Why is the world going to hell? Netflix’s The Social Dilemma tells only half the story

25 September 2020 — Jonathan Cook

If you find yourself wondering what the hell is going on right now – the “Why is the world turning to shit?” thought – you may find Netflix’s new documentary The Social Dilemma a good starting point for clarifying your thinking. I say “starting point” because, as we shall see, the film suffers from two major limitations: one in its analysis and the other in its conclusion. Nonetheless, the film is good at exploring the contours of the major social crises we currently face – epitomised both by our addiction to the mobile phone and by its ability to rewire our consciousness and our personalities.

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The Great Scampede or The Iron Heel Revisited

16 September 2020 – Investigating Imperialism

By William Bowles

Virus stats

Source: https://twitter.com/JohnDStats

[T]he great majority of people will not die from this [virus] and I’ll just repeat something I said right at the beginning because I think it’s worth reinforcing:

Most people, a significant proportion of people, will not get this virus at all, at any point of the epidemic which is going to go on for a long period of time.

Of those who do, some of them will get the virus without even knowing it, they will have the virus with no symptoms at all, asymptomatic carriage, and we know that happens. – Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England, 11 May, 2020

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A lesson coronavirus is about to teach the world

17 March 2020 — Jonathan Cook

If a disease can teach wisdom beyond our understanding of how precarious and precious life is, the coronavirus has offered two lessons.

The first is that in a globalised world our lives are so intertwined that the idea of viewing ourselves as islands – whether as individuals, communities, nations, or a uniquely privileged species – should be understood as evidence of false consciousness. In truth, we were always bound together, part of a miraculous web of life on our planet and, beyond it, stardust in an unfathomably large and complex universe.

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‘K’ Metamorphoses into ‘G’ By William Bowles

19 February 2019 — Investigating Imperialism

[I think it’s time to republish a piece I wrote 15 years ago, in 2004, though clearly very few took notice of it then, will it be any different this time? I doubt it, it’s probably already too late to do anything about it. What the Labour government initiated in 2004 has now reached, not only fruition but is now sweeping the ‘democratic’ West as the crisis of capital intensifies and opposition to neoliberalism intensifies. I call it what it is, Fascism. Maybe not the Fascism of Hitler or Mussolini, there are no jackboots, they don’t need them this time, they have built the corporate-security state, a state that has us all on file, a state that records our movements, a state that knows what we read, who we see,  a state that now works in tandem with its corporate masters just as Mussolini’s Fascism did, a state that makes Orwell’s 1984 amateurish by comparison.  Reading through it, I don’t think I need to alter one word. WB.]

24 April 2004

“Someone must have slandered Joseph K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested.” – 

Franz Kafka, ‘The Trial’

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This is for the Guardian, NYT and the BBC: 1939 to 2018 By William Bowles

21 January 2018 — InvestigatingImperialism

Before I go any further with this let me state that I’m not a Trotskyist, or a Leninist, or a Stalinist or a Maoist (but I might have been all of the above, with exception of Maoist, at one time or another). However, I might be a Zapatista, at least in spirit, but I’m definitely a Socialist Revolutionary (or is that a Revolutionary Socialist?). I’m not sure if I’m a Marxist either, but I’m definitely an admirer of the old man, he was a great artist and thinker, and possibly, along with Charles Darwin, the greatest mind of the 19th century. Whatever you call it, we need a socialist revolution and we need one now, we are running out of time!

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The End of the road for capitalism or for us all? By William Bowles

13 January 2018 — InvestigatingImperialism

“…we have the certainty that matter remains eternally the same in all its transformations, that none of its attributes can ever be lost, and therefore, also, that with the same iron necessity that it will exterminate on the earth its highest creation, the thinking mind, it must somewhere else and at another time again produce it”. —
Frederick Engels, from the introduction to ‘The Dialectics of Nature’, 1883.

In 1945, following the second ‘war to end all wars’, or something like that, the people of Britain put their faith, at least temporally, in an alleged socialist, Labour government. A government that vowed that there would be no return to the ‘bad old days’ of prewar Britain. So we got the National Health Service, public housing, a nationalised transport system, even the canal network was nationalised (telecommunications was already a state-owned monopoly, the capitalists weren’t prepared to risk their capital in its development).

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Trashing the Planet for Profit By William Bowles

8 January 2018 — investigatingimperialism

Introduction

Before I began this essay I read through some of my past forays that mentioned climate change and capitalism, the first I think, being in 2006 where I opined in a piece on the ‘War on Terror’:

Perhaps the impending climate catastrophe as well as the genocidal actions of the US will force us to finally start thinking and acting ‘outside of the box’ but without a clear idea of where we are heading or how to get there, currently the situation looks dire. — WOT is to be done?  2 November, 2006

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The Two-FacedBook By William Bowles

7 January 2018 — investigatingimperialism

At the end of the 1970s, when I first started using and investigating digital media, it quickly became apparent to me, that what became the World Wide Web, was very much a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it afforded independent journalists and investigators, a vehicle for reaching a public outside the control of corporate/state media and whose only parallel lay back in the 17th century, with the invention of the printing press and moveable type, broadsheets and later the so-called Penny Dreadfuls. Sold on street corners and in coffee houses, and produced in literally hundreds of small printing shops, they challenged the status quo in ways previously impossible. Often banned and their writers/publishers thrown in jail under the then new sedition laws, they heralded the arrival of modern capitalism.

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The Two-Faced Book By William Bowles

7 January 2018 — investigatingimperialism

At the end of the 1970s, when I first started using and investigating digital media, it quickly became apparent to me, that what became the World Wide Web, was very much a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it afforded independent journalists and investigators, a vehicle for reaching a public outside the control of corporate/state media and whose only parallel lay back in the 17th century, with the invention of the printing press and moveable type, broadsheets and later the so-called Penny Dreadfuls. Sold on street corners and in coffee houses, and produced in literally hundreds of small printing shops, they challenged the status quo in ways previously impossible. Often banned and their writers/publishers thrown in jail under the then new sedition laws, they heralded the arrival of modern capitalism.

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Video: Susan George on "How to win the class war – The Lugano Report II" Part 1

30 November 2013 — 

Susan George shares the story behind her new book

If you have ever wondered what it’s like to be in the shoes – and the minds – of the guardians of the capitalist system, Susan George can give you the key. “How to win the Class War” is a ‘Factual Fiction’: the facts are based on solid research, but the fictional setting and the story make you feel as though you’re reading a political thriller. The Report shows that the powerful are vulnerable to popular movements – if these movements understand the tactics they are up against.

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