Immigration Divides Europe and the German Left

A battle between regulated immigration and a utopian vision in line with international finance is splitting the German Left Party, giving an opening to the right, as Diana Johnstone explains.

By Diana Johnstone
in Paris
Special to Consortium News

Freedom of movement is the founding value of the European Union. The “four freedoms” are inscribed in the binding EU treaties and directives: free movement of goods, services, capital and persons (labor) among the Member States.

Of course, the key freedom here is that of capital, the indispensable condition of neoliberal globalization. It enables international finance to go and do whatever promises to be profitable, regardless of national boundaries. The European Union is the kernel of the worldwide “Open Society”, as promoted by financier George Soros.

However, extended to the phenomenon of mass immigration, the doctrine of “free movement” is disuniting the Union.

A German Crisis

Starting in 2011, millions of Syrian refugees fled to neighboring Turkey as a result of the Western-sponsored war to overthrow the Assad regime. By 2015, Turkish president Erdogan was insisting that Europe must share the burden, and soon was threatening the European Union with opening the floodgates of refugees if his conditions were not met.

In August 2015, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that Germany would accept all genuine refugees. Germany had already taken in over 400,000 refugees, and another 400,000 were assumed to be on the way – if not more. Although addressed to Syrians, Merkel’s invitation was widely interpreted as an unlimited invitation to anyone who wanted to come Germany for whatever reason. In addition to a smaller number of refugee families, long lines of young men from all points east streamed through the Balkans, heading for Germany or Sweden.

The criminal destruction of the government of Libya in 2011 opened the floodgates to immigrants from Africa and beyond. The distinction between refugees and economic migrants was lost in the crowd.

Germans themselves were sharply polarized between those who welcomed the commitment to Christian charity and those who dreaded the probable effects. The differences were too highly charged emotionally, too subjective to be easily discussed in a rational way. Finally, it depends on whether you think of immigrants as individuals or as a mass. Concerning individuals, compassion reigns. You want to get to know that person, make a friend, help a fellow human being.

As a mass, it is different because you have to think also of social results and you do not know whom you are getting. On the one hand, there are the negative effects: labor market competition which lowers wages, the cost of caring for people with no income, the potential for antisocial behavior on the part of alienated individuals, rivalry for housing space, cultural conflicts, additional linguistic and educational problems. But for those whose ideal is a world without borders, the destruction of the oppressive nation state and endless diversity, unlimited immigration is a welcome step in the direction of their utopia.

Merkel with Erdogan. Her own interior minister “can’t work with that woman.”

These conflicting attitudes rule out any consensus.

As other EU countries were called upon to welcome a proportionate share of the refugee influx, resentment grew that a German chancellor could unilaterally make such a dramatic decision affecting them all. The subsequent effort to impose quotas of immigrants on member states has run up against stubborn refusal on the part of Eastern European countries whose populations, unlike Germany, or Western countries with an imperialist past, are untouched by a national sense of guilt or responsibilities toward inhabitants of former colonies.

After causing a growing split between EU countries, the immigrant crisis is now threatening to bring down Merkel’s own Christian Democratic (CDU) government. Her own interior minister, Horst Seehofer, from the conservative Bavarian Christian Social Union, has declared that he “can’t work with this woman” (Merkel) on immigration policy and favors joining together with Austria and Italy in a tough policy to stop migration.

The conflict over immigration affects even the relatively new leftist party, Die Linke (The Left).

A good part of the European left, whatever its dissatisfaction with EU performance, is impregnated with its free movement ideology, and has interiorized “open borders” as a European “value” that must be defended at all costs. It is forgotten that EU “freedom of movement” was not intended to apply to migrants from outside the Union. It meant freedom to move from one EU state to another. As an internationally recognized human right, freedom of movement refers solely to the right of a citizen to leave and return to her own country.

In an attempt to avoid ideological polarization and define a clear policy at the Left party’s congress early this month, a working group presented a long paper setting out ideas for a “humane and social regulated leftist immigration policy”. The object was to escape from the aggressive insistence on the dichotomy: either you are for immigration or you are against it, and if you are against it, you must be racist.

The group paper observed that there are not two but three approaches to immigration: for it, against it, and regulation. Regulation is the humane and socially beneficial way.

While reiterating total support for the right of asylum including financial and social aid for all persons fleeing life-threatening situations, the paper insisted on the need to make the distinction between asylum seekers and economic migrants. The latter should be welcomed within the capacity of communities to provide them with a decent life: possibilities of work, affordable housing and social integration. They noted that letting in all those who hope to improve their economic standing might favor a few individual winners but would not favor the long-term interests either of the economic losers or of the country of origin, increasing its dependence and even provoking a brain drain as educated professionals seek advancement in a richer country.

There was hope that this would settle the issue. This did not happen. Instead, the party’s most popular leader found herself the target of angry emotional protests due to her defense of this sensible approach.

Sahra and Oskar

As elsewhere in Europe, the traditional left has drastically declined in recent years. The long-powerful German Social Democratic Party (SPD) has lost its working-class base as a result of its acceptance, or rather, promotion of neoliberal socioeconomic policies. The SPD has been absorbed by the Authoritarian Center, reduced to junior partner in Angela Merkel’s conservative government.

Die Linke, formed in 2007 by the merger of leftist groups in both East and West Germany, describes itself as socialist but largely defends the social democratic policies abandoned by the SPD. It is the obvious candidate to fill the gap. In elections last September, while the SPD declined to 20%, Die Linke slightly improved its electoral score to almost 10%. But its electorate is largely based in the middle class intelligentsia. The party that captured the most working-class votes was the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), considered far right populist – largely because its growing success at the polls is due to popular rejection of mass immigration.

There are two way of looking at this.

One way, the Clintonite way, is to dismiss the working class as a bunch of deplorables who do not deserve to have their interests defended. If they oppose immigration, it can only be because they have impure souls, besmirched by racism and “hate”.

Another way is to consider that the grievances of ordinary people need to be listened to, and that they need to be presented with clear, well-defined, humane political choices, instead of being dismissed and insulted.

This is the viewpoint of Sahra Wagenknecht, currently co-leader of Die Linke in the Bundestag.

Wagenknecht in the Bundestag with Merkel looking on.  (Photo by Michele Tantussi/Getty Images)

Wagenknecht was born in East Germany 48 years ago to an Iranian father and German mother. She is highly educated, with a Ph.D. in economics and is author of books on the young Marx’s interpretation of Hegel, on “The Limits of Choice: Saving Decisions and Basic Needs in Developed Countries” and “Prosperity Without Greed”. The charismatic Sahra has become one of the most popular politicians in Germany. Polls indicate that a quarter of German voters would vote for her as Chancellor.

But there is a catch: her party, Die Linke. Many who would vote for her would not vote for her party, and many in her own party would be reluctant to support her. Why? Immigration.

Sahra’s strongest supporter is Oskar Lafontaine, 74, her partner and now her husband. A scientist by training with years of political experience in the leadership of the SPD, Lafontaine was a strong figure in the 1980s protest movement against nuclear missiles stationed in Germany and remains an outspoken critic of U.S. and NATO militarism – a difficult position in Germany. In 1999 he resigned as finance minister because of his disagreement with the neoliberal policy turn of SPD Chancellor Gerhard Schoeder. He is a consistent critic of financial capitalism and the euro, calling for a change of European monetary policy that would permit selective devaluation and thus relieve the economically weaker member states of their crushing debt burden.

After leaving the SPD in 2005, Lafontaine went on to co-found Die Linke, which absorbed the post-East German Party of Democratic Socialism led by lawyer Gregor Gysi. A few years later he withdrew into the political background, encouraging the rising career of his much younger partner Sahra Wagenknecht.

Lafontaine can be likened to Jeremy Corbyn in Britain and Jean-Luc Mélenchon as a left leader who has retained basic social and antiwar principles from the past and aspires to carry them into the future, against the rising right-wing tide in Europe.

The Wagenknecht-Lafontaine couple advocate social policies favorable to the working class, demilitarization, peaceful relations with Russia and the rest of a multipolar world. Both are critical of the euro and its devastating effects on Member State economies. They favor regulated immigration. Critical of the European Union, they belong to what can be called the national left, which believes that progressive policies can still be carried out on the national level.

The Globalizing Left

Die Linke is split between the national left, whose purpose is to promote social policies within the framework of the nation-state, and the globalization left, which considers that important policy decisions must be made at a higher level than the nation.

As co-leader of the Linke fraction in the Bundestag, Wagenknecht champions the national left, while another woman, the party co-chair Katja Kipping, also an academic of East German origin, speaks for the globalization left.

In a July 2016 article criticizing Brexit, Kipping made it clear that for her the nation is an anachronism unsuitable for policy making. Like others of her persuasion, she equates the nation with “nationalism”. She also immediately identifies any criticism of mass immigration with scapegoating: “Nationalism doesn’t improve our lives, it makes the poor only poorer, it takes nothing from the rich, but instead blames refugees and migrants for all present misery.”

The idea that social reform must henceforth take place only on the European level has paralyzed left parties for decades. The most extreme of the globalizing left shove their expectations even beyond the European Union in hopes of eventual revolution at the global level, as preached by Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt in their joint books Empire and Multitude

According to Negri, an alarmingly influential Italian theorist who has been dead wrong ever since the 1970s, the final great global revolution will result from the spontaneous self-liberation of the “multitude”. This is a sort of pie in the sky, projecting hopes beyond the here and now to some desirable future made inevitable by the new immaterial means of production (Negri’s boneless imitation of Marxism). Whether or not they have read him, many anarchist anti-globalist notions of The End Times are in harmony with Negri’s optimistically prophetic view of globalization: it may be bad now, but if it goes far enough, it will be perfect.

Since the globalization left considers the nation state inapt to make the revolution, its abolition is seen as a step in the right direction – which happens to coincide with the worldwide takeover of international financial capital. Its core issue, and the one it uses to condemn its adversaries in the national left, is immigration. Katya Kipping advocates “open borders” as a moral obligation. When critics point out that this is not a practical suggestion, the globalization left replies that it doesn’t matter, it is a principle that must be upheld for the future.

To make her policy line even more unrealistic, Kipping calls for both “open borders” and a guaranteed minimum income for everyone.

It is easy to imagine both the enthusiastic response to such a proposal in every poor country in the world and its horrified rejection by German voters.

