The Last of the Mad Pirates?

Exclusive: President Trump’s erratic behavior and careless bellicosity could have dire consequences for the world, but he also demonstrates the need to rethink America’s global power, notes David Marks.

By David Marks

There is clear evidence of a world increasingly steeped in conflict and violence: The degradation of U.S.-Russian relations, territorial tensions in the South China Sea, the hostile rhetoric between North Korea and the United States, an escalation of the border conflict between China and India, growing tension between Israel and Iran, and the continuing wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Ukraine; among other hostilities around the globe yielding death and destruction.

A pirate flag from the early Eighteenth Century.

Yet there is some indication that what we may be witnessing is darkness before a new dawn.

In his historical essay of 1968, Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, Buckminster Fuller, futurist and inventor of the geodesic dome, describes the conquest and colonization of the planet by Europeans as the age of the great pirates. He marks the end of that era with World War I, followed with a subsequent attempt by lesser pirates taking advantage of a time when the planet’s fate was precarious.

Fuller concluded that the later events of the Twentieth Century and beyond would be determined by the wisdom and strength of those who recognized that Spaceship Earth has limited resources that need to be appreciated and protected. As with others who consider our predicament, he saw only two possibilities:

“We are not going to be able to operate our Spaceship Earth successfully nor for much longer unless we see it as a whole spaceship and our fate as common. It has to be everybody or nobody.”

The reign of the last of the pirates in their final self-destructive, single-minded grasp for profits would either destroy human life as we know it or be countered with a new sustainable relationship with the Earth.

The struggle between the conflict generating profiteers and those who recognize that reducing conflict is the only path to sustaining human life on the planet, is coming to a head. Despite hard evidence that environmental traumas are increasing and will dominate the near future, the modern pirates are in defiant denial, leading their final charge against anything that might get in the way of gargantuan treasure chests. They must lie, cheat, pillage or kill in order to maintain the facade that everything is okay with the planet.

One of the most critical tools of the great pirates and their modern heirs is the ability to prey on the ignorant and misinformed.

The pirates of old applied the sword to abscond with valuables; and more often committed genocide to steal land and resources from the indigenous.

Propaganda Power 

Modern pirates inherited these tools and became specialists in others. They deceive, entice and encourage scapegoating to obtain treasures or protect their fortunes. Ignorance is fertile ground for their work. Anyone opposing these marauders and their skewed vision of the world become the objects of derision, ridicule and threats of violence.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at his swearing-in ceremony on Feb. 1, 2017. (Screen shot from

Yes, this tale may sound familiar as we watch world events unfold. In that sense, the Trump presidency is a dramatic test of the planet’s fate; the last desperate, inane, final gasps of piracy confront us all.

Some recent U.S. Presidents, other world leaders, corporations and industrialists bear some resemblance to the pirates of old, and certainly there are current conflicts that are fueled outside the scope of U.S. influence. But Trump is straight out of Central Casting. And in contrast to his self-aggrandizement, he is not the heroic leader, but rather the mad, despised black pirate awash in his own darkness and loathing.

The glimmer of light comes because President Trump, pirate extraordinaire, is unwittingly doing everything to ensure that no one will ever tolerate a pirate again.

Because he is great at alienating others, Trump’s enemies begin to unite. Some of his previous supporters and loyalists have mutinied in reaction to his unwillingness to condemn racism and his willingness to pardon political allies. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently spoke an amazing phrase to encapsulate and isolate the so-called leader of the free world: “The President speaks for himself.”

The greatest danger, which was noted by some before he was elected and is just being recognized by those who have been on board his ship until now, is Trump’s proclivity to embrace violence, however and wherever it might suit him, such as his rush-to-judgment missile strike against a Syrian airbase in April. Many an eyebrow was raised at Trump’s “fire and fury like the world has never seen” threat against North Korea – suggesting a nuclear strike – but very few have broached the touchy subject of taking away his role as commander in chief, including his nuclear sword, via impeachment or the Twenty-fifth Amendment’s provision for declaring the President “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office” (requiring a finding by the Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet).

A Pattern of Violence

Veiled hope percolates that Trump’s words are no more than bluster – and it must be acknowledged that Trump’s predecessors resorted to violence repeatedly around the world, including Nobel Peace laureate Barack Obama, who acknowledged bombing seven countries, and George W. Bush, who invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and lusted for more wars, and that Trump’s rival last year, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, may have surpassed even Trump in her hawkishness, having pushed for the invasion of Libya in 2011 and supporting the bloody proxy war in Syria.

Barack Obama and George W. Bush at the White House.

But the current mad pirate, if nothing else, excels at unpredictability. The world watches in amazement as a buccaneer steers the most powerful ship on the planet with egoistic lunacy. How might this precarious tale have a happy end?

If we manage to survive these dangers, the Trump presidency could engender a new era of consensus. Perhaps with the maddest of the pirates gone, recognition of the causes of his ascendency might be considered. First and foremost: the last U.S. presidential election presented only a choice between an unsustainable status quo and a role of the dice.

In that sense, it is not enough for Trump simply to be replaced by another pirate, even one with a calmer disposition and a better vocabulary. For the U.S., a period of serious self-criticism is warranted. Without that, it is hard to envision how candidates seeking a more peaceful future can succeed.

President Trump’s crass destructiveness – and the more suave advocacy of violence by Bush, Obama and Clinton – should be a mirror for all Americans to reflect upon. The image of Trump is more garish and thus more obvious in its ugliness, but that may finally shake Americans of all ideological persuasions awake in the recognition of the viciousness that has absorbed American politics and society.

Trump’s unintended contribution is that he makes obvious how dangerous it is for the planet to have mad pirates at the helm. He has given re-birth to a concept that Fuller succinctly expressed: If humanity does not opt for integrity we are through completely. It is absolutely touch and go. Each one of us could make the difference.”

Perhaps – once Americans are awake to this reality – simple things might be prioritized; like reducing violence between nations and religions, reversing the abuses that have bruised the planet and polluted its atmosphere. And maybe working to ensure that everyone on Spaceship Earth is fed, sheltered and educated.

Unlikely, naive and idealistic you say? Perhaps, but the moral health of the United States is a strong influence on the rest of the world. The direction that the U.S. takes after Trump will be a key factor in future global stability, both politically and environmentally.

The veil hasn’t quite lifted and the pirates still dominate, but there’s potential for recognizing we’re all on a mother ship worth protecting.

David Marks is a veteran documentary filmmaker and investigative reporter. His work includes films for the BBC and PBS, including Nazi Gold, on the role of Switzerland in WWII and biographies of Jimi Hendrix and Frank Sinatra.

73 comments for “The Last of the Mad Pirates?

  1. Joe_the_Socialist
    September 3, 2017 at 14:17


    It’s time for representative democracy to be cast into the furnace of history, root and branch.





    • hatedbyu
      September 3, 2017 at 17:54

      democracy is two wolves and one sheep voting on what’s for dinner


  2. voxpax
    September 3, 2017 at 03:49

    I suggest two books for reading.
    1 Matt Riddley : The Evolution Of Everything

    Google Books says:
    The New York Times bestselling author of The Rational Optimist and Genome returns with a fascinating argument for evolution that definitively dispels a dangerous, widespread myth: that we can command and control our world.

    Human society evolves. Change in technology, language, morality, and society is incremental, inexorable, gradual, and spontaneous. It follows a narrative, going from one stage to the next; it creeps rather than jumps; it has its own spontaneous momentum rather than being driven from outside; it has no goal or end in mind; and it largely happens by trial and error—a version of natural selection. Much of the human world is the result of human action but not of human design: it emerges from the interactions of millions, not from the plans of a few.

