by Paul Craig Roberts, Paul Craig Roberts:
“The ability of the owners of the political/media class to discredit and neutralize anyone who poses a threat to their interests simply by rearranging the narratives about them is one of the most destructive psychological weapons in their arsenal. The main reason it’s so hard to convince the public that they have been taken in by propaganda and smear campaigns is because for some stupid reason, one of the most shameful things anyone can do in our society is be fooled. If we are to overcome the narrative dominance of the powerful, it is essential that we find a way to shift that shame from those who have been fooled onto those who have been fooling them.” — Caitlin Johnstone
This is my quarterly call for your donations.
This website originated on New Year’s Eve 2011. I had enjoyed two months retirement before you called me back into action. We are now well into the 8th year of my recall from retirement.
I am pleased that you called me back. The column is read by millions of people annually in many languages. The columns have resulted in three books translated into Russian, Chinese, Korean, Czech, Turkish, German, and French. They don’t make much money, but they help the world to wake up to the evil that has an iron grip on the Western World. The endless wars based entirely on lies serving hidden agendas have destroyed the concept of the West as the hope of humanity. The soft power behind which secret agendas operated is gone forever.
The brute open power is now checked by the military power of Russia, backed up by China. The latest EU elections demonstrate that the European and British peoples have had all they can take of Washington and the EU’s destruction of countries based on ethnic nationality. If Israel can be for Jews, then France can be for French, Germany for Germans, Britain for British, Italy for Italians, and, perhaps, America for Americans. The Ziocon idea that all white countries, except Israel, are for everybody is failing in the European elections.
What is yet to fail is the police state. The police state has been slowly sneaking up on the West for a long time. It advanced gangbusters with 9/11 and the hoax “war on terror.” Everywhere in the West civil liberties have taken a hard hit from secret agendas of the ruling oligarchies.
The construction of the police state that now surrounds Americans and Western peoples generally, has many contributors. Some of the police state’s constructors were well intentioned, such as “child advocates,” but they were ignorant of the likely consequences. In the US the exercise of parental judgment can result in the traumatic seizure of children by the Child Protective Services Gestapo, an arbitrary and unaccountable police with more powers than the Nazi Gestapo. https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/05/22/how-dare-she-dash-muffins/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.fbd2aa9392bd
Americans have been trained to rat on one another. Leave your children (or a dog) in your car for a minute while you get something from a convenience store and a fellow citizen is certain to call the police. A report will be filed, and a Child Protective Service Gestapo will show up at your door, demanding admission. You will be coerced into accepting the strip searching of your children in search of a bruise from play that can be misconstrued as evidence that you beat your kids. The Gestapo will then seize your kids, and you will pay heavily in stress and attorney’s bills in the effort to recover your kids, who by this time are probably traumatized for life. The helplessness that parents endure must make them hate the government and even the country.
In the United States the deluded patriotic elements believe that our soldiers fight “to preserve our freedom,” but in fact, as Marine General Smedley Butler—the most decorated officer in the history of the US military—tells us, our soldiers die for the material interests of the ruling oligarchy. https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/05/27/something-to-think-about-on-memorial-day/
Americans, like the British, are brainwashed about the “Great Democracies,” in which, allegedly, the governments are held accountable by the people. In actual fact, in the “Great Democracies,” the peoples have been reduced to brainwashed slaves.
The brainwashing is obvious. The slavery less so. Once again let me make the slavery obvious.
A slave is a person who does not own his own labor. Therefore, the product of his labor, or some portion of it, is not his. For medieval serfs the maximum tax rate was 30%. Given the technology of the time, a higher tax rate so dispossessed serfs that the population could not reproduce, and the sefts would revolt.
19th century slaves worked with better technology, and their higher productivity meant that 50% of their work product could be taken by their owners. This was not all profit as owners had to pay handsomely for the labor, but instead of paying the laborer, the slave owner paid the slave merchant who paid the black African king of Dahomey who captured the black slaves. https://www.amazon.com/Dahomey-Slave-Analysis-Archaic-Economy/dp/B0000CNIBN/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Karl+Polanyi%2C+Dahomey+and+the+Slave+Trade&qid=1559345232&s=books&sr=1-1
In contrast, prior to the 1981 Reagan tax rate reduction, the maximum tax rate on investment income was 70% and the maximum tax rate on wage and salary income was 50 percent.