What can motivate leaders of a political party to make such flagrantly unpopular and unrealizable proposals, guaranteed to alienate the vast majority of the electorate?

Kipping: Globalized immigration in line with international finance. (Getty)

One apparent source of such fantasy can be attributed to a certain post-Christian, post-Auschwitz bad conscience prevalent in sectors of the intelligentsia, to whom politics is more like a visit to the confession booth than an effort to win popular support. Light a candle and your sins will be forgiven! Many local charitable organizations actually put their beliefs in practice by providing material aid to migrants. But the task is too great for volunteers; at present proportions it requires governmental organization.

Another, more virulent strain of the open border advocates is found among certain anarchists, conscious or unconscious disciples of Hardt and Negri, who see open borders as a step toward destroying the hated nation state, drowning despised national identities in a sea of “minorities”, thereby hastening the advent of worldwide revolution.

The decisive point is that both these tendencies advocate policies which are perfectly compatible with the needs of international financial capital. Large scale immigration by diverse ethnic communities unwilling or unable to adapt the customs of the host country (which is often the case in Europe today, where the host country may be despised for past sins), weakens the ability of society to organize and resist the dictates of financial capital. The newcomers may not only destabilize the situation of already accepted immigrant populations, they can introduce unexpected antagonisms and conflicts. In both France and Germany, groups of Eritrean migrants have come to blows with Afghan migrants, and other prejudices and vendettas lurk, not to mention dangerous elements of religious fanaticism.

In foreign policy, the globalization left tends to accept the political and media mainstream criticism of Wagenknecht as a Putin apologist for her position regarding Syria and Russia. The globalist left sometimes seems to be more intent on arranging the rest of the world to suit their standards than finding practical solutions to problems at home. Avoiding war is also a serious problem to be dealt with at the national level.

Despite the acrimonious debates at the June 8 to 10 party congress, Die Linke did not split. But faced with the deadlock on important questions, Wagenknecht and her supporters are planning to launch a new trans-party movement in September, intended to attract disenchanted fugitives from the SPD among others in order to debate and promote specific issues rather than to hurl labels at each other. For the left, the question today is not merely the historic, “What is to be done?” but rather a desperate, Can anything be done?

And if they don’t do it, somebody else will.

Diana Johnstone is the author of Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO, and Western Delusions. Her new book is Queen of Chaos: the Misadventures of Hillary Clinton. The memoirs of Diana Johnstone’s father Paul H. Johnstone, From MAD to Madness, was published by Clarity Press, with her commentary. She can be reached at diana.johnstone@wanadoo.fr .

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99 comments for “Immigration Divides Europe and the German Left

  1. Michael Morrissey
    June 25, 2018 at 4:58 am

    See “Sahra Wagenknecht in English” on Facebook for an English translation of some of her writings.

  2. Known Unknown
    June 22, 2018 at 2:03 am

    Germany and other European nations would benefit from a points system of controlled immigration, like the one used by Canada. Right now it has no functional immigration policy. And, as I mentioned in my other post, the EU ought to know that its own trade and foreign policies are responsible for millions fleeing their home countries in the first place. And if migrants are arriving half drowned in boats that aren’t seaworthy, simply shouting “keep them out!” is not a good humanitarian policy. Unfortunately many on the anti-migrant right have no problem letting thousands drown…and EU policy reflects this. How far Europe has fallen.

    • Nop
      June 23, 2018 at 2:19 pm

      The ‘asylum seekers’ have paid crimi als to put them to sea in vessels they believe will compell their rescue. The whole system is a scam.

    • Greg Schofield
      June 23, 2018 at 9:35 pm

      The point system favours the rich, the specialists and intellectuals. It does not work in Australia and it further impoverishes their homelands. I cannot see any benefit to managers running immigration.

      What about something simple — no immigration quotas, no immigration channels, a system that the only grounds for acceptance being the compassion of ordinary people (a jury), for the desire, needs, or situation of a person and their family — no matter how sick, old or poor.

      Second; all refugees have to be housed and looked after as refugees, until on compassionate grounds they are given citizenship, or can be safely repatriated, initially housed as communities and as time passes granted more freedom to integrate. A clear staged system where their separation from homeland is recognized.

      Lastly we once had in Australia amnesties, so that people here illegally who had not committed a serious offense would be granted citizenship. This topped the development of an exploited underclass of illegals that undercut wages and conditions.

      In Australia this dissolved into runaway immigration, where unsustainable figures of 60 million are touted, and our over 10 years 21 million has increased by 3 million, that is the city of Perth every five years. This is when birth rates are comparatively flat or falling.

      Immigration is just part of the globalist problem, in reality given security and economic future mist people do not want to leave family, friends and the familiar for a foreign country, and those that do for whatever reason can be easily accommodated. This is the product of chronic world insecurity and corporate economic rapine.

  3. Fergus Hashimoto
    June 21, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    Another phrase of Diana Johnstone’s that I find misleading is “antisocial behavior on the part of alienated individuals” among recently arrived immigrants in Europe. I grant there is a lot of antisocial behavior. However it is not individual behavior but collective behavior that can fairly be attributed to the tribalism of Middle Eastern societies.
    Here is an excerpt from an interview given by the noted feminist and humanitarian Rebecca Sommer in January of 2018.
    https://arbeitsgruppefluchtundmenschenrechte.wordpress.com/2018/02/11/interview-with-rebecca-sommer-english/
    Natalia von der Osten-Sacken: Rebecca, you are a celebrated human rights activist. For many years now you have been working with refugees and immigrants. Years before the refugee wave of 2015 you were already well-known because you demanded that these people be admitted to Germany without any limitation. So what made you change your mind?

    Until then I had tried somehow to justify to myself these constantly recurring attitudes and patterns of behavior shown by most refugees, their way of perceiving the world, based on their religion – Islam — and their culture. For example, I would tell myself that they behaved that way just because they were newcomers.
    I thought that their medieval views would gradually change over time.
    I had great confidence in our European and western values of freedom and equality, and I naively thought that nobody could ever possibly disagree with these values or refuse to adopt them. But after looking back at years of recurring experiences of this kind in my work as a volunteer, I had to admit to myself that as far as Muslim refugees go, they grew up with completely different values from ours, that ever since childhood they have been brainwashed and indoctrinated with Islam, and most of them have no intention of adopting our values – worse, they look down on us unbelievers with disdain and contempt.

    • Greg Schofield
      June 23, 2018 at 9:55 pm

      Sorry mate I think what you are saying is untrue. It is not Islam or any particular culture, it is a US sponsored wars in the middle east and africa driving huge waves of desperate immigrants away from their homelands. The huge predominance of young males is a direct result of having society smashed and economies plundered.

      These young men, for motives that usually start with voluntary exile to earn money to send back to their desperate families, find themselves alienated in every sense, and the desperately needed money never enough or none at al;l that can be sent back. They feel failures by the one thing that sent them away, their families.

      So what would you do? I can see myself doing exactly what they do now, after risking their lives they find themselves in hell, that the governments that are part of the the problem despise them as a group, so they club together and guess what form a new criminal underclass, that lives side by side by those earning a wage, or those that set themselves up in some business or another.

      It is New York’s little Italy circa 1890, the irish in in crica 1850s it is a recipe, the equivalent of blocking the roads with refugees during the Nazi blitzkrieg. The denial of freed slaves the post civil war era of promised land and support and the forced generational migration of their descents northwards to escape the dirt poverty of the south. The pattern is familiar as it is disnctly American.

      It is not their ethnicity, or religion, that makes this. It can be done with any group that starts off poor and then can be forced to migrate. Look at the US policies in Latin America, all the places its has most direct influence people are the migrants coming into the USA across the Mexican border. They produce a underclass one part of which is criminal, all of which undermines the poorest paid and sets about the internecine conflicts that America is famous for — this has been exported by corporate powers the majority of which are culturally American.

      It is not about values, which are not really shared to the extent that you think, for what I think you are referring to a familiar mores, or social habits, which are not values which have a moral dimension about right actions.

  4. Fergus Hashimoto
    June 21, 2018 at 8:45 pm

    Diana Johnstone has written a really fabulous article that reflects my own thinking, although I cannot summarize it as elegently as she does.
    She rightly points out the “utopian vision in line with international finance [that] is splitting the German Left Party”.
    However there are a few points that I find somewhat misleading.
    It is right to say that the Syrian civil is sponsored by the west in order to overthrow the Assad regime. However she neglects to mention the fact that the main factor that triggered the war was Qatar’s desire to build a south-to-north gas pipeline through Syria to supply the European market for natural gas, which conflicted with Iran’s plan to build an east-to-west gas pipeline through Syria for exactly the same purpose, from the Iranian gas fields to a port on the Mediterranean Sea. The purpose of the Qatari monarch’s trip to Gaza in 2011 was to persuade Hamas to furnish the cannon fodder for his assault on Assad. Hamas turned him down however.
    Qatar financed jihadi terrorists in Syria to do its dirty work, and was vogorously assisted by Sowdy Arabia and Kuwait, and … by Turkey!
    Many American leftists are marvelous people, but their obsession with blaming their own country for everything under the sun is most unfortunate. Sure, US imperialism sucks, but that is merely a special case of the general proposition that ALL imperialisms suck. And now that the US is in steady decline, we cannot continue inhabiting a Chomskyesque time warp in which there is only one imperialism.
    The fact that Qatar and Iran and Turkey are now friends again merely testifies to the swift realignments that characterize Middle Eastern politics.
    Labor market competition by immigrants

  5. joblow
    June 21, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    Thank you Diana for your in depth analysis of the current situation within what is considered the left. I always look forward to hearing your perspective.

  6. incontinent reader
    June 20, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    Excellent commentary, as usual by Ms. Johnstone.

    I have always been skeptical of Merkel’s immigration policy. It was as much geared to placating Turkey, and absorbing the consequences of the US-NATO-Israel-Saudi wars in the Middle East and North Africa (including Turkey’s own active involvement in the Syrian war) which caused the crisis in the first place- as well as an easy way to meet Germany’s labor needs as posited by its business establishment- not only to replace Germany’s aging workforce, but also to increase its labor pool, and thereby depress wages.

    But what is especially telling has been her reluctance to let in Palestinian refugees- e.g., from the displaced persons camps. (See for example, https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/591692/Angela-Merkel-Palestinian-immigrant-child-tears-deportation-social-media-storm where the reported incident occurred only weeks prior to her about face on mass migration from Libya, Syria and elsewhere.