    Drawing on fascinating evidence from science, economics, history, politics, and philosophy, Matt Ridley demolishes conventional assumptions that the great events and trends of our day are dictated by those on high, whether in government, business, academia, or organized religion. On the contrary, our most important achievements develop from the bottom up. Just as skeins of geese form Vs in the sky without meaning to and ter-mites build mud cathedrals without architects, so brains take shape without brain-makers, learning happens without teaching, and morality changes for no reason other than the prevailing fashion. Although we neglect, defy, and ignore them, bottom-up trends shape the world. The Industrial Revolution, cell phones, the rise of Asia, and the Internet were never planned; they happened. Languages emerged and evolved by a form of natural selection, as did common law. Torture, racism, slavery, and pedophilia—all once widely regarded as acceptable—are now seen as immoral despite the decline of religion in recent decades. In this wide-ranging and erudite book, Ridley brilliantly makes the case for evolution, rather than design, as the force that has shaped much of our culture, our technology, our minds, and that even now is shaping our future.

    As compelling as it is controversial, as authoritative as it is ambitious, Ridley’s deeply thought-provoking book will change the way?we think about the world and how it works.

    2 Yuval Harari: Homo Deus

    Review: Homo Deus: A Brief History Of Tomorrow

    “The greatest scientific discovery was the discovery of ignorance.”

    In January 2013 a 26-year-old named Aaron Swartz committed suicide in the United States. He was facing prison for hacking computers at America’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology and making academic papers available to anyone with an Internet connection.

    Capitalism traditionally holds that there are two types of resources: raw materials and energy. Countries have been colonised, peoples enslaved, and wars fought in their pursuit. A lot of misery has been caused.

    There is a third resource: knowledge.

    Raw materials and energy become depleted through use, but knowledge is a resource that grows. The more you use, the more you get.

    Unlike energy or raw materials there is no reason to go to war for knowledge. A rapacious foreign power can’t invade California’s Silicon Valley and seize stockpiles of it. Contrary to the warmongery long implicit in the control of other resources, knowledge must be nurtured in a safe and secure environment. And it must be shared. In these conditions it thrives, to the benefit of everyone. For the time being at least.

    Just as capitalists believe the wellbeing of humanity depends on economic growth, “dataists” see freedom of information as the key to everything, economic growth included. It was this article of faith that motivated Swartz to commit his crime, the Marxian imperative to seize the means of production.

    Humankind has always been plagued by the triumvirate of war, disease, and famine. These threats are yet to be completely eliminated, but for the first time in history they are no longer the Damoclean trident that hung permanently over our ancestors’ heads.

    Yes, there are people starving to death as you read this, but not because humankind is incapable of producing enough food. Every day we dump food and crops that would more than fill every hungry belly on the planet. In fact, more people suffer from an excess of food than a lack of it today. Dietary-related diseases pose a greater threat to more people than war or famine. To paraphrase author Yuval Noah Harari, we live in a world where Coca-Cola kills more people than bulletsww

    Homo DeusHomo Deus is hugely ambitious in the breadth of topics and disciplines it covers, tracing how we got where we are today as a civilisation in order to better understand the possibilities and pitfalls that await us in the future.

    One of the many key points Harari makes is that the humanist belief in the rights of individuals to have access to food and education arose contiguously, and not uncoincidentally, with the industrial revolution and the establishment of a system that required healthy, educated humans to provide manpower for the industries and armies needed to process and control raw materials and energy.

    Human rights is a story that has been useful to capitalism, but one that might quickly lose its relevance. Machines will soon outperform humans on almost any metric we choose to mention. In many cases they already do.

    One of the driving forces behind the rise of machines is an increasingly mechanistic worldview. Almost every country in the world has embraced the primacy of scientific inquiry. The key is knowledge, information, the ability to exploit data.

    We have never lived in such an information-rich world. We very literally have the sum of all human knowledge available at our fingertips. And we are adding more every day.

    Household appliances will send information about their users’ habits to manufacturers, and anyone else with cash or influence interested in that information.

    With every Google search, every link clicked, every post “liked”, complicated algorithms learn more about us and use the generated data to build aggregated models of our behaviour.

    Based on YouTube or Spotify use we receive suggestions that are uncannily on point. Self-driving cars gather information that is used to make updates overnight. People date and even marry one another because an algorithm matched them to a suitable partner. If you’re reading this online it’s largely because algorithms have “decided” you should see the link you clicked to get here.

    Soon algorithms will know us better than we know ourselves. In some cases they already do. The risk is that the more we delegate the important decisions in our lives the more we second-guess ourselves. Algorithms become our overlords, but they are heartless ones. We can’t make machines feel, or need, or want anything, because we don’t understand how, or even why, this works in ourselves.

    Homo Deus is a fascinating read that brings us to the cusp of a very uncertain future. Both the author and the translator (Hebrew to English) have done an incredible job. The writing is penetratingly lucid and clear-sighted. Given the scope of its range it is difficult to classify Homo Deus, but above all,clear-sighted. Given the scope of its range it is difficult to classify Homo Deus, but above all, it is a book about moral values and what it means to be human. A must-read for any serious thinker.

  3. Larry
    September 3, 2017 at 00:17

    False equivalence described by the author between 2016’s two major candidates. Common on this site, I’ve noticed. Similarities in some things, even important ones, don’t automatically equal comparability.

  4. E. Leete
    September 1, 2017 at 11:15

    Mad Pirates?

    We daily despise and deride the wealthpower giants for their demonstrated lack of a single scruple, and yet we remain united in our active and passive support for continuing the mere custom, the mere tradition of dangling the carrot of unlimited personal fortunes in front of every human, expecting those we judge to have no scruples to use this profound lack of scruples to resist the greatest temptation.

    So please, who are the mad ones, eh – the “pirates”, or US???

    “Evil is wrought by want of thought as well as by want of heart.” – Thomas Hood

    Humanity! Focus! The next generation of wealthpower giants is ALWAYS waiting in the wings. We are either going to murder the diabolically stupid, self-harming idea to allow unlimited personal fortunes on this planet or we WILL succumb to the millions of very negative consequences of having the next and the next and the next wealthpower giants, ad infinitum until the violence attached to the extreme economic injustice sets off the final bomb.

    We HAVE to become preoccupied with comprehensivity – as Uncle Bucky said and as I have been pleading for for decades now!

    The fairpay justice view IS the consummately comprehensive view – it leaves nothing out of the picture, it abides in perfect harmony with, it is congruent with…the actual situation we find ourselves in as beings living in human bodies on this beautiful bluegreen garden harbor – our only habitable planet.

    We cannot go on straining gnats of political and economic theories while we swallow the camel of overpay.

    If we don’t get past the idea that a person can earn and rightfully own unlimited fortune, we will become extinct in the next 100 years.

    What has freedom to pursue unlimited fortunes given humanity? Freedom for everyone, from richest to poorest, to be embroiled in super-extreme escalating violence, rising to nuclear extinction soon, freedom for 99% to be underpaid, freedom for 90% to be paid less than 100th of average pay per unit of work, freedom for 1% to perpetually try to fight off the 99%, and the others in the 1%. Freedom for everyone to be extremely poor in enjoyment, peace, safety, leisure, relaxation, company, community, health, sanity, order, maturity, education, trust, generosity, kindness, beauty. Freedom for everyone to be extremely rich in danger, labour, war, crime, fatigue, insanity, mis and dis and un education, corruption, horror, terror. Nuclear fear fatigue will not stop nuclear extinction coming. Global extinction bombs and super-extreme (giga-astronomical) pay injustice, increasing fast, means a boiler, relief valve stuck, pressure gauge in the red and rising. It must blow soon.

