Monday, January 31, 2022

Vax and Vaccine: The Words of the Year 2021

The dictionaries have been announcing the word of the year since the 1990s. For 2021, word of the year for the American dictionary, Merriam-Webster (M-W), and the British dictionary, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), is almost similar. I say “almost” because, for M-W the word of the year is “vaccine,” and for the OED, it is “vax.” The dictionaries should inform Microsoft and Apple that “vax is now officially a word—my Mac Pages word processor is showing a red squiggly line under “vax,” and most of this word’s formulations. 

In its entry on “vax,” the OED offers a number of related forms: “vax” is a noun and it means vaccine or vaccination; its verb form is “vax”; if you take a photograph of yourself getting vaccinated, then it is called “vaxxie,” which is a noun and a cool sounding name for a vaccination selfie; if you are opposed to vaccination, then you are “anti-vax,” which is an adjective, the noun form being “anti-vaxxer”; if you had two doses of the vaccination, then you would be “double-vaxxed,” which is an adjective. 

M-W has revised its definition of “vaccine” to include the new vaccinations that have become possible with RNA. The list of words whose definitions M-W has revised include: “woke,” “insurrection,” and “cisgender.” The American Dialect Society has selected “insurrection” (referring to the January 6 attacks on the US Capitol) as its word of the year for 2021.

“NFT” (noun) is the word of the year for the British dictionary Collins. “NFT” means non-fungible token, or a unique digital certificate. In a list of ten words, Collins has three new pandemic related words, “double-vaxxed,” “pingdemic,” and “hybrid working,” and two that are related to social and environmental issues, “climate anxiety” and “neopronoun.” 

“Perseverance” (noun) is the word of the year 2021 for the British dictionary Cambridge. According to Cambridge, there was a spike in the usage of this word since NASA's Perseverance Rover landed on Mars. Among the synonyms for perseverance, an article in Cambridge thesaurus suggests the American word: “stick-to-it-iveness.” M-W and other dictionaries have also updated the definition of perseverance.

The words of the year 2021 that the American and British dictionaries have selected, and the words that they have added, seem to indicate that the conservatives have lost the war of words. The English language has taken a leftist turn but this has not happened in 2021, or even in the twenty-first century. The conservatives have always been impotent in the intellectual space. A focus on things like grammar, vocabulary, and critical thinking is something that I expect from the leftist minds, never from the conservatives.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

The Last Sentence in Conrad’s “The Secret Sharer”

The last sentence in Joseph Conrad’s short story, “The Secret Sharer”: 

“Walking to the taffrail, I was in time to make out, on the very edge of a darkness thrown by a towering black mass like the very gateway of Erebus—yes, I was in time to catch an evanescent glimpse of my white hat left behind to mark the spot where the secret sharer of my cabin and of my thoughts, as though he were my second self, had lowered himself into the water to take his punishment: a free man, a proud swimmer striking out for a new destiny.”

This 90-word sentence captures the new destiny of both the story’s unnamed narrator, the captain of a British vessel anchored in the Gulf of Siam, and the murder accused, a sailor called Leggatt, who was being hidden in the captain’s cabin before being allowed to swim to the nearby island of Koh-ring to escape the fate of being hauled to England, where he would be tried for murder and hanged.

Saturday, January 29, 2022

The Rich & The Rats Will Survive

When the Titanic sank, only the rich and the rats survived. Something similar will happen when the capitalist empires sink. Some of the rich and the rats might survive. The middle class will get slaughtered. If you can’t become rich, then lose everything and become a rat. Don’t remain a middle class or you will be left to die in the dark and lonely iceberg-infested sea.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Capitalism is Mephistophelian

“Honestly, inflation has always been a positive for our business.” ~ Jim Fitterling, CEO, Dow Inc., speaking to reporters in January 2022

Capitalism is Mephistophelian. The commodity chemical companies are cheering inflation. The pharma companies are cheering pandemics. The military equipment companies are cheering the Western wars. The digital companies are cheering the draconian social restrictions. The financial institutions are cheering the currency and interest rate manipulations. The media companies are cheering the theories of apocalypse which frighten the masses. 

The capitalists do not care about the disaster that the poor and the middle classes are facing due to inflation, wars, pandemics, draconian social restrictions, worldwide financial manipulation, and the unproven theories of worldwide apocalypse. They do not care about the millions of small businesses that have been forced to shut down or are struggling to survive. They do not care about the massive rise in unemployment. 

The capitalists care about profits; they care about market capitalization; they care about their ability to raise capital at low cost; they care about their clout with the predatory Western governments. They love the crooked policies which lead to the transfer of wealth from masses and the small businesses to the government and the capitalist class. They love the media’s apocalyptic propaganda which keeps the masses in a state of permanent fear. 

The idea that capitalism leads to liberty and free markets is a myth. Capitalism favors the Mephistophelian oligarchs who control the levers of power in the Western governments (America and Western Europe). If the Roman orator Marcus Porcius Cato (Cato the Censor) was alive today, he would have said: “Capitalism delenda est."

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

America, Germany, and the Russo-Ukrainian Dispute

The Russians have taken Berlin thrice: first, in 1760, in the Seven Year war, fought under Empress Elizabeth Petrovna; second, in 1813, in the Napoleonic war, fought under Emperor Alexander I; third, in 1945, in the Second World War, fought under General Secretary Josef Stalin. If there is a war over Ukraine, then things could escalate very fast and much of Europe could turn into a deadly battleground—and the Russians might appear in Berlin for the fourth time. 