    Merkel has always had a bias against the Palestinians, perhaps in part due to the collective national guilt attributed to Germany, which is part of its accepted national narrative, one to which she adheres, but which has also skewed German policies in favor of Israel and shut down any criticism of it, even in the face of the long history of injustices endured by the Palestinians.

    • christina garcia
      June 20, 2018 at 10:34 pm

      how many Palestinians do you know who could possibly get out the occupied territories? No escape/ real travel in any way. The Palestinians are a captured people with no freedom of movement.

    • Josep
      June 27, 2018 at 2:05 am

      “Merkel has always had a bias against the Palestinians, perhaps in part due to the collective national guilt attributed to Germany, which is part of its accepted national narrative, one to which she adheres, but which has also skewed German policies in favor of Israel and shut down any criticism of it, even in the face of the long history of injustices endured by the Palestinians.”
      – What I find ironic is that, at the same time, anecdotally, the Israeli news outlets (e.g. YNetNews, Algemeiner, JPost) and their readers claim that Merkel is somehow “anti-Semitic” and “pro-Palestinian” and accuse the German government of not being pro-Israel enough.

  7. backwardsevolution
    June 20, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    Follow the money on refugees/illegals. Both sides of the aisle want to see it continue. Charities, churches, NGO’s are making big money. Follow the trail.

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/06/20/illegal-immigration-and-lax-border-controls-are-the-epicenter-of-the-uniparty/#more-150778

  8. dean 1000
    June 20, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    Thanks Diana Johnstone for a lucid explanation of the left and global left in Germany. The global left baffles me. But for nationalism ( including the nationalism of those without a state ) the air conditioned nabobs of the global left would be eating the carrion left by wolves and lions.
    They can’t seem to understand that the only attainable goal is to put nationalism beyond the control of the 10% and the MIC.

    • susan sunflower
      June 20, 2018 at 3:28 pm

      yes, I have read over the years many accounts of Iraqi refugees (Sunni) attempting to return home (usually to Baghdad) where they had property and ties in the neighborhood they had been driven from. They arrived to find squatters in their home, their possessions vanished and got zero support from the government (police, courts) in reestablishing themselves in their (previously Sunni or mixed) neighborhood, now Shiia and hostile and threatening. I’ve seen no updates for a long time of the resettlement of the significantly displaced Sunni civilian populations of Fallujah, Mosul and Ramallah (in some cases completely emptied, even “cleansed”).

      I’ve read scary (partisan) reports about restrictions on re-assertion of property rights in Syria in government controlled areas (with little particular confidence wrt what will come to pass in time, but dismay in the contrast from previously offered “amnesty” for returnees.

      It is good to “belong” to a nation .. to protect your rights and to have (hopefully) workable systems of restitution (something Germany managed well after reunification compared to many places facing similar attempts at binding the country together after seismic conflict.

      Most notable is how many of these conflicts are on-going … and yet these refugees treated as if somehow abandoned forever and ever — static — never to return again to their home countries …. Erases some complexity and responsibilities … as if they were all up for adoption and looking for a “forever home” like a pet shelter.

      • Known Unknown
        June 22, 2018 at 2:13 am

        Yes, nuance is lacking and panicked xenophobic rhetoric about “invaders” or “aliens” rules the day. Also many people on these websites are loathe to admit that al-Assad and the Syrian Ba’athist regime have a well deserved reputation for being savagely brutal. Likewise, they don’t bother researching how Sunnis in Iraq have been marginalized by the sectarian Shi’ite government there and how Iranian supported Shia militia can be just as nasty and sectarian as their Sunni rivals.

        The problem is they only concentrate on Western propaganda and take everything the West’s opponents say at face value. Big mistake if accuracy and truth have any meaning.

        • Skip Scott
          June 23, 2018 at 7:50 am

          Please provide some solid evidence of the cruelty of Assad. And I don’t mean some made up propaganda BS from the Atlantic Council. You also falsely paint a shia/sunni divide, when actually the majority of Assad’s army is sunni, and Assad is an Alawite. The reason we are going after Assad is because he is a Nationalist (as was Saddam Hussein), and BTW Assad enjoys the support of over 70 pct. of Syrians. Accuracy and truth have plenty of meaning to me, and I always find your posts seriously lacking in both. Is that you, Mr. Rumsfeld?

    • Tim Owen
      June 20, 2018 at 9:09 pm

      The thing that sort of – not really – puzzles me is this: the most democratic institutions are still national. See the gaping democratic “deficit” of the EU being ruled over by a commission with an utterly – from what I’ve read – toothless parliament. Cue the revival of the nationalism / xenophobia / fascism threat.

      Another “data point” might be the absurdity of the Maidan protests when put beside current “state of the art” “democratic” Western practice: the protest was over the non-adoption of a completely unaffordable trade pact. One irony of course is that the western politicians egging the crowds on aren’t even able to read the trade pacts we are subjected to as our apparent representatives, much less rubes like us here. Day Glo hypocrisy.

      So, squinting a bit, I sense that for democracy to survive in west it has to cling to those mechanisms still rooted in national debates and national consciousness. In other words, nationalism – far from being a dirty word – needs to be retrieved as the font of consensual rule.

      In a way it is the western democratic analogue for the China / Russia axis and its allies demand for multi-polarity.

      • susan sunflower
        June 20, 2018 at 10:00 pm

        The overwhelming effect of oligarch funding (easily afforded by them but questionably destructive to the formation of deeper rooted “grassroots” movement plays into EU political movements (as we saw with Cambridge Analytica) … After you’ve marched on Washington and authored a NYT editorial … where next?

        Soros is castigated for longterm funding of “democracy promoting NGOs” … the United State Government did the same for decades in many countries, but notably in Egypt … Soros proved that really small, but regular relatively low-level funding — keep the doors open, the lights on, the coffee maker full, the newsletter regular and the color coordinated t-shirts and banners — could effect a “miracle” … I remember the Orange Revolution well. :”Everyone” — good and bad — learned powerful lesson about how cheaply and powerful such maximum optics were. The USA spent 30 years funding NGOs to promote democracy in Egypt (and likely develop and extensive network of contacts and informants and yet, I saw very little evidence that this “investment” in grassroots propagation yielded much if anything, if so, I never saw it mentioned and I looked. Our rejection of the Muslim Brotherhood winner of the election was business as usual , worthy of Tom Leherer.

        I hate the term “fake news” but we are awash in an ocean of think-tank projects and consensus testing, and a miasma of media — far removed from Pew and other polls — manufactured by careerists, political professional like Manafort or Podesta.

        Teresa May probably will grovel shamelessly unwilling to cross her paymasters, jeopardize her post-term connections and contact — the same supporters of Brexit and Cambridge Analytica who support and supported Trump. In 2018, it’s all business and the neoliberal/interventionist neocon community is strong and “rewards” unlimited (ask Hillary and Bill) If you can fake sincerity….

  9. Theo
    June 20, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    Thank you Diana Johnstone for this unbiased analysis.I as a German citizen fully agree with you.I love to watch Sahra Wagenknecht in TV talk shows. She’s never boring and knows what she’s talking about.All her adversaries never have a chance against her.Oskar Lafontaine has been and is a man of principles.Katya Kipping is nothing but a nuisance.I and my sister and brother in law skipped the last elections.First time.We used to vote for SPD.I didn’t want to waste my time.I’m afraid to say this but it’s the opinion of many Germans that the better part of the migrants just come to loot the welfare systems.No one knows who they are where they come from and most of them aren’t eligible for political asylum anyway.

  10. Drew Hunkins
    June 20, 2018 at 10:49 am

    Ms. Johnstone is arguably the finest intellectual today writing on global affairs. To fail to read every one of her newly minted essays is to court genuine ignorance.

    Unfortunately the immigration issue is a sticky one for the progressive-left of which I consider myself a member. Obviously over the last few years the right-wing has been making substantial inroads with the struggling white (and African-American) working/middle class on this particular contentious issue.

    It’s axiomatic that a tight labor market is one of the best friends to the working person in America. An “Employers’ Market” in which desperate un and under employed folks are scrambling for any job they can obtain, is a boon for the owning class and an albatross around the neck of working people across the nation.

    There’s little doubt that in certain industrial sectors, unfettered Latin American immigration (and south central Asian immigration in the I.T. sector) does indeed depress wages in the United States; this is why one of the key ruling class institutions: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is extremely pro massive immigration. As anyone with the sense of a billy goat knows: the Chamber of Commerce cares not at all whether American workers take home a family supporting living wage. The Chamber of Commerce has spent the last century lobbying against every single life affirming piece of legislation that can be construed as pro-worker.

    Though it makes some uneasy, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a little bit of economic nationalism, if of course civil liberties are strenuously upheld for all, and the militaristic-imperialist impulse is totally suppressed. After all, it’s largely due to foreign excursions by our Washington-Zio neo-liberal imperialists which have caused a massive wave of refugees seeking to flee the Anglo/Zio war zones for the West.

    It’s sometimes forgotten that the great humanitarian labor leader Cesar Chavez supported putting serious limits on unfettered immigration from Latin America. As an astute labor organizer he well knew that the death knell of struggling working people is a line of anxious potential workers willing to undercut them to feed and clothe their children.

    It’s now time that the progressive-left address this issue honestly, forthrightly and most importantly humanely by advocating for serious curbs on all types of immigration. The United States has far too many hopeless un and under employed American citizens in the hard pressed Rust Belt, Southwest, Deep South and Northeast to continue to neglect this provocative issue. With ever more automation, robotics and computerization on the near horizon, it’s ever more important the progressive-left take a stand for the American worker.

    Having pointed all this out, I want to emphasize that I have nothing against these fine folks who are desperate themselves, often fleeing lands in which Washington-Wall Street driven “free trade” agreements have decimated the workforce.

    • Bob Van Noy
      June 20, 2018 at 5:03 pm

      A very helpful comment Drew. Thanks

      • Drew Hunkins
        June 20, 2018 at 5:17 pm

        Thanks Bob. It’s such a contentious issue and it’s destroying much of the potential of the populist-progressive left.

        I always enjoy your valuable contributions to this site.

  11. Brendan
    June 20, 2018 at 9:24 am

    The problem with Sahra Wagenknecht is not that she opposes unlimited immigration. It’s that she does so in the same way that the far-right does – by presenting an almost entirely negative image of immigrants.