    The defense costs are exhausting the first world, as they exhausted every empire and plutocracy in history. We can no longer afford a war. A 60th of the bombs will create enough fires to put up enough smoke to drop the temperature 25 C, three times colder than a natural ice-age.

    It is no time for closed-mindedness, immaturity or delay. It is time to get real like we never got before. Bite the bullet of the adamantine golden rule: don’t hit people, they hit back. Pay justice or misery and extinction. Pay justice is not a hardship, is not a loss. It is social, economic and psychological riches. 100-fold happiness. Would anyone (outside a madhouse, or even in a madhouse) suggest taking 90% of wealth off 90% of people and giving it to 1%? No, not in a million years. So take to deepest heart the fact that we have pay injustice, and misery, over a million times worse. Take to heart the fact that we can be super-extremely happier, like children who stop all-grab-all with the sweets and eat 10 sweets each ($200,000 per family) and then play together.

    I am not talking about giving money to people regardless of whether they deserve it. THAT idea is how we got into this nightmare. I am talking about giving money back to people who have earned it.

    Learn to hate the false justifications for pay for no work as you hate misery and extinction, because that is what they are. Exorcising the false justifications for pay for no work will lift you and everyone up into maximal freedom, unimaginable happiness, incredible productivity and progress, extreme reduction of war and crime.

    Before people can wake FROM the nightmare of history they must wake TO the nightmare of history, they must see what the nightmare IS. It is our perfectly bovine acquiescence to the injustice custom and tradition of allowing personal fortunes to go on being unlimited whilst individual contribution is limited by Nature.

    The system that permitted human beings to come into relations of superiority and inferiority to one another is the cause of the whole evil. Power over others is necessarily demoralizing to the master and degrading to the subject. Equality is the only moral relation between human beings. Any reform that will result in remedying the abuse must therefore be addressed to equalizing the economic condition, to ridding ourselves of the overpay-underpay paradigm. (to paraphrase and update Edward bellamy)

    “…their highest aspirations were limited to the hope that, by reforming the morals of their masters, they might secure a little better treatment for themselves. The idea of abolishing the mastership had not yet occurred to them as a possibility.”

    alas, my words fall upon deaf ears I fear

    The experiment in democracy known as the first American Republic is DEAD – don’t let the twitching corpse fool you any longer, People. We lost this country in 1947/48 when the State Secrets Privilege was enacted – the hole that that act alone created in our constitution is big enough to drive the moon through! Go to you tube and watch an hour on that subject from former CIA guy Kevin Shipp and be astonished. Go to you tube and see the L-curve animated and be gobsmacked. Go to BEarthright Economics and see the most beautiful, heartbreaking, importantly informative page on the internet…

    maximum wage would reverse the colossal destruction of everyone’s everything. Pay justice is THE issue.

  5. E. Leete
    September 1, 2017 at 09:52

    Gee whiz – for 2 decades I have been trying to spread THIS online:

    Anybody up for some Bucky Fuller? From his “Grunch of Giants”, which can be read online, here are a few snips of what he says at the end: (note the enormous overlap with what I’ve been saying?)

    “The social revolution potential now can for the first time in history realize economic success for all and a comprehensive world enjoyment that involves not repeatedly revengefully toppling the economically successful minority but elevating all humanity to a sustainable higher level of existing and interacting than any humans have heretofore either experienced or dreamed of.
    The now-potentially-to-be-omni-successful social revolution could never before in history have been realized. Until 1970 there had always been enough physical resources but not enough metaphysical resources (of experience-won know-how) on our planet to render the physical technology capable of taking care of everyone at a sustainable, eminently successful level of physical well-being — bloodlessly accomplished and sustainable without the coexistence of either a human slave or working class. Until 1970 it had realistically to be either you or me, not enough for both. Since 1970 it has become realistically you and me — all else is automated acceleration to human-race extinction on planet Earth.”

    “What I hoped I had made clear in Critical Path is that the inherently half-century-long design science-revolution phase of attainment of universal economic success has been successfully completed and now needs only the bloodless socioeconomic reorientation instead of the political revolution to exercise humanity’s option to “make it” for all.”

    “I hoped that Critical Path made it clear that lacking the accomplishment of the design-science revolution, while also undergoing the transition into a one-world amalgamation of humanity which we are now experiencing, humans would have been catalyzed only into a world-around social revolution of the same bloody historic pattern of revengeful pulling down of the advantaged few by the disadvantaged many.”

    “I hoped that Critical Path made it clear that the accomplished design-revolution’s prototypes and developmental concepts now make possible for the first time in history a bloodless social revolution successfully elevating all humanity to a sustainable higher living-standard than ever heretofore enjoyed by anyone.”

    “I hope that Critical Path made it clear that despite the reality of humanity’s option to make it for all humanity, my own conclusion as to whether humanity will do so within the critical time and environmental development limits is that it will remain cosmically undecided up to the last second of the option’s effective actuation, knowing that beyond that imminent moment lies only the swift extinction of humans on planet Earth.”

    “I have been a deliberate half-century-fused inciter of a cool-headed, natural, gestation-rate-paced revolution, armed with physically demonstrable livingry levers with which altogether to elevate all humanity to realization of an inherently sustainable, satisfactory-to-all, ever higher standard of living.”

    “Critical threshold-crossing of the inevitable revolution is already underway. The question is: Can it be successfully accomplished before the only-instinctively-operating fear and ignorance preclude success, by one individual, authorized or unauthorized, pushing the first button of chain-reacting all-buttons-pushing, atomic, raceirradiated suicide?”

    “The only happily promising recourse of each human individual is to our highest intellectual faculties and their mutual, ego-deflated, unselfishly loving preoccupation with comprehensivity and our employment of the most powerful tools of all…”

    end of snips

    I want to repeat two of Bucky’s sentences: “Until 1970 it had realistically to be either you or me, not enough for both. Since 1970 it has become realistically you and me — all else is automated acceleration to human-race extinction on planet Earth.”

    …but not a soul has ever listened to me! imagine my astonishment to come across Mr Marks’ article above. nice to know I am not actually the only person savvy enough to have paid proper attention to Bucky Fuller – who truly loved humanity.

    oh and by the way to compare Trump and other wealthpower giants to pirates is actually kind of insulting to the seafaring pirates of old. They plundered, yes, but get this: they split the plunder equitably and democratically between themselves. I seem to remember reading they had a maximum limit to their pay ratio: top paid guy got no more than twice the loot of the lowest paid pirate. imagine…

  6. August 31, 2017 at 22:56

    “If humanity does not opt for integrity, we are through completely.” Great words from Buckminster Fuller. I had the pleasure of hearing Bucky in one of his last talks in Cambridge, MA. I can only hope that more Americans will rediscover his books now that we really face the environmental consequences of our actions.

    Corporate capitalists are certainly pirates, all of them, Trump included. It looks like he is being forced to walk the plank by his handlers, however. Can he pull off the blindfold?

    • hatedbyu
      September 3, 2017 at 17:51

      maybe the more apt metaphor would be that all the power brokers of the world are more like profiteers and trump is like the pirate they are after…..

