also in danger of erupting into communal break up and violence under the vicious rule of Modi.

The way out of this crisis is the organizing of the international working class to overthrow capitalism. The working class is much stronger in numbers and relative to the other classes than ever before. It is spread over all the continents of the world. In what is a huge strengthening of the working class 50% of factory workers are now women. What is needed is the building of an international revolutionary mass movement of the working class of tens and hundreds of millions dedicated to take every necessary measure to end capitalism. What is needed is to remove the pro capitalist leadership of the 200 million strong trade unions world wide and replace these with a revolutionary socialist leadership. As we do so another lesson we have to learn from this mass slaughter of capitalism over the past decades is that it will not give up its power without a fight. The working class has to conduct its struggle with the necessary ruthlessness if it is to win.      

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