    When it was reported at the start of 2016 that gangs of north African men had committed widespread sexual assaults at the new year celebrations in Cologne, Wagenknecht used this to attack the rights of some asylum seekers to stay in Germany: “whoever abuses the right to hospitality, has also lost the right to hospitality.”

    Later it turned out that the sex crime story was nearly all fake news, with only the usual number of convictions that would result from such a large public event, and very few involving refugees or asylum-seekers.

    Wagenknecht also tried to play down the racial prejudice in the decision of the ‘Tafel’ charity in Essen last year to give cheap food only to German citizens and not to foreigners. She did this in spite of the fact that the arguments used by the charity’s boss to justify the decision were literally racist and xenophobic – he said that the foreigners had a “taker gene” and had no culture of queuing up.

    Again, instead of criticing this hysteria, she added to it – this time by saying that the pressure on the Tafel charity was one of many problems that were made worse by the refugee crisis. A real socialist would have said that these problems should not exist in a wealthy organised country like Germany in the first place, and that neither Germans nor foreigners should have to depend on only cheap rejected food for their survival.

    Wagenknecht doesn’t even try to hide how close her policies are to those of the far-right AfD. A supposed socialist like her doesn’t seem the slightest bit embarassed that her voters have so much in common with people who vote for far-right candidates. In fact, she sees it as an opportunity to exploit and that her party should not portray them as racists. After last year’s general election, she said on Facebook:
    “There is, especially in the east, a not very small overlap between our potential voters and those of the AfD. These are not racists, but people who are dissatisfied, who are bitter and who feel neglected. In future it must be much clearer that our goal is to win these people over to the Left party!”

  12. Ich
    June 20, 2018 at 7:48 am

    Sahra Wagenknecht is the real deal. And I have always liked Oskar Lafontain’s positions.

  13. June 20, 2018 at 6:24 am

    “The decisive point is that both these tendencies advocate policies which are perfectly compatible with the needs of international financial capital. Large scale immigration by diverse ethnic communities unwilling or unable to adapt the customs of the host country (which is often the case in Europe today, where the host country may be despised for past sins), weakens the ability of society to organize and resist the dictates of financial capital.”

    Could be talking about the United States, the financial capital issue remains, the names of the actors are different.

    • Skip Scott
      June 20, 2018 at 8:24 am

      Yes Herman, it is the same plan both in the USA and Europe. It is the plan of Global Empire with the 1 pct. running the whole show. It is a plan that will lead us to a Global Neo-Feudalism. There won’t be many of us on the comfy side of the Country Club wall.

  14. j. D. D.
    June 20, 2018 at 4:56 am

    Neither “fortress Europe,” nor open borders will solve this crisis.Seehofer’s proposal to turn away refugees on the German border, if they are already registered in another EU member country, will tend to lead to the end of the EU’s Schengen agreement, and thereby to the destruction of the foundation of the monetary union. The idea of so-called detention camps in countries such as Libya, which has sunk into internal chaos as a result of President Barack Obama’s military intervention, is so barbaric that it draws the oft-cited notion of “western values” into ridicule. While thousands are risking their lives d to flee the certainty of war and death in Northern Africa a corrupt, morally arogant, and actually racist EU saddles the struggling Italian and Greek economies with supporting and sustaining them. However, there is, in fact a solution, not found within the parameters of the current debate..
    It is expected that by 2040, two billion people will be living in Africa, a huge part of them young people who need education, a job and more generally, a perspective for the future. What the African continent needs is massive investment in infrastructure, industrial capacities and agriculture, of precisely the type that China has made in the last 10 years. China thus helped reduce poverty in Africa from 56% in 1990 to 43% in 2012 to 37% today. At the G20 summit in Hamburg in 2017, Xi Jinping explicitly and repeatedly proposed to Angela Merkel to cooperate with the New Silk Road in Africa. The German government, for its part, has repeatedly spoken of a “Marshall Plan for Africa,” but other than the usual green “sustainable” projects, detention camps, and the securing of the EU’s external borders, nothing has been forthcoming.. Taking the example set by the Singapore Summit—that real change is possible, and that the past does not determine the future—the German government should ensure that the agenda of the upcoming European Union summit on June 28-29 be quickly changed. EU cooperation with China’s New Silk Road initiative for the development of Africa should be made the sole subject on the agenda, and Xi Jinping or Wang Yi should be invited to attend, as well as some African heads of state who are already cooperating with China
    If the EU summit, the Chinese government representative, and the African representatives then pronounce in a joint declaration the commitment to undertake a joint crash program for a pan-African infrastructure and development program, and promise all the young people of Africa that the continent will overcome poverty in a short time, such a declaration, due to the participation of China, would have all the credibility in the world in Africa, and would change the dynamic in all the countries towards definite hope for the future, and would immediately effect a change in the migrant crisis. It would also free the EU from its current crisis of legitimacy, and give the European nations a mission which would place the unity of Europe on a higher new level.

    • backwardsevolution
      June 20, 2018 at 6:13 am

      j. D. D. – Gaddafi held back Africa. Before he was brutally murdered, he said, “If you take me out, all of Africa will flood into Europe,” or something along those lines.

      In 1950, the population of Africa was 228 million. By 2000 it was 814 million. By 2020 it is estimated to be 1,340,000,000; by 2040 it is estimated to be 2,063,000,000. By 2100 the population of Africa is expected to be 4,386,000,000. That’s probably ten times the population of the U.S. by then. Could Africa even handle that many people?

      • bevin
        June 20, 2018 at 10:53 pm

        “.. the population of Africa was 228 million. By 2000 it was 814 million. By 2020 it is estimated to be 1,340,000,000; by 2040 it is estimated to be 2,063,000,000. By 2100 the population of Africa is expected to be 4,386,000,000…”
        This is sub-Malthusian nonsense.

    • Sam F
      June 20, 2018 at 8:40 am

      Good point on the need for constructive action by the West to improve conditions in origin nations of immigration, and of course to stop its mad wars for Israeli land theft that have destabilized the Mideast. The sensible policies of China contrast remarkably with the corrupt oligarchy of the West.

    • Loretta
      June 20, 2018 at 2:01 pm

      You don’t understand: African development plans are only meant to squeeze China OUT of Africa. As was the destruction of Libya. The European talk of a “Marshall Plan” for Africa is nothing but a cover for neoliberal exploitation of African resources and a US militarization (to combat “terrorism” of course) of the continent. It is all about resources and exploitation.

  15. Jeff Harrison
    June 19, 2018 at 11:41 pm

    Has Germany considered sanctioning the US for the problem that we foisted on Germany? Indeed, how about a sanction on the US for crashing the global economy that left so many European states in desperate financial straits. They might even put the crew that runs the EU economy in jail for malfeasance.

    • JoeD
      June 20, 2018 at 10:18 am

      Why? Germany prospers from US mistakes. The karma aspect comes from refugees coming to Germany. But, Germany does not have an open border and will restrict the number of refugees.

  16. christina garcia
    June 19, 2018 at 10:45 pm

    Fact. My family was torn by WW2. Fact my great auntie had to make a choice, go west or leave her family in the former GDR. Her family was torn apart, your kids or you. I just cannot believe Trump is getting away wit these policies. Consortium News People, are we going to let DJT get away with his inhumane policies?

  17. June 19, 2018 at 10:29 pm

    Open borders folks are doing the work of the neo liberal Capitalists.Nothing a neoliberal loves more than seeing the plebs fight over crumbs.

    Makes it so much easier for them to loot.

  18. backwardsevolution
    June 19, 2018 at 10:17 pm

    Diana Johnstone – excellent article! It explains so much of what I think I see and hear out there, but have trouble articulating.

    Saw an interesting video talk by a speaker who said that fascism always comes from the “Left”. He said Hitler changed his party’s name from the German Workers Party to the National Socialist German Workers Party, and that Germany has tried for years to scrub the word “Socialist” from the party name. Socialism and Hitler? We can’t have that! That might make the Left look bad. He said people always assume that since Hitler was fighting Stalin, and since Stalin was on the Left, that Hitler MUST have been on the Right. Not so. He said that throughout history, often it is “like” or “sister” parties, close in ideology, who end up fighting each other.

    But the speaker also said that if you look at the Nazi Party’s 25-point platform, exchange the old term “usury” for “interest rates” and exchange the word “Jews” for “the top 1%”, what Hitler laid out could have been read out at the Democratic National Convention and would have received a standing ovation. It mirrored what Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren might say today. Hitler was a socialist.

    The speaker talked about the fascist government of Mussolini in Italy, how his government was on the Left, not the Right, and how Lenin even congratulated his fellow leftist revolutionary on his election victory.

    He went on to say that there is nothing inherently wrong with Nationalist leaders, as Gandhi was a nationalist, and so was Castro, Ho Chi Min, Lincoln, the founding fathers, etc. He also laughed at Trump being called a fascist, saying that every time he turns on the TV, Trump is being flayed, and if he were a true fascist, he would have everybody arrested. He’s arguing with them on Twitter, for crying out loud.

    During the past few years, I have read a lot, watched a lot of videos. Whenever I would hear anyone start talking about someone or some group being “communist” in their thinking, that there was a drive by some to overturn functioning governments in favor of globalism or internationalism, I usually tuned out and stopped reading/watching right there. I thought they were making too big a leap, but now I’m not so sure. I think these people might have a point. Maybe there are some groups of people who really do want to undo Western Civilization, want to destroy the “nation”, cultures. We must not let that happen.

    Thank you, Diana Johnstone. I am listening.

    • F. G. Sanford
      June 19, 2018 at 11:06 pm

      Jeez Louise, I hope she answers your comment, because I can’t wait to hear her explanation for why Hitler was NOT a “socialist”. Sounds like you’ve been listening to that right wing loon Jerome Corsi, and some of those videos you watch include David Irving. Union busting, militarism, expansion of the prison system, misogyny, xenophobia – these are all classic fascist attributes. Hitler himself said he stuck “socialism” in the name to appease the “beefsteak” Nazis – those were the ones from the left wing of the party: “brown on the outside and red on the inside”. Look up the Strasser brothers – they represented that faction. One was murdered during the “night of the long knives” and the other fled to the USA.