  7. mark
    August 31, 2017 at 19:35

    It is a mistake to attach too much importance to bluster and sabre rattling.
    Countries like Russia have always said that making threats is a sign of weakness.
    I don’t want to start a fan club for Trump, but I welcomed his election for the sole reason that he is not Clinton.
    If she had been elected, she might well have already started a nuclear war.
    I still believe that.
    It’s that basic.
    Trump will flip flop on every promise he made, but on balance I think it’s more likely that in 4 years time we’ll still be alive under Trump rather than Clinton.

    • Gregory Herr
      August 31, 2017 at 21:40

      I decided well before the election to throw my support to Stein simply because she was saying things that needed to be said and I agreed with her. I admit to not taking Trump or his chances seriously, and to a longstanding animus towards just about everything I associated with the Republican Party.
      But I had become increasingly disenchanted with Obama and Clinton over the years and began to view their efforts as extending and solidifying the Bush-Cheney tenure. Because I viewed Syria as a line in the sand and as one of the central moral and geopolitical issues of our time, Clinton’s role in supporting the Iraq invasion, destruction of Libya, the Ukrainian coup, and the war on Syria had me thinking she must lose, though I little thought that could happen. Of course her no-fly zone wish was of menacing concern.
      Election night was kind of a gut check…would I actually pull for Trump? Intellectually, I had made my mind up against Clinton, but was still kind of amazed to find within myself an emotional rooting for Trump, a man to whom I had not had just a whole lot of regard for. My partisanship was truly buried that evening, and everything the Democrats have done since that night has dug the grave deeper.
      But yeah mark, it is that basic. And I still find myself rooting for Trump.

      • hatedbyu
        September 3, 2017 at 17:50

        i’m loving your comments dude.

  8. backwardsevolution
    August 31, 2017 at 18:48

    Shiver me timbers, hoist me sail!

    Trump is a pirate? He is to be included among the band of past pirates? The guy who actually wanted to stop the wars and questioned why NATO was necessary? The guy who asked, “Why can’t we just mind our own business? Why can’t we just cooperate and do business together?” The guy who wanted to curtail globalism and return to nationalism (bringing jobs back home), stopping the ridiculous practice of having goods shipped halfway around the world, and the pollution and waste of fossil fuels that goes along with that practice? That guy?

    The guy who asked for intelligence re Syria, got that intelligence, and then gave advance notice to the Syrians and Russians that he was going to bomb an airstrip? Is that what ruthless pirates do? He yelled at North Korea. Wow, ruthless! He tried to see both sides regarding Charlottesville, saying there were good and bad on both sides. Yeah, that’s something that a ruthless pirate would do (not).

    The guy that builds luxurious apartment buildings is to be compared to pirates who bomb, level, kill millions, rape and steal from other countries?

    The jury is still out, but I’m not seeing “pirate” material here.

    “…but very few have broached the touchy subject of taking away his role as commander in chief, including his nuclear sword, via impeachment…”

    Out of all of the carnage that has taken place because of the actions of past pirates, somehow Trump needs to be impeached?

    Someone needs to get a grip on reality.

    • mike k
      August 31, 2017 at 19:08

      The guy you are talking about (the Trump of campaign promises) no longer exists, if he ever did. The guy who exists now just levied more diplomatic sanctions on Russia. While you are fantasizing about your imaginary Trump, the real Trump is leading us deeper into a war with Russia. Quit using the “they made him do it” excuse that people are still using to alibi for Obama. These decisions are being made by Donald Trump now. He is free to act otherwise at any time, but these are his choices now. He enjoys the macho image his “toughness” projects. He is a typical coward boasting of guts he clearly lacks. Lets get a grip on reality – Trump is not the hero some desperately want him tp be. Quite the contrary.

      • backwardsevolution
        August 31, 2017 at 19:39

        mike k – and so far he isn’t the pirate some desperately want him to be either.

        • mike k
          August 31, 2017 at 20:44

          He was a real estate pirate, now he’s finding his pitches don’t work in the big leagues. Is there a word for a wanna be pirate who can’t cut it? He got used to being a make believe wizard of business on his TV shows, but that act isn’t working in DC.

          • backwardsevolution
            August 31, 2017 at 21:24

            mike k – “…his pitches don’t work in the big leagues”? Don’t you mean in the corrupt oligarchy where you’re liable to get JFK’d if you don’t go along? Those big leagues? Where there is an orchestrated mutiny against a duly-elected President by the real pirates?

            You flip flop all over the place, mike. One day you say Trump has been hogtied by the oligarchy, the next he’s going along with the oligarchy just so he isn’t impeached, the next he’s a part of the oligarchy and he’s trying to trick us, the next he’s a racist, the next he’s a simpleton. You are all over the place.

            Trump has been in office for about seven months and he’s been fighting an uphill battle every single day. What he’s gone through with Russiagate alone would level most people, but Trump is still standing. They’re throwing everything but the kitchen sink at him, which proves the globalists must be worried.

            Makes one wonder what Trump could actually have done had they let him. I’ll reserve my judgment of him until later. Meanwhile, I’ll cheer him on in his fight against the globalists.

          • Brad Owen
            September 1, 2017 at 05:31

            Yeah BE, that’s about where I am with Trump. He’s the only outsider that made it to the plate to try batting one outta the globalist park, while Bernie, Gary and Jill didn’t make it to the plate. Hillary would have been walked to 1st base (nod nod, wink wink), staying well within the globalists ballpark. EIR still sees potential in him and that is good enough for me. If they go thumbs down on him, you can take that to the bank, and I’ll walk away quickly.

  9. Steven Shafarman
    August 31, 2017 at 18:03

    Nice to see the reference to Bucky Fuller and his Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth. Another of his books was Utopia or Oblivion, a title that succinctly summarizes the theme of this article. Both were published in 1969.

    His last book, published in 1983, was Grunch of Giants. The giants were global corporations, and he described them as pirates, stealing the wealth of our planet. “Grunch” was his made-up term for “gross universal cash heist.”

    Yet Bucky wasn’t merely a prophet of disaster. In the Operating Manual and Utopia or Oblivion he also suggested a path forward: Universal Basic Income. More information is at, the Basic Income Earth Network, and my forthcoming book, Basic Income Imperative: for Peace, Justice, Liberty, and Personal Dignity.

    • Bob Van Noy
      August 31, 2017 at 18:34

      Steven Shafarman, thank you for that. Did you know that Bucky Fuller was the grand nephew of Margaret Fuller one of the most highly regarded feminists of the era of Thoreau and Emmerson. I’ll provide a link because she deserves much recognition…

    • backwardsevolution
      August 31, 2017 at 18:53

      Steven Shafarman – I’d start with a Universal Basic Birth Control Pill first.

      • mike k
        August 31, 2017 at 19:21

        I’ll second that.

      • Brad Owen
        September 1, 2017 at 05:20

        Fuller said that economic development is itself an excellent b.c. device. Notice the developed nations that aren’t “Meccas” for immigration generally experience declining populations. His insight was that if the entire World were developed (what China’s New Silk Road Policies are accomplishing), population growth would reverse of its own accord. Another important book of his is Critical Path. He also has a textbook that supposedly reorganizes the entire body of technological knowledge into a coherent whole. I think it Synergistics. It was way over my head, and I couldn’t absorb it. One of his main themes is that it’s extremely that people remain generalists and not fall into the specialists trap of failure to communicate with other specialists in other fields of knowledge, to “cross-pollinate” so-to-speak.