The Germans know that a Russo-Ukrainian War could easily get out of hand and engulf several European nations. That is why the German leadership is taking a moderate and conciliatory stand towards Russia. The loudest war drums are beating in the American political establishment. The reports in the American media seem to suggest that the war is already on, or is about to start in the next twenty-four hours. 

There is too much talk in the American media about Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea. But in the last 600 years, Crimea was ruled by a succession of empires. 

In the Middle Ages, Crimea was part of the Mongol Empire. In 1475, the Ottoman Empire took control of Crimea. They used the Crimean peninsula as a base to dominate the Black Sea. To impose Russian hegemony on the Black Sea, Empress Catherine the Great annexed Crimea in 1783. In 1853, the French army landed in Crimea to undermine Russia. In 1954, Khrushchev controversially donated Crimea to Ukraine—the decision almost caused a civil war in the 1990s between the pro-Ukraine and pro-Russia factions in Crimea. 

If Ukrainians are depending on America to save their country from Russian aggression, then they are being foolish. In most overseas conflicts, after 1950, where America has intervened, they have escalated the violence, dragged the war for years, and then left the region in a much worse condition. Think of what happened to Afghanistan when they accepted American help for fighting the Soviet invasion in the 1980s. The Americans funded and trained fundamentalist forces and turned Afghanistan into a violent quagmire. 

It is dangerous for a developing nation to accept American military support. No developing country should risk having American troops on its soil.

Instead of accepting American aid, Ukraine should involve the European powers: Poland, Hungary, Finland, Romania, and especially Germany. These European countries know that their economy will be destroyed if the Russo-Ukrainian War goes out of hand. They will do their best to negotiate a settlement between Ukraine and Russia. Americans have nothing to lose if a war happens in Asia. Their country is on another continent. 

The European and Asian countries should stop America from meddling in the Russo-Ukrainian dispute. Americans love to fight wars in other peoples' homelands. They want their own country to be a utopia of peace but they have no qualms about turning other countries into a battleground. Don’t be fooled by President Putin’s bare-chested photographs—he is not a warlord. He is a shrewd bureaucrat. He is less dangerous than the American cold warriors.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Ten Totally False Philosophical Ideas

Ten philosophical ideas which are totally false but are accepted by most people who are influenced by Western propaganda: 

1. Democratic nations are peaceful 
2. Capitalism creates free markets and liberty 
3. Capitalism and communism are the only two options in the modern age
4. Men of reason are moral, scientific, and intelligent
5. The individualists are moral, intelligent, and rational
6. Private companies do not cause insurgencies, coups, and wars
7. Western civilization was founded on Greek philosophy, individualism, and capitalism
8. The democratic system was invented in Ancient Greece
9. Westernization of mankind is irreversible 
10. Economic and technological progress is certain in the future 

These ten totally false philosophical ideas (and many other false ideas) were propagated throughout the world in the last two hundred years by the Western intellectuals.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Stalin's April Fool Joke and the Conquest of Berlin

On the morning of 1st April 1945, Stalin met two of his most aggressive generals, Marshal Georgy Zhukov and Marshal Ivan Konev. “Who is going to take Berlin: are we or are the Allies?” Stalin asked. Konev was the first to answer. He said: “We will take Berlin.” Stalin praised Konev for his quick response. But he allowed both to believe that either of them could take Berlin. He said, “Who ever storms into Berlin first, the city will be his.” 

The race was on between Zhukov and Konev to win the title of the conqueror of Berlin. The instant their meeting with Stalin was over, both rushed to the airport, their planes leaving within two minutes of each other.  

On the same day, Stalin sent a message to the Supreme Commander of the Allied Army Dwight D. Eisenhower: “Berlin has lost its former strategic importance.” In his book, The Second World War, historian Antony Beevor calls Stalin’s April 1 message to Eisenhower, “the greatest April Fool joke in modern history.” 

Stalin and Eisenhower could exchange messages directly—without any allied civilian interface—because Roosevelt had instructed Eisenhower to build a direct connection with the Red Army’s central command for coordinating strategy. Stalin supported the idea and he took full advantage of the connection with Eisenhower. He often fed disinformation to Eisenhower while gathering from him the information on what the Americans and other allied forces were doing. 

On 16th April, Zhukov and Konev began their onslaught on Berlin with a combined army of 2.5 million men, 41,600 guns, 6,250 tanks, and 7,500 aircraft. The Germans, terrified of Russian retributions, were determined to hold out. Zhukov ordered his men to bulldoze through the heavily-defended German obstacles. He lost 30,000 soldiers in three days. The losses suffered by Konev were of similar magnitude. If the two Soviet generals had not been in a race to be the first to capture Berlin, they might have suffered fewer casualties. 

The Red Army broke into Berlin’s eastern suburbs on 20th April. They fought, house by house, street by street, towards Hitler’s HQ. Three hundred meters from the Reichstag, the armies of Zhukov and Konev encountered each other. Zhukov was livid. He came out of his vehicle and shouted at Konev’s tank commander: “Why have you appeared here?” Stalin intervened. He offered Konev another prize: “Who is going to take Prague?” Konev was dejected but he diverted his army towards Prague. 

During their two months long onslaught on Germany, the Soviet soldiers had raped two million German women. 