      • backwardsevolution
        June 20, 2018 at 2:11 am

        F. G. Sanford – actually I’ve never heard of Jerome Corsi. Perhaps you can enlighten me on who he is. Full disclosure: I had been watching soccer videos actually, and noticed on the right-hand side a video on what fascism is, so I watched it. If we don’t have a clear understanding of terms, then we don’t end up with a good understanding. I didn’t agree with everything the man had to say, but found the reference to the National Socialist Party interesting, plus his comments on how nationalism is not a bad thing, and how Mussolini, a fascist, was on the Left, not the Right.

        I don’t remember saying that Hitler wasn’t a fascist. I said his 25-point platform, according to this speaker, was socialist in nature. I’ll have to check it out.

        I’m a very curious person, F. G. Sanford. Always trying to get the full picture.

        • Joe Tedesky
          June 20, 2018 at 8:46 am

          Backwardsevolution I’d love to have you join my party ‘the Observer Party’. It’s an easy party to join, because all we do is sit and watch the crazy label oriented selfish agenda driven political hacks and subservient useful dumb bells go by, and then we in the Observer Party break early for our own rally where we all bang our heads off the wall. Bring a sturdy well padded helmet to our meetings.

          I don’t think America is even dealing with left right, as much as it’s like a mass direct mailing campaign to gather us all behind a corporate made reality. We all take turns at being the bad guys, as each side never takes the blame for anything.

          No big deal, this is all a day in the life of a declining empire. Hang in there my friend. Joe

      • Bob Van Noy
        June 20, 2018 at 11:45 am

        Thanks F. G., I’m following your thoughts. It’s helpful. For others here is a link…
        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strasserism

      • Bob Van Noy
        June 20, 2018 at 11:54 am

        F.G. & Sam F. Not to get off topic, but if either of you can suggest good reading on this topic I’d appreciate it. I’m following Solzhenitsyn in this area; but it still eludes me…

        • Sam F
          June 20, 2018 at 1:43 pm

          Much of my library is not accessible at the moment. Some interesting background:
          The Nazi Seizure of Power: the Experience of a Single German Town, 1930-35. William Allen

        • F. G. Sanford
          June 20, 2018 at 6:33 pm

          I’ve got the same problem as Sam – I’m thousands of miles from my personal library. I’ve half jokingly said I’ve read a stack of books on this subject taller than I am – but it’s really not an exaggeration. Some of the first person sources – Otto Dietrich, Kurt Ludecke, Ernst “Putzi” Hanfstaengl – are fascinating. I could only get a Pdf of a photocopy of the Ludecke memoir. Toland’s two volume set is worthwhile, so is Kershaw’s two volume set. There is a book written by a former Naval War College professor which deals specifically with the politics from 1918 to 1933, but I forget his name. There is probably an Amazon description that would fit the bill. Interesting also are the Nuremberg psychiatric evaluations done by Gustav Gilbert and Douglas Kelley – but you’d probably have to do an inter-library request from some university to get them – very few copies available. David Irving is a great source for eye-witness material, but caution is in order. He’s basically a “Hitler apologist”. I’d still put my money on the Hugh Trevor-Roper volume: Hitler died in the bunker. Bottom line: Hitler “played” a lot of people to get where he got, including leftists. My analysis? NOBODY ever “knew” Hitler, not even his closest confidants. Though it distresses some of today’s “leftists”, when you really dig into that period, you’ll find that the “lefties” and the “righties” were equally despicable. But there is one true thing that can be said: Hitler was not a “socialist”. That claim appears to have gained recent popularity as our corporate duopoly concomitantly dismantles FDR’s “New Deal”. As soon as you hear that claim, you can be sure you’re dealing with a corporate stooge, regardless of whether it’s republican, democrat or libertarian.

          • backwardsevolution
            June 20, 2018 at 8:37 pm

            F. G. Sanford – well, I’ve finally gotten around to reading the 25-point platform of the National Socialist German Workers Party. Here are a few of the things laid out:

            – profit-sharing in great industries
            – generous development of provision for old age
            – free education for gifted children of poor parents
            – raising health standards (protecting mothers and infants, prohibiting child
            labor)
            – abolition of income unearned by work (no wonder there was a war!)
            – personal enrichment through war must be regarded as a crime; total
            confiscation of all war profits
            – nationalization of all businesses that had been amalgamated into trusts
            (another reason for war!)
            – immediate communalization of large department stores and their lease at a
            low rate to small traders
            – abolition of interest on land mortgages (another reason for war!)
            – prohibition of all speculation in land (more war!)
            – legal warfare against conscious political lies and their dissemination in the
            press

            The article I read said Hitler emphasized two cornerstones: the common interest before self-interest, and breaking of the thralldom of interest.

            No unearned interest, no interest on mortgages, abolition of trusts, no land speculation. Well, he certainly wasn’t a capitalist. Sounds like he wanted people to be able to own property, just not monopolize it. Sounds “socialist” to me, but you let me know what you think.

            Interesting the bit about lies in the press. Exactly what we’re living through now.

          • Bob Van Noy
            June 21, 2018 at 9:05 am

            I’m so pleased at the response to All. F.G., you’ve been my touchstone since I first came to this wonderful site. Many Thanks. I will extensively pursue all suggestions. The Value of the Web is underscored in this exchange… Thanks To All!

    • Sam F
      June 20, 2018 at 9:08 am

      Hitler was certainly not a socialist, and he hated communism.
      While the fascists appealed to popular needs, they were far from egalitarian.
      The extremes of left and right often use similar means of coercion.

      • susan sunflower
        June 20, 2018 at 1:52 pm

        It’s beginning to feel as if certain factions will say anything — soft lies, and blatant lies, deliberate contradictions, and scare-mongering to confuse or cloud issues … with engineered, intended plausible deniability… even in the face of reputable and current sources …

        Apparently Trump may not have the authority to stop the family separations (he never had the authority to order them, his minions did that dirty work, but he wants credit for a “solution”) … Yes, I feel like Alice in Wonderland.

        (Maddow “breaking down” reading report is front page news in a lot of places … go ask alice)

        • Sam F
          June 22, 2018 at 7:46 am

          Yes, the willingness of politicians to “engineer” election by simply saying whatever will sell, must be opposed by holding them to what they say before election. That requires them to debate in detail every assertion and policy claim and all of its supporting argument. The fakers will be unable to argue much.

  19. June 19, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    I believe if there was a functioning justice system many “leaders” (past and present) in “Europe” and other western countries would be arrested and charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity. See link below.

    March 3, 2018
    “The Treason and Treachery Paid For By Our Tax Dollars”
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2018/03/the-treason-and-treachery-paid-for-by.html

  20. June 19, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    I believe Europe is reaping what it sowed. NATO member countries created hell on earth on a number of countries. Now the surviving victims of the criminal actions of NATO member countries are landing in Europe as refugees.

    September 10, 2015
    “The NATO-rious Member War Machine That Produces Refugees”

    Some member countries of NATO are involved in wars in different countries. These wars have produced a massive refugee crisis. Yet, much of the corporate monopoly media are missing in action, in connecting this fallout to all these “regime change” wars.
    Some wars are waged, based on lies. Iraq is but one example. This country is now in chaos and a bloody civil war rages. Libya is another country that was bombed non-stop for months by NATO in an illegal war that even helped out Al-Qaeda. [3][4] Now Libya is in chaos and a civil war is raging there as well. Syria too is a war torn country that is a hell on earth, hundreds of thousands dead, refugees by the thousands and destruction and death a daily occurrence.
    [read more at link below]
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-nato-rious-member-war-machine-that.html

    • Anne Jaclard
      June 20, 2018 at 2:31 pm

      Definitely. The refugee situation is basically a continuously running torture/death machine: Germany/France/USA sell weapons to Turkey, which uses them to invade Syria, causing a refugee crises, boosting the polls of the far right which causes the centre to beg Erdogan to cut off the flow- they sell him weapons, the cycle continues. It’s basically blackmail by Turkey, aided by NATO and politicians.

  21. mike k
    June 19, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    A good question to start with is: how many people are willing to learn the truth about themselves and their culture? I mean the real truth, all of it. Of course that takes work, courage, commitment. How many are willing to take up that work? Do you think a life or a world based on any other foundation will really work?

    You don’t have to call that decision “spiritual”. If you like, you can just call it common sense. But again, how many people do you know who are doing that? Do you? This site is about the truth, some of it. But the search I reference goes deeper, much deeper.

    • CitizenOne
      June 19, 2018 at 9:54 pm

      Mike k

      I agree.

      We have before us the greatest challenge in a millennium or more probably a lot longer than that to find ourselves among the distractions and cultural divide which are the sole creations of the new megaphone called “The Media” which seek to divide us and manipulate us all for the economic benefit of the wealthiest and most powerful of plutocrats ever to grace this earth.

      Economic stratification has evolved because of technology and the evolution of our electronic age. Like the Stone Age and the Iron Age, the Electronic Age has created winners and losers just like those long ago technological revolutions. The Industrial age pitted humans against machines and machines won. Humans were replaced by machines and this continues into our future.

      Antonymous Droids fill the imagination of giant corporations which are the constructs of the collective belief of investors that they can replace all human labor with robots which are now within technological reach of the average programmer.

      Robots are becoming cheap. Nor do they require a salary to survive. They do not want nor do they dither or sleep. They perform the function of a human but do not require the constant attention and skillet of human handlers to engage their compliance with the corporate profit agenda. They are completely compliant and are an artificial construct designed by engineers to perform tasks without question.

      So are our republican politicians also designed to perform completely automated tasks for the benefit of corporations. They run on the money provided for the maintenance and care of their robotic servitude and in turn they act like robots defying all logic in support of the corporate agenda. These robotic republicans have a need to winnow out the weak and those who question their need to support the cause no matter the consequences for humans.

      What will happen to us humans when the diversity of life is bungled into a reason to wage war on life? What will happen when every instance of diversity is crushed because it is a bad program worthy of deletion?

      Will our media corporations ever bent on control including the abolition of net neutrality and the end of diversity and the consolidation via mega mergers of the six or seven corporations which control everything we can sense ever be satisfied that they have enough control over us?

      I do not think so. Their aim is simple. Their aim is to create in the general populace a mindset which is copacetic with their general goal which to eliminate dissent by suppression of the truth and to replace reality with a fiction of their own making.

      We are under a giant experiment which grows stronger each day wherein our media corporations engage us all in distraction and lies in support of the giant machine.