        • backwardsevolution
          September 1, 2017 at 12:27

          Hi, Brad. Yes, I think that once people get educated, population tends to decline, but is this decline in population because they’re now better educated, or because prices rise (from lots of churn and inflation) and people, without even wanting to go there, are put on a treadmill of trying to keep up. As prices increase, both partners must work, and as a result this causes a reduction in population out of necessity.

          If that is the case, then do we really want this? This would cause so much more consumerism and pollution in the world. So, sure, the population would decline somewhat, but pollution would increase. And it would, with many more people driving, using electricity, etc.

    • mike k
      August 31, 2017 at 19:20

      Thanks for the link Steven. I did not realize their was an organized movement for basic income. I intend to sign up, and would love to get your book when it comes out. Any idea when? I have long held the belief that everyone should receive the same payment of an equal share in society’s wealth. A more radical solution to inequality.

      • E. Leete
        September 1, 2017 at 11:37

        I love that you speak up for fairsharing, mike k, and I can lend support:

        Division of labor is a community project made possible only because everyone participates, therefore the benefits rightly accrue to all, in equal proportion to the work they do.

        Because all the money equals, represents and is backed by, all the products of work, pay without work has to mean work without pay. Means theft has occurred. Means anger – every theft comes with an angry person attached. Means ever-escalating war of all-grab-for-all, grab off and grab back.

        Injustice drives violence. Spit on somebody, get a punch in the nose.

        We have giga-extreme injustice in pay.

        Justice is a virtue essential to survival and happiness, safety, security, peace, freedom, liberty – all the good stuff. Fairpay (equal pay for equal sacrifice to working) is justice. It is physically impossible to self-earn superwealth. All great fortunes are got by legal thefts (and by sometimes successful illegal thefts).

        The rich get richer while the poor get poorer means precisely this: the rich are getting more and more for a unit of work while the poor are getting less and less for the same unit of work. Obviously the poor would be far better off without society, in a state of nature, where their work would be rewarded by goods in full – fish and get paid with a fish, pick berries and get paid in berries.

        The increase in fortune for a fortnight’s work ranges from US$1 billion (peak rates of pay got by the richest) to $1 (lowest-paid worker in Burundi not long ago). That is, from a million times the average pay, to a thousandth the average pay.

        A billion times as much for the same amount of work! A billionth as much for the same amount of work! I think people cannot really take that range in. It is beyond the general human powers of imagination. It is staggering.

        It is the mother of all facts about human existence.

        Say that the range of pay for a fortnight’s work is from $1 to $1 billion and you have told the story of human existence. That fact is enough to deduce enormous violence, enormous suffering, enormous disorder, enormous waste of happiness. A perpetual storm of crisis and disaster, chaos and craziness. And yet, there is this powerful reluctance to even think of the rich as having money that belongs to others. Individual minds come to that conclusion, yes, but it makes no headway in the general thinking. And this reluctance is the cause we are wedded, welded to war. And war is escalating. War and weaponry have been escalating steadily for thousands of years, and war and weaponry have escalated very dramatically in the last century, and yet there is a lack of commensurate concern, a lack of a general search for answers. We ought to be desperately seeking the answer, the exit from this nightmare, and we are not.

        At the same time, there must be consciousness of the injustice and theft, for it is that understanding that drives the violence and other disturbance. It is as obvious as obvious can be that there is enormous poverty and enormous wealth, and that this cannot be right, that is, that it must be theft, and the cause of most violence, and yet there is also at the same time a failure to grasp and face these obvious points.

        This is our human insane reality: two people do a fortnight’s work, and we give one of them $1 and the other $50,000,000 [average, all his life] $1,000,000,000 [peak rates of pay]. We give 99% of people less than the world average, we give 90% of people less than a 100th of average, so we can give 1% of people more than average, so we can give 1% of people up to a million times average. We calmly sit by while a few rake most of the money out of the social pool of work/ wealth/ products of work. We look in the pool and we say: Isn’t it sad that there is so little in the pool for most people, and we make no connection between this and the people pumping out most of the water in the pool with a fleet of siphon trucks.

        Money is power and super overpay is super overpower. The human species is blind to the reality of the actual situation we find ourselves in. A rich man’s hour is the same thing as a poor man’s hour, but there are few humans who can see this simple truth – almost no one is awake. 99% of Humanity is giving away their rightful earnings to wealthpower giants in exchange for nothing – why do people stay loyal to the diabolically stupid idea to shovel our fairshare of democratic power to wealthpower giants in return for tyranny?

        • hatedbyu
          September 3, 2017 at 17:40

          universal income is still theivery at the point of a gun. trying to re structure society without consent always ends badly.

          if you can make your case to everyone alive, then great.

          somehow i don’t think i would be the only one against this…..

    • E. Leete
      September 1, 2017 at 11:54

      Bravo Steven Shafarman. Basic income is not a kindness, it is justice – a part of fairpay justice – it recognizes and corrects for an enormous “logic whoopsie” I have been pointing out for decades, especially as it concerns homeless persons:

      Homeless people do not deserve charity from society – they deserve justice.

      How odd that it has escaped the notice of the entire human species that we passed a game-changing milestone of magnificent consequences in whatever past decade or century it was that all the land on Earth became owned.

      Fact is, every lion cub to this day gets born with its very first birthright, the birthright to a place to put its feet while it lives its life still intact – but this is no longer true for human cubs.

      I don’t think it’s because we love baby lions more than we love our own babies, it’s because we simply haven’t thought this land-ownership thing through to its logical conclusion. Either way, we humans obviously reached a point when the last bit of land on Earth became owned, which can only mean that every person in every generation born after that point in time has had his and her very first birthright to their necessary bit of land stripped off them before they even got here.

      This would not be a legal theft that society has perpetrated against everyone, if present and future people were being monetarily compensated for their stolen property – but we don’t do that. We have not thought to compensate ourselves even one thin dime for this loss, for this legal theft from us. This means we are in actual fact forcing all present and future humans to purchase their own birthright off previous generations.

      It’s as if we believe the humans of the past had more right to a place to put their feet than current and future humans do. How absurd is that idea, eh? How out of accord with the actual, natural situation we find ourselves in on this planet is that? People who are already dead are allowed to keep their fortunes intact by leaving land to heirs in perpetuity so that no generation will ever again receive a place to live unless they buy it off someone born before them.

      Everyone’s every descendent is born sans a dime’s compensation for the legal theft of the value of their land, in spite of the fact that a being living in a human body cannot float in air nor water while we live our lives – we require our share of land to live on.

      Basic income is the institution of justice that has been ignored for too long.

      • hatedbyu
        September 3, 2017 at 17:47

        cute little lions…..

        grow up and eat WHATEVER THEY WANT. and then they die.

        basic income is another attempt at making everthing equal. it cant work.

        but, take over. force everyone into your perfect utopia.

        it will work out, just like it always does.

        • E. Leete
          September 4, 2017 at 10:43

          what is it compels you to make your ridiculous, irrelevant comments? no where in any of what I say is there any idea of using force – quite the opposite! – and nowhere is there any suggestion of “making everything equal”. It’s obvious I am providing educational points about removing longstanding injustices (like legal theft of first birthright and legal theft of just pay) because the injustice of allowing unlimited personal fortunes for what is contribution limited by nature – in case you hadn’t noticed thru your willful blindness – is not working for anybody, rich nor poor. go troll elsewhere – or maybe just be quiet since you are just a reactionary out to attack while refusing to read with care and give seriously intelligent and carefully important ideas in sincere comments their due consideration.