By May 2, Zhukov had pulverized Berlin with his bombardment, and forced the Germans to submit. But his men did not find Hitler. A colonel from SMERSH, the organization headed by Lavrentiy Beria, had found the charred remains of Hitler and Eva, and secretly dispatched them to Russia. Stalin taunted Zhukov by asking: “Did you hear anything about Hitler’s body?” In recognition of his role in the capture of Berlin, Stalin allowed Zhukov to accept the German Instrument of Surrender, and inspect the 1945 Moscow Victory Parade.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

The Poker Game of the Second World War

In March 1939, Josef Stalin said that Europe was a poker game with three players—each of the three players hoped that the other two would get into a war and destroy each other leaving it as the sole master of Europe. The three poker players were: Chamberlain’s Britain (supported by Daladier’s France), Hitler’s Germany, and the Soviet Union. 

As the Second World War hurtled towards its climax, the world’s warlords fared badly. Roosevelt was sickly and dying, Hitler was almost senile and would soon commit suicide, and Churchill was ill and often depressed. Stalin was exhausted but he retained his sharpness and he was deadly. When the Second World War ended, he was the winner of the poker game—he became the master of half of Germany and all of Eastern Europe. 

The poker game could have thrown a different sort of outcome had the Japanese adhered to their original plan of invading the Soviet Union from the far eastern border. Stalin had deployed his Far Eastern Army, 700,000 strong, to defend Soviet territory against any Japanese attack. 

In June 1941, Hitler began his invasion of the Soviet Union with the bombing of cities in Soviet-occupied Poland. Within days the German war machine had penetrated deep inside the Soviet territory and by October they were in a position to begin their attack on Moscow. To maintain order, Stalin was forced to put Moscow under martial law. In September 1941, he was assured by Soviet intelligence that the Japanese were no longer planning to invade the Soviet Union. 

On 12 October, Stalin gave the order to bring the Far Eastern Army to defend Moscow from Hitler’s army. Lazar Kaganovich (nicknamed Iron Lazar), a key player in Stalin’s great purge, was responsible for arranging nonstop trains, which rushed 400,000 troops, 1000 tanks, and 1000 planes to secret locations behind Moscow. The logistical feat of transporting troops and equipment across the icy Eurasian landscape within days is what saved Moscow. 

On 2nd December, the Germans were within 24 kilometers of Moscow. By then the blizzards had begun. The Soviet Far Eastern Army was better adapted to fight in such conditions. Surprised by the fresh Soviet troops, the Germans started retreating. On December 5, the Soviet army began its counteroffensive which, in a month, pushed the Germans back 100 to 250 km from Moscow.  By attacking Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the Japanese had doomed Hitler’s army. 

If the Japanese had attacked the Soviet Union in 1941, then Stalin could not have brought his Far Eastern Army to defend Moscow, and the city would have fallen to Hitler. Such an outcome might have precipitated a coup in the Soviet Union, resulting in the overthrow of Stalin’s government.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

The Three Hunters: Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin

Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin went hunting. They killed a bear. There was the question of dividing the bear. Churchill said: “I will take the bearskin. Let Stalin and Roosevelt divide the meat.” Roosevelt said: “I have a better idea. I take the bearskin. Let Stalin and Churchill divide the meat.” When Stalin did not come up with his proposal for dividing the bear, Churchill and Roosevelt asked: “What is your proposal?” Stalin replied: “The bear is mine—after all, I am the one who killed it.” The bear was Hitler and the bearskin was Eastern Europe. 

Stalin used to tell this anecdote, after the Feb 1945 Yalta Conference, in which Roosevelt and Churchill agreed to virtually every demand that he made regarding the fate of Eastern Europe. Both Roosevelt and Churchill stand accused of “selling Eastern Europe to Stalin.” 

At the conference, Roosevelt said: “The Polish elections should be beyond question like Caesar’s wife.” Stalin replied: “They said that about her but she had her sins,” and then he went on to explain the Russian strategic view of Poland: “Throughout history, Poland has served as a corridor for invaders coming to attack Russia. I want a strong Poland.” By strong Poland, he meant, a Soviet Poland. Stalin believed that ultimately military power would decide who ruled Eastern Europe which was under the occupation of 10 million Soviet soldiers.

The Western powers (mainly Britain, America, and France) have a long tradition of trying to achieve their geopolitical objectives by selling other countries. If any nation trusts the political establishments of Britain, America, and France, it does so at its own peril.

Friday, January 21, 2022

The Ramayana: On The Six Types Of Foreign Policy

In the third book of the Ramayana, Aranya Kanda, Rama and Lakshmana were searching for Sita, when they ventured into the territory of Kabandha. Kabandha was originally a gandharva (a celestial musician)—he was the son of Danu. Due to the curses inflicted by Sthulashira, a sage, and Indra, the king of heaven, Kabandha was transformed into a hideous demon, whose body was in the shape of a headless torso with one eye, a big mouth, and two long arms. 

After Rama and Lakshmana killed Kabandha, and performed his cremation rites, the demon attained his celestial form, and he briefed them about the steps that they needed to take for freeing Sita from the imprisonment of Ravana, the demon king of Lanka. These steps included the formation of an alliance with Sugriva, Hanumana, and other warriors. Among the lessons in this story is the one on foreign policy. Kabandha informs Rama and Lakshmana that there are six types of foreign policy that a king or nation pursues. 

In his Arthashastra, which was composed in the third century BC, centuries after the Ramayana, Kautilya has explained the six types of foreign policy that a nation should follow: (1) Sandhi (treaty for peace); (2) Vigrah (waging war); (3) Asana (neutrality) (4) Yana (marching) - presumably as a preparation for war; (5) Samsrya (alliance) and (6) Dwidibhava (making peace with one and waging war with another).

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Environment and Heredity

“Every man is what environment and heredity make him.” ~ Alistair MacLean in his novel HMS Ulysses

This is true for most human beings. Only a few rare individuals (who have an original mind or are rebellious or alienated) are able to transcend their environment and heredity.