      A song perhaps to soothe the ache in your heart:

      “Sheep”
      Pink Floyd
      Lyrics as follows:

      Hopelessly passing your time in the grassland away
      Only dimly aware of a certain unease in the air
      You better watch out
      There may be dogs about
      I’ve looked over Jordan, and I have seen
      Things are not what they seem

      What do you get for pretending the danger’s not real
      Meek and obedient you follow the leader
      Down well trodden corridors into the valley of steel
      What a surprise

      The look of terminal shock in your eyes
      Now things are really what they seem
      No, this is no bad dream

      The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want
      He makes me down to lie
      Through pastures green He leadeth me the silent waters by
      With bright knives he releaseth my soul

      He maketh me to hang on hooks in high places
      He converteth me to lamb cutlets
      For lo, He hath great power, and great hunger
      When cometh the day we lowly ones

      Through quiet reflection, and great dedication
      Master the art of karate
      Lo, we shall rise up
      And then we’ll make the bugger’s eyes water

      Bleating and babbling we fell on his neck with a scream
      Wave upon wave of demented avengers
      March cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream

      Have you heard the news?
      The dogs are dead
      You better stay home
      And do as you’re told
      Get out of the road if you want to grow old

      Perhaps it is all just some dream:

      The Gunner’s Dream
      Pink Floyd

      Floating down
      Through the clouds
      Memories come rushing up to meet me now
      But in the space between the heavens
      And in the corner of some foreign field
      I had a dream
      I had a dream

      Goodbye Max
      Goodbye Ma
      After the service
      When you’re walking slowly to the car
      And the silver in her hair shines in the cold november air
      You hear the tolling bell
      And touch the silk in your lapel
      And as the tear drops rise to meet the comfort of the band
      You take her frail hand
      And hold on to the dream

      A place to stay
      [Bloke:] “Oi! A real one…”
      Enough to eat
      Somewhere old heroes shuffle safely down the street
      Where you can speak out loud
      About your doubts and fears
      And what’s more
      No-one ever disappears
      You never hear their standard issue
      Kicking in your door
      You can relax on both sides of the tracks
      And maniacs don’t blow holes in bandsmen by remote control
      And everyone has recourse to the law
      And no-one kills the children anymore
      No-one kills the children anymore

      Night after night
      Going round and round my brain
      His dream is driving me insane
      In the corner of some foreign field
      The gunner sleeps tonight
      What’s done is done
      We cannot just write off his final scene
      Take heed of the dream
      Take heed

      • mike k
        June 19, 2018 at 10:17 pm

        Beautiful Citizen One. Our poets touch our hearts gently with tears in their eyes trying to shake us awake before it is too late. The Matrix which has entranced us is woven of lies and electronic lullabies. Our cradle is rocked to nightmare, and as darkness descends, some rough beast comes to end our troubled time on ill fated planet Earth – destroyed by it’s most intelligent beings, who only lacked one thing – Unconditional Love for All.

  22. David G
    June 19, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    I had never heard of Sahra Wagenknecht. I hope I hear a lot more about her, and from her. Thanks to Diana Johnstone and CN for the intro.

    It’s a neat mental trick the open-borders Left is performing: Living in the neo-liberal, Atlanticist-militarist West of today, where the capitalist elite gets its way in virtually all matters with virtually no resistance, people who sense both the need and unattainability for radical change have convinced themselves they can get there by adopting one of global capital’s causes as its own.

    It’s a great, easy way to feel like they are winning. Also a completely illusory and counter-productive one, in my opinion.

  23. CitizenOne
    June 19, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    Perhaps the EU will call upon their dormant defensive military corporations the same way the USA is using defense contractors like General Dynamics to come up with a means by which military contractors can gain lucrative deals in the EU to support deterrence efforts to stem immigration. The separation of children from their parents so the parents can be locked up in jail has a profound deterrent effect on immigrants and the US administration under Trump is using it in full force to both deter immigration and pay handsomely for private corporations who have been historically the largest benefactors of cold war military contracts designed to protect the nation against nuclear attack. General Dynamics is on a short list of military contractors which have evolved their business models to include detention facilities and deportation ports for immigrants.

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/defense-contractors-cashing-in-on-immigrant-kids-detention

    Northrop/Grumman is also cashing in on the Smart Border Wall technologies it provides.

    http://www.northropgrumman.com/Capabilities/BorderAndTransportationManagement/Pages/default.aspx

    https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2006/08/28/347602/104432/en/U-S-Customs-and-Border-Protection-Awards-Northrop-Grumman-Port-Security-Contract.html

    Microsoft is also weighing in with intelligent solutions for border management.

    https://enterprise.microsoft.com/en-us/solution/industries/government/state-and-local/border-security-solution/

    The money pit along the 1954 mile border with Mexico has come to the forefront as Silicon Valley companies scramble to develop solutions in search of government contracts (cash) for the available money in support of closing and controlling our border with Mexico.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-04-09/the-race-to-cash-in-on-trump-s-invisible-high-tech-border-wall

    Making America Great again under the Trump administration means selecting the best technology from Americas high tech sector for providing cutting edge solutions to catch illegal immigrants and send them to jail where they will be processed under programs provided by the privatized penal systems funded by more lucrative contracts awarded by the government.

    https://thinkprogress.org/a-shocking-glimpse-inside-americas-privatized-detention-facilities-for-immigrants-45401c8cf0b7/

    Private prison companies are cashing in. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a lot of money to funnel to private incarceration companies.

    http://www.coha.org/how-us-private-prisons-profit-from-immigrant-detention/

    There are over two billion dollars a year spent by ICE on private detention centers.

    http://theweek.com/speedreads/779977/ice-spends-2-billion-every-year-detain-immigrants-notoriously-unsafe-private-facilities

    Making America Great Again seems to involve a whole lot of money spent on private security companies and military defense contractors who are cashing in on incarceration and deportation of illegal immigrants. So what is the motive for these companies to actually stem the flow of immigrants? It is at best a mixed bag with some high tech firms vying for contracts to prevent illegal border crossings with smart border walls while other companies profit mainly by dealing with capturing and prosecuting illegal immigrants. Each are vying for a piece of the governments expense account which are at odds with each other.

    While we all debate the separation of children from their parents there is a giant economy emerging which profits private companies by solving the problem of illegal immigration or at least the promise that they will do so. Some of these companies are giant defense contractors and some of them are Silicon Valley giant corporations. All of them perceive and have realized that there is a lot of money to be made by offering their incarceration, detention, deportation and border violation prevention strategies all based on their plans to solve the problem of illegal migration.

    One has to wonder with all of the cash available to be turned into profits where the actual immigrants, many of which are refugees from their former homelands will end up. One thing seems inevitable. That is that their plight will be defined by the profit motives of giant US corporations and will have nothing to do with justice.

  24. robjira
    June 19, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    Excellent article; a tragically eloquent testament to the rise of absolutism, and the decline of reason and nuance.
    Touching on the deft illustrating of differences between the “global” and “national” factions of die Linke, humanity’s ultimate destiny is a humane, global culture (should we manage to survive our curtent behavior) of course. It must begin by bringing the current nation/state construct to humane form first. Only when those nation/states currently destablising global order get around to actually practicing the high minded rhetoric (behind which every sort of depravity is committed), can such a process as some sort of human maturation on a national (let alone a global) level occur.
    When people are their most humane, they’re cooperative. By extrapolation, when states are their most humane, they’re cooperative. That’s how you get to your global revolution.
    Peace.

    • vinnieoh
      June 20, 2018 at 9:26 am

      I’m a Star Trek fan. What has always drawn me to Gene Roddenberry’s creation is his hope, optimism, and belief in an awakened human race. One that could become more than what we now are by working together instead of fighting among ourselves. But even Roddenberry saw the gulf between what we might be and what we currently are. Part of the Star Trek mythology was reference to another Great War, one that would devastate much that now is and much of the population. But, like calculus, where you incrementally approach the limit but never arrive at it, he (and his successors) could never articulate or delineate the turning point.

      There are those, and they are legion, that continue to believe that it is competition and struggle that drives human progress, and not cooperation, tolerance, and charity. I have absorbed the supreme irony that from small bands of familial wanderers out of Africa, that in a mere 50,000 – 100,000 years we became so tribally isolated that we don’t recognize each other.

      • robjira
        June 20, 2018 at 9:27 pm

        Only lacking the genetically engineered übermensch, I’d say we’re getting pretty close to the Eugenics Wars, vinnieoh.

    • Sam F
      June 20, 2018 at 9:28 am

      Good point on the presumption that globalism must precede national maturation, although parallel developments are useful. There may be further historical delays, as we may reach globalism without effective mechanisms to prevent global tyranny, perhaps by future means.

      • Sam F
        June 20, 2018 at 8:40 pm

        Correction: globalism must be preceded by national maturation

  25. mike k
    June 19, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    What a fine mess we are in! Even without mentioning war, economic slavery, global broiling, species extinction, population explosion, the ocean is dying, and more – we still find ways to hopelessly screw up the seemingly simple affair of living peacefully together. What could be the matter?

    Could it be that when people totally lose their moral and spiritual balance, everything becomes an insoluble problem?

    • Bob Van Noy
      June 20, 2018 at 8:54 am

      mike k., after carefully reading Diana Johnstone’s excellent piece and most commentary, I find myself wondering as apparently you do, why the complexity is always the stumbling block to obvious problems. Stop the wars; save the kids or save the kids, stop warring; let’s just get it done!

    • Sam F
      June 20, 2018 at 9:32 am

      Loss of moral orientation also seems to accompany political organization.
      Organized decision making usually starts with inappropriate organization.

      • Bob Van Noy
        June 20, 2018 at 11:32 am

        As always, thanks Sam F. You have an exceptional ability to stay focused…

  26. anastasia
    June 19, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    It is not necessarily a matter of Christian charity to want mass immigration. It may be believed to be Christian charity for those who are ignorant. Unknown to many Christians, the Church at one time wisely taught that marriage between those of the same religion, race and culture had the greatest chance of keeping the marriage intact and in harmony, and since we all have a duty to keep marriage intact, it is both wisdom and charity to pursue such a course. The church later relaxed the issue with the Spanish Conquistadors, stating that at the very least, they must be converted to the faith before any marriage is brought about, for at least in that, they could have a shred of chance of keeping the marriage intact and in harmony. It is the height of conceit and pride to believe that peoples of other cultures, races and religions will embrace the culture of the adopted state. It is not for us to say which is “better”. It is only for us to see that we are all different, and sometimes there can be no reconciliation between those differences.