          • hatedbyu
            September 4, 2017 at 16:22

            right, i get it, “shut up”

            universal income cannot become a reality unless inflicted upon the masses. socialism is enforced through the barrel of a gun. don’t believe me? don’t pay your taxes…..

            oh, you don’t want to pay? go to prison.

            oh, you don’t want to go to prison?

            that’s where the gun comes in. a metaphor, yes. but apt.

            the idea of universal income is an exercise in social programming which, in my humble, always leads to disastrous effects.

            my take is that the “injustices” of which you speak need to be addressed by full cooperation. i kinda like volunteerism, myself.

            your argument, if i haven’t missed something, is that capitalism(private land ownership) somehow caused all the
            problems we see. i disagree. in fact, i think land ownership is what has made the common human that much better off and that individuals manipulating levers of the state to their own benefit are the culprits.

            take away the state conferring leverage to the greedy and the problem is much better addressed.

            the desire to help the poor in the united states has some benefits but i see mostly sad people who’s very existence is retarded by being taken care of. for me, it is a humanity killing altruism.

            and charity ceases to become charity when it is not done of free will.

            excuse my shortness in the original reply, but i’m just really tired of the “best of intentions”. i just got triggered…..

            love is good and your intentions seem to imply that.

  10. Paolo
    August 31, 2017 at 17:38

    Unlikely, naive and idealistic… but I like it!

    By the way, Google’s shit show with the New America Foundation might help antitrust and similar legislation, which would be an important step in the right direction

  11. Louisa
    August 31, 2017 at 17:00

    Is Paul Craig Roberts seriously citing David Irving, the neo-Nazi Holocaust-revisionist Hitler worshipper who can’t be trusted for a single word he writes because – apart from the preceding! – he also falsifies history and misattributes quotes?

    • turk151
      August 31, 2017 at 17:08

      I am curious Louisa, have you ever actually read one of David Irving’s books?

      In case you have not, here is a link to one, from what I can tell he seems rather brilliant.

    • backwardsevolution
      August 31, 2017 at 19:32

      Louisa – history is replete with falsities, inaccuracies and outright omissions. It’s what gets left out of history that is criminal.

      I have just recently discovered the fact that Hitler was trying to help the Jews get out to Palestine. Who knew? Or the fact that Churchill, because of British code breaking, knew days beforehand that the Japanese were going to attack the United States, and he knew it was going to be Pearl Harbor and on what day.

      I have never read any of David Irving’s books (although I’d like to), but I did listen to one of his videos. Great speaker.
      He speaks to the huge amounts of money that is used to prevent facts from surfacing. From what I listened to, David Irving does not think Hitler was a saint, just that he didn’t plan the Holocaust nor carry it out. Hitler said, “The solution to the Jewish problem will have to wait until after the war is over.” Hitler may have been referring to getting more Jews out to Palestine later. David Irving said that Hitler did not concern himself with domestic affairs at all while the war was being waged. He was too busy with the war front. That makes sense, as he would have had his hands full in that regard.

      Irving does not deny that many millions of Jews were murdered in a most vicious way. He openly acknowledges this fact. He just disagrees with how this was done. For that he was imprisoned in Germany (or was it Austria?) and all because he presented evidence that had never been seen before and painted a different story. You mustn’t ask questions. Free speech must be shut down.

      David Irving was British. He went to work in Germany as a steel worker and learned the German language. This was what enabled him to start going through the archives, his ability to read German. He says that most other historians do not even know the German language, and yet they are writing history. How is this possible without knowing the German language? He said most historians spend their time in libraries, not archives, and they just end up writing books that regurgitate the chosen narrative. There is never a serious questioning of what happened. Does this sound like today? He interviewed as many people as he could who knew Hitler, his maids, his secretaries, his advisers, etc. He was exhaustive in his research.

      Irving is a person who seeks the truth. He stated that he doesn’t care if he is proven wrong, so long as it gets to the truth. He spent 10 years of his life (from the age of 25 to 35) on his book about Hitler. His publishers even told him to fudge some things, make up evidence like all of the other historians do, because the public would not accept what he was saying. He refused.

      I don’t know if he’s right or not, but shouldn’t we protect his right to say what he believes?

    • E. Leete
      September 1, 2017 at 10:04

      haven’t read david irving, but I cannot forget something PCR wrote a couple years ago. Not a quote, but basically he said the neoliberal economic agenda is facing so much pushback that the wealthpower giants running the show will HAVE to use nuke bombs in order to succeed (irreversible consummation of their plans for a one world financial/economic government with themselves at the helm), and make no mistake they mean to succeed.

  12. Chris Jonsson
    August 31, 2017 at 16:48

    Annie, When Obama was elected he proceeded to turn his back on the progressives of all stripes who got him elected with their small donations and their grand hopes and dreams.
    Obama turned out to be a big disappointment. He avoided all kinds of conflict and turned into the kind of politician he ran against. Many of us did criticize him but by then the Deep State and their billions had taken control. He let them.
    Obama’s appointees were almost all terrible. The Department of Education was absurd. Rahm Emanuel had his own agenda. Obama left Rahm to his own devices. Women were shafted. More oil leases were signed by Obama than in any previous administration.
    Code Pink fought every single day against war, along with other peace groups.
    The good old CIA and FBI did their best to neuter the peacenics. We lost more of our civil rights. Whistleblowers were harshly dealt with and public transparency was worse than ever.
    Criminals skated, making apparent the double standards of our American criminal justice system.
    I was glad to see Obama go and wish he would retire from controlling the DNC.
    Enough damage already.

  13. Annie
    August 31, 2017 at 13:14

    Good grief, but another article that uses Trump to generate an article that basically states his presidency will bring us together. If anything the left, or so called left, is more divisive then ever. Dividing everyone and everything into categories, which is destructive in every way. Not to mention blaming Russia for Trump’s presidency which is escalating a cold war that really got underway during the Obama years.”Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, may have surpassed even Trump in her hawkishness, …” May have? The author forgot her support for the coup in Honduras which benefited the elite of that country, generating more poverty for its people and destruction of the environment. For me understanding what’s going on in America is not to single out Trump, since it’s a narrow minded, one sided focus which will only help destroy us. I would like to ask Mr. Marks why the so called progressive’s, the one’s who hate Trump, were so silent during the Obama years, while much more vocal against Bush and his wars, and during his years as president the anti-war movement was alive. In my opinion they are more identified with party then anything else

    • mike k
      August 31, 2017 at 13:43

      When the entire government is totally corrupt, it is pointless to focus on one group or another. We need a new society, not adjustments to this failed model.

    • mike k
      August 31, 2017 at 13:50

      When the entire government is totally corrupt, there is no point in confining our criticism to this or that group within it. We need a whole new society, not just adjustments to this failed model.

      • Annie
        August 31, 2017 at 15:15

        I most certainly agree, and my point as well.

      • August 31, 2017 at 18:09

        Can you wait another 4 or 5 yrs.? I’m67 and only have a few decent years left. The old are always the first to go.

    • Gregory Herr
      August 31, 2017 at 18:25

      On top of it as always…well said Annie.

  14. turk151
    August 31, 2017 at 13:08

    I thought crazy pirate was a job qualification for the presidency. Sanders was not a crazy pirate and his relationship with the establishment was akin to a priest conducting an exorcism.

    • mike k
      August 31, 2017 at 13:34

      Bernie was a pirate in his own way, just as Trump was in his way. But it was not in their way, the way of the old established pirates, so he had to go. They wanted Hillary, and now they are pissed that they didn’t get her, and they are really angry at Trump for elbowing her out of the way.