The Extent of Stability: Three Generations

Capitalism leads to a regulated private economy: just not for long. Communism leads to a command economy: just not for long. Within five to seven decades (a maximum of three generations) both capitalism and communism find a balance by morphing into some sort of oligarchic, fascistic and feudalistic system. No system of government can be conserved for more than three generations. There is truth in the saying: “Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.”

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

The Simplistic Argument of Andrew Breitbart

"The left does not win its battles in debate. It doesn’t have to. In the twenty-first century, media is everything. The left wins because it controls the narrative. The narrative is controlled by the media. The left is the media. Narrative is everything.” ~ Andrew Breitbart in his book Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World 

Breitbart is making a simplistic argument. He was a media guy. He represented the bombastic and furious faction in the conservative media. The conservative journalists are not known for their candor. In most democracies, the conservative media has the reputation of being more corrupt than the leftist media. The left controls the narrative because they have better intellectuals who can come up with arguments and theories which the masses find convincing. 

Conservative intellectualism is no match for leftist intellectualism. In the last hundred years, the leftist intellectuals have driven the global debates on history, culture, science, politics, and economics. On current events, the conservative journalists fail to out-argue the leftist position. Breitbart is wrong: the left actually wins its battles in debate. The side that has better intellectuals should control the media—thus, it is natural for the media in our time to be leftist.

Instead of ranting about the power of the leftist media, the conservatives (the acolytes of Andrew Brietbart) should do some soul-searching. They should compare their work with the intellectual work that the left has done in the last 100 years. I have made this kind of comparison and my verdict is that the left has won because they have played a better intellectual game, they have produced better books and media reports.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

The Sisyphean Labor of the Capitalists and the Barbarians

“Do you know the only value life has is what life puts upon itself? And it is of course over-estimated since it is of necessity prejudiced in its own favor.” ~ Jack London in his novel The Sea Wolf

These words spoken by the character called Wolf Larsen ring true for civilizations as well. Every civilization is of necessity prejudiced in its own favor. Every civilization places the ultimate value upon itself and overestimates its own importance. The mentality of the modern capitalist civilizations is not different from that of the primitive barbarian tribes—both are convinced that their civilization or tribe is indispensable.

In their own mind, the capitalist and the barbarian are constantly performing the Sisyphean labor of placing the ultimate value upon their own world. However, it is the fate of every Sisyphus to consistently fail in pushing the stone to the summit of the mountain. The stone always rolls down; it always comes to rest at the foot of the mountain.

Monday, January 17, 2022

The Orient Versus The Occident

The word “orient” is derived from the Latin root that means “the rising” or “to rise,” and the Latin root from which the word “occident” is derived means “the falling” or “to fall.” It is inevitable for the orient to rise and the occident to fall. There is no doubt about the oriental sunrise. There is no doubt about the occidental sunset. In the last 100 years, theories and literature concerning an apocalyptic end of civilization have become very popular in the occident. This was because the occidental artists and intellectuals understood that the rise of their civilization was due to unnatural causes, that this success was temporary, that the fall was inevitable. Globalization has led to the Westernized sections of the population in the orient becoming infected by this occidental melancholy and hopelessness but the non-Westernized masses preserve their faith and hope.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

The Irish Artist Versus The Irish Nationalist

Stephen Dedalus, the protagonist in James Joyce’s novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, was the son of an Irish nationalist. The Irish struggle for independence, during the early twentieth century, took place parallel to Stephen’s coming of age. Stephen did not reject Irish culture, but he was lukewarm to the Irish cause. He was alienated from the church and wary of the institutions. Irish history was too narrow for the philosophy of aestheticism that he had adopted. 

In the following excerpt, from the novel’s final chapter (Chapter 5), Stephen is having a conversation with Davin, an Irish nationalist who is his friend at the university—Davin says that he is an Irish nationalist, but Stephen is contemptuous of nationalism: 

As Davin did not answer, Stephen began to quote: 

—Long pace, fianna! Right incline, fianna! Fianna, by numbers, salute, one, two! 

—That’s a different question, said Davin. I’m an Irish nationalist, first and foremost. But that’s you all out. You’re a born sneerer, Stevie. 

—When you make the next rebellion with hurleysticks, said Stephen, and want the indispensable informer, tell me. I can find you a few in this college. 

—I can’t understand you, said Davin. One time I hear you talk against English literature. Now you talk against the Irish informers. What with your name and your ideas . . . Are you Irish at all? 

—Come with me now to the office of arms and I will show you the tree of my family, said Stephen. 

—Then be one of us, said Davin. Why don’t you learn Irish? Why did you drop out of the league class after the first lesson? 

—You know one reason why, answered Stephen. 

Davin tossed his head and laughed. 

—Oh, come now, he said. Is it on account of that certain young lady and Father Moran? But that’s all in your own mind, Stevie. They were only talking and laughing. 

Stephen paused and laid a friendly hand upon Davin’s shoulder. 

—Do you remember, he said, when we knew each other first? The first morning we met you asked me to show you the way to the matriculation class, putting a very strong stress on the first syllable. You remember? Then you used to address the jesuits as father, you remember? I ask myself about you: Is he as innocent as his speech? 

—I’m a simple person, said Davin. You know that. When you told me that night in Harcourt Street those things about your private life, honest to God, Stevie, I was not able to eat my dinner. I was quite bad. I was awake a long time that night. Why did you tell me those things? 

—Thanks, said Stephen. You mean I am a monster. 

—No, said Davin. But I wish you had not told me. 