Today every Western taxpayer is a slave in the same economic sense as slaves in prior times. Today the Western citizen does not own his own labor. He owns only a part of it. The rest belongs to the slave master, that is, the government. The enslavement of the entire working population of the United States occured in 1913 with the enactment of the income tax. This enslavement is color blind.
In the medieval period, people could be captured and held for ransome or held indefinitely without charges or trial in order to remove obstacles to a powerful person’s agenda. In the 21st century the Bush/Cheney regime resurrected this power in the form of indefinite detention. The Obama regime added to the New Tyranny the power of the president to assassinate US citizens without due process of law. The presstitutes have failed to make issues of these tyrannies.
Despite Constitutional and statutory prohibitions against torture, Washington has brought back torture as a means to achieve self-incrimination. Torture was used by the US Army and CIA at Abu Ghraib in Iraq, Guantanamo, and at a number of black-op sites, and torture is commonplace in American prisons. At the moment Julian Assange is undergoing torture at the hands of one of the “world’s Greatest Democracies”—Great Britain. Whenever there is no case against someone who the Western police states masquerading as “Great Democracies” want to convict, the person is tortured into admitting the crime for which there is no evidence. Confession by the rack is now the entrenched policy of the “Great Democracies.”
Nils Melzer is the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. He reports that Assange shows clear signs of degrading and inhumane treatment and has “all the symptoms typical for a person who has been exposed to prolonged psychological torture.” Assange is being “persecuted systematically . . . to the point of breaking him.” https://www.rt.com/news/460721-nils-melzer-assange-torture/
One hallmark of the collapse of Western civilization is the transformation of law from a shield of the people to a weapon in the hands of government, a weapon that has been brought to bear against Truth-teller Julian Assange. The Tyranny of Good Intentions by me and Lawrence Stratton describes the destruction of the protective features of law ( https://www.amazon.com/Tyranny-Good-Intentions-Prosecutors-Constitution/dp/0307396061/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=Paul+Craig+Roberts&qid=1559496718&s=books&sr=1-5 ).
Another hallmark is the absence of democratic outcomes in the so-called “Western democracies.” Three years ago the British voted to leave the EU, a decision that the elected, democratic British government has failed to implement. In Greece despite the manifest will of the people the government permitted the country to be looted by international finance. The elected US president Donald Trump assumed he has the power to abrogate a democratic election in Venezuela and to appoint as president a person who did not even run for the office. This was not the limit of his arrogance. Trump assigned Syrian territory—the Golan Heights—to Israel as if he owned Syria. The elected chancellor of Germany, Merkel, ignored the will of the people and opened Germany to one million unassimilable Muslims who have negatively impacted the safety and quality of life of German citizens. In the US a handful of powerful private interest groups, such as Wall Street and the pharmaceuticals, together with the Israel Lobby and the military/security complex, govern the country regardless of the outcome of elections. Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, denounces Europeans as “stupid nationalists who are in love with their own countries.” Juncker is committed to forcing Europeans to give up their national lives and be forcefully integrated into diversity.
Yet another hallmark of Western collapse is the extraordinary increase in income and wealth concentration. The vast majority of Western peoples are experiencing stagnant or declining living standards while a small handful have accumulated multi-billon dollar fortunes. Shareholders, executives, and boards of directors put their interest first and offshored the livelihoods of millions of their fellow citizens without a thought for the consequences. Amazon’s greedy shareholders recently rejected a proposal that the company stop selling facial recognition technology to police agencies. The proposal to preserve privacy guaranteed by the Constitution was rejected by 97.6% of Amazon’s owners without a thought of the police state that their greed is creating. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-amazon-com-facial-recognition/at-amazon-facial-recognition-ban-won-just-2-of-shareholder-vote-idUSKCN1SU2H5
Facial recognition technology means the end of privacy and anonymity, and misidentification by the technology can be life threatening. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/21/facial-recognition-privacy-prepared-regulation
Entire industries have been deregulated and their concentration permitted. The concentration of the media has destroyed the independence of the press, which no longer serves to bring accountability to government. Banking deregulation brought the mortgage derivative crisis, mounting indebtedness, and an economic policy that serves the banks rather than the economy.