  27. vinnieoh
    June 19, 2018 at 5:10 pm

    Damn Diana you write so well, and then you left me wondering what is Wagenknecht’s position on Russia and Syria? I can interpolate I suppose from the rest you revealed. I watch DW News most nights on PBS, and as I suspected, not much better than watching Faux News here.

    An opportunity is going begging; screaming for an audience. Why is not the left in Europe pressuring the various EU and UN bodies to sanction the US military imperialism in the Middle East? This is mind-boggling. Trying to sort out the consequences of a mass war-induced refugee crisis without addressing the source of the problem?

    I really hate to go here, but I must. In so far as US military intervention in the ME completes Israeli wishes and desires, I’ve wondered lately if this is not the Hebrew revenge for suffering centuries of an ethnic and religious diaspora “unwilling or unable to adapt the customs of the host country.” This largely Muslim wave, is poetic justice to the former tormentors of the Ashkenazi, courtesy of the Christian-Zionist war machine.

    Joe, didn’t see your post until I composed mine: on the same page.

    Great imagery, utopian globalists in a confessional of guilt.

  28. Loretta
    June 19, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    The stupidity of the European liberal elites is unbelievable. Didn’t they realise that this would happen? How can Europe absorb 5 million Muslims and Africans in 5 years and NOT react (at long last!) to the invasion by voting for the parties which listen to their protests and promise to respect them? Did the liberal left really believe that European societies would survive the influx and tolerate their own destruction quietly? It was all a plot to destroy European nations and install a far right, neoliberal capitalist and “globalist” majority in Europe. The demise of Europe is tge result of the Left’s idiocy.

    • KiwiAntz
      June 19, 2018 at 6:17 pm

      No, it’s not a left, right party issue here, although the unchecked immigration does favor right wing party’s. It’s all part of a American Plan of destabilising the ME & other Countries for it’s own selfish gain! Destabilisation is a cornerstone of American Foreign policy because it provides the excuse for endless War & the War profiteering racket that the US is a Global master at playing. The US Deepstate Govt has a zero sum, game of thrones mentality & this self created, largest refugee crisis the World has ever seen is the direct result of America’s warmongering meddling! The US & it’s Allies are directly to blame for this! Europe should cancel Nato & the Atlantic Council security arrangements & form new alliance’s that exclude the US & tell them to get rid of their Military bases that are used as staging posts for this chaos! Stopping the wars will stop the refugee crisis! Europe should take care of their own European security. Trump moans about the US paying for Europe’s security but what he doesn’t say is the hegemonic, economic, financial & strategic advantage America has had in incircling the World with its Military base’s in European countries is the price the US was prepared to pay for that advantage of maintaining its Empire, so they US should pay for it, tough luck, that’s the price ou pay for your Empire! Due to its geographic location, the US has never had to suffer for the chaos it’s warmongering,Military chaos & actions have caused with Europe bearing the brunt of this refugee flood! My solution is for Europe to fly that 5 million refugees to the US for resettlement! And every person in the World who has been displaced by the Wars created by the US should be sent to American shores? The US meddling, warmongering & foreign interference caused the refugee problem, let them solve the problem they created!

      • Joe Tedesky
        June 19, 2018 at 10:56 pm

        KiwiAntz, jolly good mate you said it so well, and with such detail definition.

        I’m glad you listed America’s influence behind all of this, as I’m doubly glad you pinpointed the direct causes of these wandering war tattered souls towards their search for a warm meal, and a comfortable bed. It’s good the way you put it, because many here talk as though these breaching our southern borders are but welfare queens coming to America to steal the American jobs away from the Gringo. We are living in a matrix of lies, and the omitted left out parts, are what’s driving our citizens mad with hate. We Americans equate peace time conditions with war/coup refugees who haven’t seen peace no matter how hard they tried…so they flee their homeland to escape war, or thugs left over from their country’s latest coup. This is American made, and this is where they will come… it’s simple, really.

        Thanks again KiwiAntz. Joe

        • Sam F
          June 20, 2018 at 9:55 am

          Yes, it is the US zionists behind the problem of Mideast wars. The rich EU nations should pay the poor, the US should pay Europe, and the zionists should pay the US and everyone else for their extreme greed and racism. The MIC is always on hand to profit from war anywhere; the zionists direct those wars to the Mideast.

          I offered to Obama to take all of the nominal 10,000 refugees he offered to accept, with help from the US government. No reply. No refugees taken.

    • MBeaver
      June 20, 2018 at 1:13 am

      Its much more than 5 million. Germany alone took in 3 million from 2014 to 2016. Of course the official statistics have been manipulated already (just like those of crime rate and unemployment – and they admitted that, “to preserve the civil peace”). But back in 2015 and 2016 some MSM actually reported the real numbers. And obviously got a lot of flak from the political parties for it.

  29. Piotr Berman
    June 19, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    Too many good articles at Consortium News, I figured that resistance is futile and contributed to the fund drive.

    “In foreign policy, the globalization left tends to accept the political and media mainstream criticism of Wagenknecht as a Putin apologist for her position regarding Syria and Russia.” Some idiots outlived their usefulness.

  30. Anne Jaclard
    June 19, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    I normally enjoy and appreciate Johnstone’s work, and she has had a long history of defending socialism and opposing the far-right, NATO and the New Cold War. However, it is horrifying to see an article opposed to open borders and refugees at a time when the Trump-Obama policy sees children caged, over 600 migrants are being used as political pawns in Europe, and Germany is witnessing the rise of far-right forces leaving the entire left – if one even counts the neoliberal SPD and pro-intervention Greens as “left” – with just 39 percent in the polls. Perhaps attention would be better paid to the influx of “Anti-German” pro-Israel/NATO ideology on the German left than attacking the most venerable people in our society. Her old colleague Ed Herman would be ashamed.

    • irina
      June 19, 2018 at 5:39 pm

      It’s not like these children were totally stress-free before arriving at the border.
      They had already endured fear, hunger, cold, loss of homes and security,
      many conditions which most of us can only imagine. Maybe they are ‘caged’.
      But the clips I saw showed them in clean, dry clothes with safe places to sleep
      and being served generous meals. There are probably health personnel also
      attending to their needs, and there is certainly access to hot water and toilets.

      All those things we take for granted, which we assume these kids had access
      to. They didn’t. Anyone who has ‘lived rough’ will know what I mean. I am not
      arguing for or against what is happening with them and I am aware that many
      of the world’s refugee crisis are the result of American / Allied ‘interventions’.
      I’m just pointing out that we are not being given the bigger picture of what was
      happening with these kids before the pictures we see of them in the former Walmart.

    • Piotr Berman
      June 20, 2018 at 12:23 am

      This is a complex issue, but you should ponder a few facts.

      1. Mass influx of migrants is a shock on a host society, particularly on economically vulnerable part of blue collar workers. The result is alienation of what should be the base of leftist parties from what leftist parties should be.

      2. This influx is unfortunately an integral part of a larger package of idiocies of the establishment parties. E.g. sentimental impulse to help the migrants and incredibly punitive policies directed at their original countries, as is the case in Syria. EVERYBODY would be better off if decent life was available in Syria and unwelcome migrants returned back. Similarly, with some serious thought, policies improving the lives in black Africa should be possible.

      3. This package of idiocies led to a wipe out of “traditional leftists” and “sensible centrists” in countries like Poland and Slovakia, which is attributed to the baleful influence of Putin. As if Putin had to do anything to scare the population against Muslim migrants. Unfortunately, the “populist parties” may adhere to a comparable packet of idiocies if not worse.

      • Anne Jaclard
        June 20, 2018 at 1:47 am

        I certainly understand the role NATO intervention in Libya and Syria has played in creating the current refugee crisis in Europe. Centrist politicians are by all means to blame for this, and ideas that Russia controls the far left or has any influence on the far right outside of ideology are convenient lies liberals tell themselves to avoid responsibility. That being said, none of this means that the left should target the victims of imperialism by adopting right-wing policies. The idea that supporting refugees is “globalist” is an alt-right/ anti-Semitic dog whistle, and the immigrant children in the US are not being treated “generously.” Anyone who defends this Obama-Trump policy is proposing fascism. It’s depressing to see that so many people are unable to distinguish between the values of the left and the right. Die Linke and France Insoumise would do well to address the root causes of this by cracking down on pro-war elements in their parties, advocating further nationalisations of US-linked companies, and stopping pipelines and other US infrastructure in Germany and France. http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/04/19/left-a19.html

        • susan sunflower
          June 20, 2018 at 9:54 am

          yes, there is more than bitter irony or cheap hypocracy to be found in considering the “resources” in Europe, particularly NATO and the USA and Israel in PREVENTING a negotiated peace in Syria, the concrete nature of the obstruction and clear sabotage almost completely ignored by at least the American/British press. The same is largely true for the “problem” of Central American refugees (going on intermittently for 30+ years now) Yes, there’s a deep rot, even an evil at the core of this disregard for decency and endless subversion of even attempts at peace.

    • MBeaver
      June 20, 2018 at 1:20 am

      These people are exploiting loopholes by using their own children as hostages/leverage. And they are trying to patch it like that.
      Its the same in Europe. They call over those “refugees”, from the other side of the raging current, a lot of them die on the way, and then the “humanists” claim we should actually help them actively to get over to the countries.
      Its criminal. Human trafficking. Period. You cant take in the whole world. It will destroy your society and any hope this world has left. Humanitarianism taken to the extreme is as bad as everything else taken to the extreme.

      How this topic is exploited by “humane” hypocrites again, was shown perfectly when they used the staged photo that looked like children are sitting in tiny cages, by using only a very small field of view and position for the photo. Its disgusting, and you let yourself get used by these hypocrites, ultimately causing more suffering and pain.

      • irina
        June 20, 2018 at 1:59 am

        And now no less than Madeline Albright has weighed in on the horror of the ‘caged kids’.
        The very same Madame Madeline who thought the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children
        after the first (forgotten) Iraq war staged by Bush the Elder, were a ‘hard choice’ but
        ‘worth it’. Those kids died because first we bombed Iraq’s water treatment plants and
        then we sanctioned the necessary supplies to repair them and make the water supply
        safe again. Yet now Bush the Elder has achieved Senior Statesman status and Madeline
        is opining about the awfulness of the detention centers. She really should just shut up.