A tide began to surge beneath the calm surface of Stephen’s friendliness. 

—This race and this country and this life produced me, he said. I shall express myself as I am. 

—Try to be one of us, repeated Davin. In heart you are an Irishman but your pride is too powerful. 

—My ancestors threw off their language and took another, Stephen said. They allowed a handful of foreigners to subject them. Do you fancy I am going to pay in my own life and person debts they made? What for? 

—For our freedom, said Davin. 

—No honourable and sincere man, said Stephen, has given up to you his life and his youth and his affections from the days of Tone to those of Parnell, but you sold him to the enemy or failed him in need or reviled him and left him for another. And you invite me to be one of you. I’d see you damned first. 

—They died for their ideals, Stevie, said Davin. Our day will come yet, believe me. 
Stephen, following his own thought, was silent for an instant. 

—The soul is born, he said vaguely, first in those moments I told you of. It has a slow and dark birth, more mysterious than the birth of the body. When the soul of a man is born in this country there are nets flung at it to hold it back from flight. You talk to me of nationality, language, religion. I shall try to fly by those nets. 

Davin knocked the ashes from his pipe. 

—Too deep for me, Stevie, he said. But a man’s country comes first. Ireland first, Stevie. You can be a poet or a mystic after. 

—Do you know what Ireland is? asked Stephen with cold violence. Ireland is the old sow that eats her farrow.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

On Deliverance from the Parasitical Superpowers

“Only where the state ends, there begins the human being who is not superfluous: there begins the song of necessity, the unique and inimitable tune.” ~ Nietzsche in Thus Spoke Zarathustra

The European Union is dysfunctional, the Chinese system is failing, and every day more people are starting to acknowledge that the USA has committed economic and cultural harakiri from which it will not recover. The twentieth century was marred by the rise of three parasitical superpowers: the USA, the Soviet Union, and China. The twenty-first century will be the story of mankind’s deliverance from the parasitical superpowers. The hegemony of the superpowers will end and the reign of the man who is not superfluous will begin. There will be chaos in the beginning. In this chaos, man will discover himself.

Friday, January 14, 2022

The Predatory Conquistador Mentality

Predatory men of the “conquistador mentality” can be useful pioneers, killers, and conquerors but they are the Achilles heel of an empire that is already a superpower. Such men cannot live without power, and power to them ultimately comes from their ability to inflict violence. They take peaceful coexistence as a sign of weakness and cowardice. They are driven to master other nations. They are driven to prove their superiority by plundering, killing, and conquering. They are driven to work out their Lord of the Flies hierarchy, in which their empire has a supreme position in the world. They drag their people into one unnecessary war after another until their empire is economically and culturally exhausted, and declines. The declining empire becomes the target of scavengers who rush in from all over the world and take whatever they can.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

The Myth of American Capitalism

Why is America’s inflation 7 percent? Why isn’t it 70 percent or 700 percent? The economic policies of this country are as bad as that of the South American nations which are currently being crushed under a double-digit inflation. America’s pampered population can get away with a lowly 7 percent inflation because their country is a superpower—America commands the world’s natural resources and it has the power to transfer its debt (and inflation) to other countries. 

The American economy cannot survive without plunder. Until the end of the nineteenth century, America was being fueled by the annexation of huge tracts of land as the American empire expanded from the east coast to the west coast, pushing out the Native Indians. Territorial expansion meant more land under agriculture; more cities and towns; more highways, railways, dams, and ports; more industries and companies—all this constituted a massive boost to the economy. Much of America’s agricultural and industrial work was being done by low-cost slave labor. In the twentieth century, the Americans subsidized their economy by capturing Middle Eastern oil and the resources of South America and Africa. After 1945, the status of the dollar as a global reserve currency gave America the power to buy anything in the world by printing dollars. The dollar became the supermassive black hole which sucked in the wealth of all nations. 

The idea that “capitalism” (whatever this word might mean) is the cause of America’s economic success is the biggest myth of the twentieth century. Without territorial expansion, without slave labor, without the control of petroleum and other resources, and without dollar being the global reserve currency, America could not have become a prosperous and powerful nation. The crisis that America faces in the twenty-first century is that the world has run out of resources that can be plundered to fuel the American economy. The Asian countries are preparing to save their economies from an imminent American collapse—they will not pick up any more American debt.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

The Two Movers of History: Thor and Loki

Thor is not the hero. He is the leader of the conservative regime which rules the galactic empire. Loki is not the villain. He is the revolutionary and the freedom fighter of the galaxy. 

Thor is the dog, trained by Odin to obey the rules and protect the realm. Loki is the halfbreed wolf who lives in the unruly lands outside the boundaries of the empire; he rejects Odin’s rules and is determined to overthrow the regime. Thor’s imperial power makes its own argument. Loki, the harbinger of chaos, makes the counterargument.

Thor and Loki are antagonistic forces but they need each other to become relevant. If Loki was not there to create chaos, Thor would become complacent, decadent, and weak. If Thor was not there to create a tightly regulated empire, Loki would not find a powerful regime which he might overthrow. 

History moves through the clash between the forces of order and the forces of chaos. When Thor becomes a tyrant, Loki fights for freedom and anarchy. When Loki unleashes chaos, Thor imposes conformity and order. Without the contest of opposing forces, there would be no glory, no innovation, no progress, and no history. 