      • turk151
        August 31, 2017 at 14:43

        While Bernie is no saint and his folding to Hillary was a major disappointment, I don’t look at him anywhere near as bad as Trump or Hillary. Perhaps he would have been another Obama, the right words, but the wrong actions, but that is still to be determined.

        • hatedbyu
          September 3, 2017 at 17:33

          bernie was paid to be the “energizer of the base”. nothing more. if he indeed believed the more lofty virtues he so ardently espoused, he would’ve never endorsed hillary. his views were more in line with trumps. many bernie supporters voted for trump because of that.

          ron paul never endorsed any republican for president.

          if you really believe in something, you don’t sell out. simple.

  15. Brad Owen
    August 31, 2017 at 12:18

    The actual pirates are quite polished and suave Bonesmen. The great pirates that Fuller fingered are still afoot, running their Imperial ops covertly, using local strongmen and dictators, given direction by briefcased economic hitmen, with assassins close behind, in case the local dictators refuse the offer proffered by the EHM; his job given over to his rival-for-power. They still keep the World divided, at each other’s throats, and conquered, in the ancient tradition of The Roman Empire; creating a desert and calling it peace. Trump isn’t a Bonesman, and is probably stunned by what he has walked into. And being shown the door because he’s not in their Club.

    • Bob Van Noy
      August 31, 2017 at 12:36

      Brad, I was encouraged by this article at Off Guardian this morning… Thoughts?

      • Brad Owen
        August 31, 2017 at 14:43

        Bob, the magnet working behind all of this is China’s New Silk Road policies of development for the whole World. It’s already 12 to 20 times bigger than was the Marshall Plan. It’s like FDRs New Deal policies coming to the whole World with railways and canals and dams/powerplants and grids and water management infrastructure, etc… It’s what WE need here, and China (along with Japan) graciously offered to help finance and build/upgrade our infrastructure here(estimated by them to be 8 trillion$ worth of needed work). After we’ve relearned how to build infrastructure on a massive scale (like China’s done the past 10, 15 years), we can partner up with China and Russia to develop the rest of the World.
        ther’s a new game in town, and it WILL displace the obsolete Imperial warmongering. Actual World Peace is nearly within reach, and its driving the Empire-builders with all their divide & conquer plans hysterically crazy. I’ve been reading about all of this for the last several years on Executive Intelligence Review(EIR). Russia is firmly part of this Movement. It was the spark that caused the Ukraine Coup: the smart Ukrainians were looking East towards development via New Silk Road policies, while the “less smart” Ukrainians looked West towards EU strait jacket, austerities, bank bailouts, and an economic nosedive, all for vengeance of past wrongs committed by the Soviet Communist Party upon the Ukraine. It’s why they joined Hitler in war upon Stalin. I guess there is almost a total MSM blackout on all of this stuff. But I don’t do MSM (I even missed the hurricane Harvey story; picked it up on EIR as the Alarm Bell wake up call to replay Roosevelt and upgrade infrastructure, over on their LaRouchePAC web in the left-hand column). I pay attention to only a few websites. This is one of them, and EIR too.

        • Bob Van Noy
          August 31, 2017 at 18:19

          Brad, as always, I appreciate your long study and insight. I think you’re right about this and I think your avoidance of the MSM is to your and our, advantage. Thank you.

    • mike k
      August 31, 2017 at 13:30

      True. T is a novice compared to the old boy pirates. He thought he could just do his thing without their permission. He has found out different. They don’t trust him, with good reason. They are busy engineering his removal.

  16. eric
    August 31, 2017 at 12:18

    I think it’s too late. We are not prepared for what is coming.

    Climate change will kill billions, not just by the storms, droughts, fires, etc., but by causing conflicts between the people living in areas that can support humanity and the people that want it.

    Fossil fuels will run out and devastate our ability to produce food. There are far too many humans on this “space craft” already. Once the gas is gone, we will see the death of a huge proportion of our population. It won’t be overnight, it will be slow and steady over many decades.

    The “Pirates” have taken control of almost everything. So we fight them, but it’s our inability to fight(in some instances, to even recognize) the bigger problems, overpopulation and the overuse/destruction of our planet and it’s resources, that will end humanity as we know it. And no matter what people say, IMO it’s too late for most of humanity.

    The good news for the Pirates is that they won’t feel the pain, future generation will. And since we don’t punish them, they can care less that they caused it.

    • Zachary Smith
      August 31, 2017 at 12:26

      Fossil fuels will run out and devastate our ability to produce food.

      Unfortunately this probably isn’t the case. There are enough fossil fuels in existence to take us all the way to the cliff and on over the edge.

      • hatedbyu
        September 3, 2017 at 17:27

        also, the very concept of “fossil fuels” is probably not even true. certainly cause for debate(look up abiotic oil) but not to say that all care, all care should not be taken to conserve what is there…..

        also, malthusean predictions have and will always be a part of the equation. seems the fear mongers always do well when espousing them though.

        food production can still be effective without those evil fuels……

    • mike k
      August 31, 2017 at 13:23

      I agree with most of what you say eric. But the collapse may be sooner and more rapid than you anticipate. In a flowing river in a canoe, the water may not seem to be flowing that much faster just before the brink of the falls appears suddenly before you. Tipping points are like that. We are headed towards several of them now.

  17. mike k
    August 31, 2017 at 11:33

    What a delightful article! Trump the Pirate. And Bucky Fuller’s warning about Spaceship Earth, and how it’s crew must learn to get along with each other, or else. So true. But there is a problem – he mentions our essential need for self-criticism. Aye there’s the rub.

    Those in thrall to hubris and addiction are notoriously averse to self-criticism. In fact this defect, this blindness to their own faults is part of the definition of their psychological illness. The wise men of ancient Greece were very aware of this psychological blindness and denial. The twelve steps of AA consider self-criticism to be so important to recovery that it is the subject of two of the steps #4 and #10.

    Part of our problem in America is that Donald Trump is (mostly secretly) our Hero. He is living the American Dream to the hilt. Every child is told that he (and now she) can aspire to become President and become a millionaire. Trump has done both! What’s not to like? Of course we may be envious and resent his accomplishments, but that hidden part of ourselves wishes we could have the lavish lifestyle, beautiful women, and fame and power that The Donald enjoys. So it turns out that we have always had a not so secret romantic admiration and identification with the dashing pirates of story and history.

    All of this reality conspires to insure that neither The Donald nor our own greedy little selves are going to engage in the hoped for sessions of serious self-criticism that the author pins his hopes for our salvation on. We are all little Donald’s writ small, in our own ways, and not about to embark on a searching and fearless inventory of our defects of character in order to recover our sanity, and restore our world to what it should be.

    This is of course very sad, as it condemns us to continue destroying our world and ourselves until the process ends with human extinction. But it turns out that there are psychological laws that are just as inflexible in their way as the laws of physics, and violating them entails certain inevitable consequences.

    • mike k
      August 31, 2017 at 11:44

      The behavior of people who have lost the capacity to self-criticize, which is an aspect of conscience, is the subject of Scott Peck’s fascinating book People of the Lie. These folks are capable of the most extreme evil, without a qualm. Scott Peck was the principal government investigator into the Mai Lai massacre in Vietnam. I highly recommend reading this book to help understand the happenings of our times. To have people like this in charge of nuclear weapons is a grave danger to Humankind.