        • MBeaver
          June 20, 2018 at 3:04 am

          I know. People like her make me want to vomit. But even scarier is how many people fall for people like her.

    • Josep
      June 27, 2018 at 2:20 am

      the influx of “Anti-German” pro-Israel/NATO ideology on the German left
      Speaking of which, I honestly find it ironic that Israeli news outlets such as YNetNews, Algemeiner and JPost accuse the German left of being anti-Israel if not anti-semitic.

  31. Joe Tedesky
    June 19, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    Aren’t we dancing around the open dance floor when we don’t speak to what causes this massive migration? I’m saying, shouldn’t we be focusing on the root cause of the problem? Hasn’t the U.S. and it’s NATO allies even have an inkling of what their wars of hegemony, and government coups, have cost us? Should the wandering refugee suffer, while the locals suddenly become racist? Why are we treating the symptom, rather than administrating a cure to the cause? Or is it me?

    • Joe Tedesky
      June 19, 2018 at 4:46 pm
    • F. G. Sanford
      June 19, 2018 at 5:51 pm

      It’s not you. You’re perfectly rational. In a roundabout way, I have tried to discuss some of these issues from an anthropological standpoint. The problem is, discussions of “culture” among the uninformed are immediately branded as “racist” subsequent to an emotional response to concepts and definitions they are unwilling to explore, understand or embrace. Human culture is arbitrary. It confers a survival advantage under certain circumstances. Cultural beliefs, traditions, practices and accumulated behaviors don’t have to be “true” in the empirical sense. They just have to work. The fact that they work, regardless of their “truth” becomes sufficient to validate them as “beliefs”, which are then elevated to the status of “facts”. For example, some shaman may lance an abscess with an obsidian flake blade to “let out the evil spirits”. It works remarkably well, but success has nothing to do with “evil spirits”.

      What we are discussing here have sometimes been labelled “millennium movements”. An example would be the “Cargo Cults” of Melanesia: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/1959-cargo-cults-melanesia/ These truly pathological expressions of culture occur when the “beliefs” are completely contrary to the “facts”, but “culture”, by it’s very nature, is absolutely resistant to change. There are historically documented cultures in which eating human flesh was perfectly acceptable. So-called “cultural ecologists” have quite rationally and scientifically explained these practices in terms of cultural strategies which preserve an ecological balance. But it is CERTAINLY NOT “racist” to call them cannibals. Nevertheless, I would not favor importing such practitioners to Bavaria.

      We hear all these terms, labels, ideologies and philosophies like globalization, nationalism, diversity, neoliberalism, anarchy, liberation philosophy, etc. These terms have as much relation to “reality” as those indigenous people building an airstrip out of palm fronds and coconuts and waiting for the next C-47 Dakota to land filled with exotic goodies. But to them, beliefs are “facts”.

      Culture changes at its own pace unless there is violence involved. “Assimilation” is the exception rather than the rule. Violence is more likely. It would be far wiser to remove the mercenaries and the proxies, stop arming the crazies, provide the Assad government with international support, rebuild the infrastructure and create a supervised program to repatriate the “refugees”. And, it would be CHEAPER! But, the George Soroses and the global capitalists couldn’t make as much money. They NEED the chaos.

      Somewhere, maybe in another dimension or another reality, Franz Boas and Margaret Meade are flabbergasted. They’ve realized nobody paid any attention to a word they said.

      • susan sunflower
        June 19, 2018 at 9:16 pm

        Yes, “no borders” seems both naive and ahistorical, even amnestic or perhaps just contrarian to our times — as if, the EU will remain in place, remain egalitarian, and concerned about the equal human right of all subjects.

        Even in the United States, a longstanding no-internal borders nation, this common citizenship has not necessarily forged a single identity. Remember the Grapes of Wrath and those who wanted to close the California border to “Oakies” or displaced farmers. Notice also that, although downplayed badly, much of the United State is not “self-sufficient” in terms of tax base and requires federal assistance (not infrequently) to avoid deficits going unaddressed (or meeting needs / parity for citizens simply goes unaddressed, with underfunded terrible schools in poor districts and entire state, environmental disasters and crippled infrasturure … addiltionall, some fairly legendary corruption in poor fiefdoms has persisted for generations under the thumb of powerful families or companies. It has not kept the Italian immigrants from hating on the Irish (or however that line of sucession occurred). (“It’s always something.”)

        “Christian values” were helpful in neutralizing the hatred of the poor and dependent in the USA until they became unmentionable rather suddenly around 09/11. I’m not religious, but I thoroughly approve of calling people to task for their avowal of certain ideals, beliefs — “human rights” — and their unwillingness to stand up for those values or even admit those values are being trampled.

        It was not long ago that Germany (as I recall particularly) had virtually no path to German citizenship, even after generations, for “guest workers” … and that there was a long history of intermittent violence towards guest worker communities. France and Germany have popular movements to keep France/Germany (national character and language) German/French … the “cultural imperialism” of American global dominance is resented (perhaps understandably) but some my Colorado neighbors resent bilingual (spanish/english) signage because …. “foreign” — even though Colorado is 21% hispanic (76% US native born). and was part of the vast hispanic southwest (1540’s)

        I am reminded that after WWII it took years to resettle all those displaced by changed borders, uncertain records and politics … Israel gained population from those refused entry elsewhere. Other nationless populations also remained in limbo, like the Romany… see also the fate of the Kurds. It’s helpful to have a nation you can demand represent your interests.

        One of the resentments wrt loss of sovereign power of the nation state is that it leaves the little guy without advocate or protection … as their government “sold them out” to the more powerful (often in exchanges that demonstrate no obvious benefit and sometimes real destruction of community, employment, etc, see Nafta… The deep pockets of the oligarchs can simply neutralize, even criminalize the marginalized.

        The Open Borders folks reminded me of the Yuppies for a moment’s nostalgia … but yes I fear this is an idea that both will not garner necessary support and which could easily backfire dangerously.

        • susan sunflower
          June 19, 2018 at 9:30 pm

          my point is not that “no borders” in a contiguous area like the US is “bad” … but it’s not a miracle for many of the conflicts that the EU is experiencing.

      • Joe Tedesky
        June 19, 2018 at 10:11 pm

        Having grown up next door to my Italian grandma a few times she did the malocchio to chase the demons of envy out of me, and took away the envious spell of a malevolent admirer, as this was the custom of the ‘Evil Eye’. As crazy as that sounds my Italian relatives wanted to assimilate to America’s ways. Grandma insisted her husband, and children speak English around the house, as grandma wished to use her new learned English to purchase at the market. As immigrants my grandparents lived in an all Italian neighborhood, but their son would marry a girl from the all German section not far from their part of town. Every nationality it has seemed suffered an American prejudice, but through marriage and business, America’s nationality mix blended along racial lines rather well. The only protocol was, you had to be white.

        But you laid your hands on the real problem F.G. when you brought up the proxies. This is the game America plays, and until we confront this in the manner it deserves to be confronted with, then we will need to squeeze these homeless souls of war through more misery, and then wait 17 years for their babies blowback. Business for the MIC couldn’t be better with this business model. I might add this is where all eyes should be, as to clearly identify to why these refugees must flee, their corrupted homeland.

        You talk about labels, maybe we should all do some reflection alone at days end and ask ourselves, what did I do today that was so liberal? For conservatives reverse the label from liberal to conservative. Let’s all drive each other even more nuts by philosophizing to how right it is to loss all of our humanity while punishing someone by taking their kids away from them for breaking our oh so pristine laws. Let’s mix into the rhetoric of confusing M13 Gang terror members with young children fleeing from the hordes of our appointees…. Honduras, or Nicaragua, anyone? Then let’s blame all our meanness on other nations, and the other political party…. Nah, I ain’t haven’t it.

        Always fun F.G. Joe

    • Tom Kath
      June 19, 2018 at 8:10 pm

      I couldn’t agree more Joe, about the phenomenon of treating symptoms rather than the cause. Have you considered that the very aspiration for global hegemony may itself be merely a result or symptom of something deeper and further back?

      • Joe Tedesky
        June 19, 2018 at 10:32 pm

        Yes, and I believe at the very top of this global hegemony pyramid it is our debt which drags us down to this overwhelming power of greed. It’s an empire so full of itself that it believes it creates its own realities, and that we are all to stupid enough to buy into their schemes. What’s probably even more ironic is that the executive serfs who serve these fabulously wealthy wizards don’t even know what, or who their serving for.

        I was just wondering would it help if Ivsnka cries over seeing babies being ripped from their mothers arms?

        Also, who owns the child custody centers? Are these privatized outlets, hired by our government?

        Glad you see my point of getting to the cause Tom. Joe

        • susan sunflower
          June 19, 2018 at 10:49 pm

          today’s compounding horror is that they apparently have no mechanism for returning children (either to parent/accompanying adult or some other responsible legal guardian/relative) … (There also no reason for these separations at all since the family could “just as easily” be incarcerated as a unit … this is god-awful punitive from the get-go … because they say they can)

          • Joe Tedesky
            June 20, 2018 at 12:53 am

            Susan funny you bring that horrible aspect up. I was just thinking the same thing, and was thinking along the lines of a international coalition of nation’s form annexed space to host country’s of where refugee could reside whereas portions of reparations could funnel aid, as to there by provide brick & mortar housing while starting rebuilding projects back in their respective homelands using their ethnic labor and you fill in the rest.

            In short, and there are many others on this board who could elaborate on my suggestion, but we as a society can do better. We need leadership leading us in the right direction, and that’s where we are all struggling with our comprehending our world. We have become a mean nation. In my lifetime I started realizing this on 11/22/63, but no matter violence has led the American way. Now would be a good time to start living up to the American myth that ‘we are the exceptional good guys’. Joe

          • irina
            June 21, 2018 at 12:43 pm

            Reply to Joe Tedesky :

            The United States has always been a ‘mean nation’ to those
            who do not enjoy favored status and / or who are in the way
            of those who do have such status. Ask any Native American
            (if you can find one).

          • Joe Tedesky
            June 21, 2018 at 3:48 pm

            Thanks for reminding me irina. I truly believe war is in our American DNA. It’s time we Americans change that. Joe

Comments are closed.