The global empire in our time is Thor’s tyranny. I root for Loki.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

The Knight Templars of the Bolshevik Movement

The Soviet communists were atheists but they were not secular in the Marxist sense. Stalin informed his communist party associates that he saw the bolsheviks as “a military-religious order.” He expected the bolsheviks to act like the Knight Templars of the Middle Ages. When Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky (nicknamed “Iron Felix”) died, Stalin called him “the devout knight of the proletariat." Trotsky was not above mysticism. In his biography, My Life, he talks about the role of destiny in his life. Here are two lines from his book: “One can often predict great historical events, but it is difficult to predict one’s own destiny.” “One has to accept one’s destiny as it is being forged by the hammer of history.”

Like the religious leaders of the Middle Ages, the bolshevik elites took names which would define their personality. Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov took the alias Lenin which was based on the name of the Siberian river Lena. Lev Davidovich Bronstein adopted the alias Trotsky which he claimed was the name of a jailer of the Odessa prison where he had been held. Joseph Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili assumed the alias Stalin. In Russia’s communist party, the name Stalin was translated as “Man of Steel.” Vyacheslav Scriabin, the chief hatchet man of Stalin’s court, assumed the alias Molotov, which was translated as “the hammer.” Due to Molotov’s ability to work tirelessly, Lenin had given him the sobriquet “Iron-Arse."

The Oligarchs & The Myth of Individualism

The idea that individualism is a noble ideal is a myth propagated by the Western capitalist oligarchs who control politics, academia, big businesses, and media. They don’t want the masses to unite and form political movements which will campaign for restricting the power and profits of the oligarchic corporations and institutions. To keep the masses divided, they propagate the myth that individualism is a noble ideal. 

As solitary individuals people are incapable of having a political and economic impact, unless they happen to be billionaires. The maximum that an individual can do is lodge a formal complaint, which will get ignored; write a letter to the local newspaper, which will have no effect; rant in the social media, which has no political value. The individualists are voiceless and powerless. A society of individualists has no means of defending itself against the capitalist oligarchs. 

To have a powerful voice, people have to unite; they have to find a common agenda; they have to develop political movements which will fight against the capitalist oligarchs.

Monday, January 10, 2022

The Myth of the “City on a Hill”

Ronald Reagan described America as a shining city on a hill in his November 1980 speech. He returned to this theme in multiple speeches; notably in his last White House address in January 1989. By city on a hill, he meant that America was a beacon of hope. But a beacon of hope for whom? Not for the Native Indians who lost their lives or were evicted from their ancestral land; not for the Africans who were forced to toil as slaves; not for the people in nations which America and its allies invaded in the twentieth century. Several other American presidents (including Kennedy, Bush, and Obama) have described America as a city on the hill. 

The idea of America being a “city on a hill” has originated in a lecture that the puritan preacher John Winthrop gave, on March 21, 1630, to a group of Massachusetts Bay colonists. But America was never a city on a hill. It was always a militaristic, puritanical, and expansionist empire. From 1630, the Europeans were conducting continuous warfare to wipe out the Native Indian kingdoms and take control of North America. They were capturing millions of Africans and forcing them to work as slaves in their plantations. Today America operates close to 800 military bases in 70 countries—a true city on a hill would not need such geopolitical power. 

America was founded by Europe’s conquistadors, colonists, and slavers who were inspired by a universalist Christian faith. “Submit-or-die” was their blunt message to North America’s original inhabitants, the Native Indians. After winning the Second World War, the Americans started presenting themselves as the bastion of capitalism, which, they claimed, was a counter to Soviet communism. But American capitalism is as universalist as Christianity and communism—it aims to unite and subjugate the world. When the Americans fight wars, they aren’t fighting for liberty and democracy. They are fighting for world unity and submission.

The Americans are fearful of Islam for one reason: They know that Islam—like Christianity, capitalism, and communism—is an universalist faith. It demands total submission and is capable of uprooting Western power.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Stalin and the Tramp

In the early 1930s, Stalin was a divisive figure in Russia. He was a paranoid man. He used to brood over the disloyalty of his political associates and his family members. Though he had little reason to fear a coup, he knew that he could be assassinated. Yet he used to walk from his Old Square office to his home protected by just one bodyguard. 

One night in November 1932, Stalin and Molotov were walking home in a snowstorm. They did not have a bodyguard. When they were passing through the Manege Square, they were approached by a beggar. Stalin gave the beggar 10 roubles. The beggar was disappointed by the paltry amount that was being offered to him. He shouted: “You damned bourgeois!” Stalin mused: “Who can understand the Russian people?” 

In 1930, the Politburo had passed a decree “to ban Comrade Stalin from walking around in Moscow on foot.” But Stalin continued to walk till the start of the Second World War.

Saturday, January 8, 2022

The Meaning of the Term: “Triumph of the West”

When the Western historians describe the last three hundred years, when the Western empires became pre-eminent, they tend to use the phrase “the triumph of the West”. What do they mean by the word “triumph”? The word “triumph” originated in Ancient Rome. The Romans did not use this word to indicate their victory—they used it to indicate the utter subjugation and annihilation of the losing side. The Roman triumph was the celebration of a successful plunder and genocide. 

The victorious Roman generals used to organize spectacular parades called “Roman triumph” in the streets of Rome. On the day of his triumph, the Roman general wore a crown of laurel and a solid purple, gold-embroidered triumphal toga picta. In imitation of the most powerful Roman God Jupiter, his face was painted red. He rode in a four-horse chariot through the streets of Rome, followed by his army, captives, and the spoils of his war. The Roman masses lined both sides of the streets. They cheered their general and his soldiers, and berated and taunted the captives. When the Roman triumph reached its climax, the captives were executed in view of the Roman elite and the masses.