      • hatedbyu
        September 3, 2017 at 17:20

        read the book mao – the unknown story by jung chang and jon halliday.

        and on a side note…..he had the bomb too. and we are all still alive. there are even a few chinese people left too.

  18. August 31, 2017 at 10:58

    Nonsense. Trump’s instincts were for non-intervention and peace. It is the ‘Deep State’, or the ‘War Party’ (take your pick of name) that wants to continue piracy … they’ve been joined en masse by the Democratic Party establishment out of a refusal to accept that Clinton lost the election because the party no longer supports the working class, but is a tool of the above. Trump is stupid, but he is also alone and didn’t stand up to the ‘swamp’. Go back and read his inaugural speech if you want to see where he started. Obama is smart, but it was the exact same thing … the Deep State swallowed him up. Trump may top him, but Obama ranks right up there with the worst of the ‘Pirates’.

    • Realist
      August 31, 2017 at 17:39

      That inaugural address is sooo seven months ago. You’re not supposed to remember that! Not if you’re an American. And, if not an American, your perceptions of what is real count for nothing. Reality is rewritten by the minute in the exceptional country.

      • Martin - Swedish citizen
        September 1, 2017 at 13:36

        Maybe then it is because I am a European, with a memory stretching at least nine months back, that I agree with both of you.

  19. Adrian Engler
    August 31, 2017 at 10:48

    In the last decades, there have been many military aggressions that are illegal according to international law (Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and – to some degree – Syria, there had been more before that, e.g. against Grenada).

    In principle, the situation is clear. Starting wars of aggression is a crime, and there should be tribunals like the Nurenmberg tribunal after WWII, where starting a war of aggression was one of the main charges against leading figures of Nazi Germany. Certainly, modern politicians are not guilty of some of the other crimes of the Nazis, but many are guilty of starting wars of aggression, and therefore, they should be in jail (this includes, for example, George W. Bush, Tony Blair, Nicholas Sarkozy, David Cameron, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton).

    There is, in principle, a procedure for allowing military actions in extraordinary cases. The UN Security Council is certainly far from perfect, and it is not completely representative, but it is certainly much better than the alternative that without any international consent, a country starts a military aggression. In these cases where the United States and its allies started military aggressions without legitimation by the UN security council, it was claimed that the Russian position was “unreasonable”, but considering the aftermath, it should be even more clear that it was the violation of international law by starting military aggressions that was “unreasonable”.

    It seems particularly problematic that the United States, where even among the political elite, profound knowledge of international politics is rare, pretends it has the right to start wars everywhere. On one hand, it is generally rather easy to claim that some dictator or president is a “new Hitler”, and then, the media and a large part of the public will go along with this, even when it can be seen beforehand that it is likely that those who will come to power after the war will probably be worse and/or that there are better ways to resolve the problem (e.g. the conference in Rambouillet was set up to fail, and a deliberately unacceptable ultimatum to accept an occupation of the whole of Yugoslavia by NATO forces was made, while the Yugoslav government had had nothing against international observers in Kosovo, and if the rights and interests of the Serbian minority in Kosova had been taken into account, a solution with more autonomy for Kosova could probably have been found).

    Neoconservatives hold key positions of power both among Democrats and Republicans and in the media, even though the neoconservative worldview is hardly a majority position neither among conservative nor among liberal voters. But neoconservatives have a lot of power both in Congress and in the media, so that every time, they can spread their stories about the necessity of a war and, after the war, when its disastrous effects become visible (e.g. ISIS in Iraq, the terrible situation in Libya) deflect the attention of the public, so that they keep the ability to push for such wars.

    The position that starting a military aggression without legitimization by the UN security council is a crime has to be reaffirmed. Unfortunately, it does not seem very likely that people who respect international law could replace neoconservatives in the US foreign policy establishment, and in Europe, even though, on the whole, the support for the neoconservative ideology is probably weaker, pro-neoconservative networks among journalists and politicians are very influential, as well.

    • hatedbyu
      September 3, 2017 at 17:10


  20. August 31, 2017 at 10:21

    What crap…This site deserves better then this hack..

    • Zachary Smith
      August 31, 2017 at 12:21

      Do you have any specific objections?

      If so, what are they?

      • Gregory Herr
        August 31, 2017 at 18:20

        Although Marks admits the violence predates Trump, I find the contention that Trump has a proclivity to embrace violence and is madly unpredictable (and thus especially dangerous) a bit over the top. So is the phrase “crass destructiveness” . And really, is there such a thing as “suave advocacy of violence”? Please!

        Yes, if it takes a Trump to peel back the curtain by not being “smooth”.. well then maybe something good can come of all this raking of Trump over the coals…but we had better go about it honestly and look well past Trump beyond that curtain.

        I’m just curious if Marks did any handwringing these past 20 years while the planet was being ecologically debased and the suave warmongers were having their way.

        It will take a great deal of recovery for the “moral health” of this country to become an influence, or a change the world can believe in. But I’m all for it Mr. Marks…let the recovery begin.

        • DFC
          September 1, 2017 at 13:37

          But Trump is straight out of Central Casting. And in contrast to his self-aggrandizement, he is not the heroic leader, but rather the mad, despised black pirate awash in his own darkness and loathing.

          I find that statement bizarre. The guy is a coarse dude, granted, where as Hillary is smooth and polished. So, it is okay to destroy Libya if the President is a smooth talker? I know what Trump has said, but what has he done? I know what Hillary has said, and we can see what she has done. So, being the unsophisticated country rube I am, I guess I would still vote for the coarse black pirate who employs garish rhetoric vs the eloquent candidate who uses real weapons.

          • hatedbyu
            September 3, 2017 at 16:33

            you and herr responded well,

            i am reminded of a quote i picked up somewhere….

            history doesn’t repeat itself as much as it rhymes……

            in this case, and to your points, the hitlers or mussolinis of the past will not be able to come back again in the old forms…, they would, in fact, come back as smooth talking politicians projecting good will and altruisms…..

            think….libya, syria….you know the drill…..

        • Nancy
          September 4, 2017 at 12:16

          “Suave advocacy of violence.” Why, that would be Barack Obama, in my estimation.

  21. Bob Van Noy
    August 31, 2017 at 10:01

    Thank you David Marks for your insight. I think you’re on to something important here and I strongly support it. The Facade of America is breaking down but rather than revealing Only total corruption, I think it will also reveal a uniquely decent population Blended By time and circumstances into a truly multicultural People. This has been the case since somewhere yet totally unidentified, during or shortly after, the Civil War when The People realized that we were One Nation Somewhat Flawed by our past but capable of being United. We now have another opportunity to reject division and try to Unite again for a common interest. The People.

    • Gregory Herr
      August 31, 2017 at 23:05

      Off topic Bob, but I just came across a William Pepper interview…Guns and Butter podcast for August 30…thought you might like to hear it.

      • Bob Van Noy
        September 1, 2017 at 08:36

        I really appreciate this article. For others, William Pepper reported the failure in Vietnam early on and if his article had been published, we might now live in a better world. A truly heroic and impressive man. Thank you Gregory Herr (I love this site).

  22. Unfettered Fire
    August 31, 2017 at 09:54

    “How did I feel? I felt then (as I do now} that these “prominent” men are really immature juveniles at heart. The horrible reality is that these little boys have been dominant in their influence in world affairs. No wonder we have wars and violence. Skull and Bones is the symbol of terrorist violence, pirates, the SS Deaths Head Division in WW Two, labels on poison bottles and so on.”

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