When the Western historians talk about the triumph of the West, they are not talking about the West’s victories in the last three hundred years—they are celebrating the utter subjugation and annihilation of the old cultures in the Americas and elsewhere.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Man’s Heart and Mind are Leftist

We can read a political message in the configuration of our two vital organs. Man’s heart is on the left side of the ribcage. This is our body’s way of telling us that emotionally we must be inclined towards the left. A similar political statement is found in the brain’s configuration. The brain’s left hemisphere is dominant—we use it for language and speech. Both the mind and the heart are indicating their preference for the leftist side in the body. If you have a sensitive heart and a thinking mind, you cannot avoid leftism. Being rightist is an anomaly, being leftist is natural.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

The American Invasion & The Tailor of Panama

In John le Carré’s The Tailor of Panama, we encounter the British ambassador to Panama, a pompous idiot being misled by a crooked British spy, who in turn is being fed fabricated stories by the novel’s protagonist, Harry Pendel, a British expatriate running a successful tailoring business in Panama City. The political machinations and conspiracies that the British spy concocts, through the fertile mind of Harry Pendel, are taken seriously by the British and American governments, and the decision is taken to invade Panama. 

The novel is a satire on the callousness with which the Americans and the British manage their foreign policy and make the decision to go to war. There is a section in the novel in which Carré gives an account of the destruction that the Americans caused in Panama during their invasion. Why did America invade Panama in 1989 and 1990?  

The primary purpose of the invasion was to capture the Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega. The Americans claimed that he was involved in racketeering and drug business. The secondary purpose of the invasion was that the Americans were led to believe (by informants of the caliber of Harry Pendel) that the Panamanians were planning to cede control of the Panama Canal to the Japanese or some other rival of the United States. The Americans could not allow that to happen. They believed that it was their God-given right to control the Panama Canal.

Noriega was a paid informant for the American government since 1967. He had collaborated with the Americans in their covert operation (the contra insurgency) in Nicaragua. In 1989, it suddenly dawned on the Americans that Noriega was a gangster who could not be allowed to rule Panama. They were forced to use his association with the drug cartels to justify their invasion because the Soviet Union had collapsed in 1988. In the time of the Soviet Union, they used to justify their every military action by claiming that they were trying to save the country from communism.

The Americans are the world’s leading experts in subverting democratic movements and installing puppet regimes in poor countries. In the Dominican Republic, they brought Trujillo to power. The thirty-one years of Trujillo’s rule are the bloodiest in the history of this country. They funded and armed the Contras in Nicaragua. They enabled the rise of Duvalier in Haiti. Without their support, Marcos could not have ruled the Philippines for 21 years. In the last 100 years, they have created havoc in the Middle East and the Islamic countries in South Asia.

When a few people from South America cross into America, the American conservatives are up in arms. The conservatives forget that they were the cheerleaders of Reagan, Bush, and other presidencies which subverted the political process in several nations. If you send your military to attack another country then the people of that country will migrate to your country—this is the rule of history. By coming to America they hope to escape from the pernicious effects of America’s foreign policy. America is the only place that the American military won’t attack.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Trotsky’s Duck Hunting & the Fate of the Russian Revolution

“One can foresee a revolution or a war, but it is impossible to foresee the consequences of an autumn shooting-trip for wild ducks.” ~ Trotsky in My Life (Chapter 40, “The Conspiracy of Epigones”). What path would the history of the Soviet Union have taken if Trotsky, instead of Stalin, had won in the power struggle that ensued after the death of Lenin in 1923? Trotsky was not a man of violence, to the extent that Stalin was. He was a better ideologue. He had a better grasp of culture and economics. He might have transformed the Soviet Union into a strong nation which could have outlasted America, instead of collapsing in the 1980s.

Had he been in Moscow when Lenin died, Trotsky would have won the power struggle. In his biography, My Life, he ruefully reminisced that during Lenin’s last illness, in October 1923, he went duck hunting in a swamp in Zabolotye. There he walked in his felt boots in the cold swamp water, and caught influenza. His doctor advised him to rest. When an intense power struggle was raging in Moscow in autumn and winter, Trotsky was bedridden. Stalin took advantage of Trotsky’s absence by promoting his own supporters to key positions in the communist party and the politburo. Eventually Stalin maneuvered himself into the position of General Secretary. 

Trotsky writes: “I cannot help noting how obligingly the accidental helps the historical law. Broadly speaking, the entire historical process is a refraction of the historical law through the accidental. In the language of biology, one might say that the historical law is realized through the natural selection of accidents. On this foundation, there develops conscious human activity which subjects accidents to a process of artificial selection.”

He notes that the capture of power by Stalin’s faction was a victory of mediocrities: “…the morally unstable elements, who were being mercilessly driven out of the party during the first five years, now squared themselves by a single hostile remark against Trotsky. From the end of 1923, the same work was carried on in all the parties of the Communist International; certain leaders were dethroned and others appointed in their stead solely on the basis of their attitude toward Trotsky. A strenuous artificial selection was being effected, a selection not of the best but of the most suitable. The general policy became one of a replacement of independent and gifted men by mediocrities who owed their posts entirely to the apparatus. It was as the supreme expression of the mediocrity of the apparatus that Stalin himself rose to his position.”

From the 1930s to the 1980s, when the Soviet Union fell, several prominent American leftists and liberals were Trotskyists. The Frankfurt School which was based in America was inspired by Trotsky’s thoughts. However, the European leftists in this period—people like Wells, Shaw, and Sartre—were Stalinists. The liberal and conservative movements which have dominated the politics of the USA after the Second World War owe a debt to Trotsky’s critique of capitalism. In Europe, Trotsky became a force after the death of Stalin. With Stalin gone, the European intellectuals and celebrities found the courage to acknowledge their intellectual debt to Trotsky.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

The Western Bluff Masters & Their Seven Categories of History

The Western historians of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were the ultimate bluff masters. They were the ultimate propagandists. They concocted the notion that the Western civilization was founded on good philosophy, rational politics, art, and science, and that it stood for liberty, peace, democracy, and individualism. Look at the lofty-sounding categories for Western history that they have tried to palm off on the world:

1. The Classical Age

2. The Roman Age

3. The Middle Ages

4. The Renaissance

5. The Scientific Revolution

6. The Enlightenment

7. The Modern Age 

These seven categories are the most beautiful bullshit that the Western historians have ever concocted and they socked it to the world like the Spanish conquistadors socked it to the native American tribes. 

These categories give no clue of the character of the political and cultural forces that were operating in Europe in the last 3000 years. They do not tell you that Europe was the most violent and tyrannical place in the world in the last 3000 years. They do not tell you that slavery was a constant feature of the West since the Classical Age. They do not tell you that in the last 300 years, the Western powers have committed plunder, rapine, and genocide on a humongous scale; they have wiped out civilizations and conquered continents; they have transported between 12 to 20 million Africans across the Atlantic to work as slaves. 

The categories of Western history, according to me, should be:

1. The Age of Greek Slavery and Carnage (700 BC to 146 BC)

2. The Age of Roman Slavery and Carnage (149 BC to 476 AD)

3. The Age of Feudalism (5th century to 11th century)

4. The Age of the Crusades (11th century to 15th century)

5. The Age of the Conquistadors (15th century to 16th century)

6. The Age of Imperialism (17th century to 1950)

7. The Age of the American Empire (1950 to 2010)

When you read Western history from the standpoint of the seven categories that I have noted, you will realize that the Western civilization is not even a predatory spider on the wall. They are part of the wall. They are a tiny blip in the history of mankind.

Monday, January 3, 2022

The Capitalist Empire of Apocalypses

In 1962, the American foreign policy establishment invented the doctrine of “Mutual Assured Destruction” (MAD). The MAD doctrine stated that the world could be annihilated in a nuclear inferno if America was involved in a nuclear war. Perhaps “mad” was the right term to denote the predatory and expansionist foreign policies of the American government.

Capitalism is supposedly an ideology of liberty, rights, prosperity, peace, and happiness—that is what the Americans would like the world to believe. However, since they became a superpower, after winning the Second World War in 1945, they have shown a tendency to concoct “mad” apocalyptic doctrines. No other empire has conceived as many apocalyptic doctrines, and used its power to impose them on other nations, as America has. 

I am not trying to judge these “Made in America” apocalyptic doctrines—I don’t care if these doctrines are right or wrong. What I know is that the doctrines were conceived and propagated by the Americans (with the support of their political ancestors, the West Europeans). The Americans are a modern version of the Trojan priestess Cassandra—they regularly foretell new visions of worldwide apocalypse.

Ice Age,  Acid Rain, ozone layer depletion, Global Warming, Climate Change, and other environmental apocalypses will, according to the American and West European elites, destroy mankind if curbs are not imposed on industrialization and urbanization. But America and Western Europe are the most industrialized and urbanized parts of the world—this makes them the fountainhead of all the environmental apocalypses that they are predicting. 

In the 1980s, the Americans were claiming that HIV AIDS could wipe out 70 percent of humanity. In the 1990s, they were claiming that mad cow disease and bird flu could kill millions. Like the mystic nuts of the Middle Ages, the Americans love to make doomsday predictions. Even the entertainment that they produce is mostly apocalyptic—Netflix has hundreds of serials and movies on environmental catastrophes, killer epidemics, and zombie outbreaks. 

The tendency of the American capitalists to imagine their own destruction and the destruction of the rest of the world is never going to go away. “End of the world is near”—this has been America’s persistent message to the world since 1945. Nowadays they are claiming that a large chunk of humanity will be wiped out due to a fast-mutating and omnipresent flu virus. When the fear of the flu virus subsides, they will concoct some other apocalyptic doctrine.

The Americans love being a superpower. They love playing the hegemonic role in the world. They keep concocting apocalyptic doctrines because they want to frighten the masses in all nations into submission. American capitalism is pessimistic, nihilistic, and hegemonic. Till America remains a superpower, mankind will live in a persistent fear of apocalypses.

Sunday, January 2, 2022

The Best Books That I Read In 2021

Out of the ninety books that I read in 2021, I found these fifteen books most informative and thought-provoking; 

1. Who We Are And How We Got Here — by David Reici 

2. Purva Mimamsa In Its Sources — by Ganganath Jha

3. The Slave Trade: The History of the Atlantic Slave Trade — by Hugh Thomas 

4. The Horse, The Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World — by David W. Anthony

5. Consequences of Capitalism: Manufacturing Discontent and Resistance — by Noam Chomsky and Marv Waterstone

6. The Invasion of America: Indians, Colonialism, and the Cant of Conquest — by Francis Jennings 

7. Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes — by Jacques Ellul 

8. A People’s History of the United States — by Howard Zinn 

9. The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity — by David Graeber and David Wengrow 

10. The Myth of American Exceptionalism — by Godfrey Hodgson

11. Castes of Mind: Colonialism and the Making of Modern India — by Nicholas B. Dirks

12. A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History — by Nicholas Wade 

13. The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain — by María Rosa Menocal

14. The Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel and the Palestinians — by Noam Chomsky 

15. The Man-Eating Myth — by William F Arens