La libertad de expresión bajo vigilancia

 En 1999 la Cámara de representantes de Washington aprobó el proceso de impeachment del presidente Clinton por su escándalo sexual con la becaria Mónica Lewinsky. La decisión y segura remoción del presidente pasó al senado, dominado por el partido republicano. Para ello, se necesitaban dos tercios de los votos, número asegurado según las intenciones manifiestas de los senadores que querían ver al presidente saliendo por la puerta de atrás de la historia. 

Perdido por perdido, la defensa del presidente contrató a Larry Flynt, el mogol de la pornografía mundial, dueño de revistas y productor de películas del género. Casi sin tiempo, Flynt pagó una página completa en el Washington Post ofreciendo un millón de dólares a aquellos que pudiesen probar historias similares a la del presidente, protagonizadas por miembros del Congreso. Miles de llamados y grabaciones cayeron de inmediato. Flynt ni siquiera se molestó en escucharlas. 

Temerosos de escándalos públicos, algunos legisladores comenzaron a confesar infidelidades a sus esposas. La voz más importante a favor del impeachment, el portavoz de la cámara baja y representante del ultraconservador estado de Luisiana, Bob Livingston, renunció misteriosamente el mismo día en que se debía votar. Desde entonces y hasta hoy, Bobby se dedica al lobby en Washington (es decir, a visitar a los legisladores en sus oficinas y a invitarlos a fiestas para hablar de negocios). De repente, la mayoría condenatoria en la cámara alta se convirtió en minoría. Diez senadores republicanos votaron a favor de perdonar al presidente demócrata. De la obligación de matar a pedradas a la infiel, legislada en el Antiguo Testamento, se pasó, en pocos días, al amor del Nuevo Testamento: “Vete, hijo, y no peques más”. El presidente fue perdonado. 

Este recurso del enchastre ajeno es viejo conocido entre los agentes de CIA y la NSA. Pero la industria privada del enchastre y la intimidación también es un negocio privado. Los clientes más frecuentes de estas empresas son poderosos políticos y otras empresas privadas con poder de extorción en su noble lucha por la “libre empresa” y la “libre competencia”. Aunque poco conocido, el negocio de perseguir adversarios políticos o disidentes independientes es multimillonario. No por casualidad, estas corporaciones privadas comparten con las agencias secretas del gobierno la misma ideología, aunque las políticas de austeridad de los gobiernos siempre alcanza a los de abajo; nunca a las corporaciones ni a las agencias secretas, la verdadera “mano invisible del mercado”.

No por casualidad, este recurso siempre se ejerce de arriba hacia abajo, sobre todo sobre aquellos de abajo que pueden representar un obstáculo o un peligro para sus intereses, como críticos, investigadores y periodistas independientes.

En junio de 2022, se reveló que el joven periodista Nate Monroe del Times Union de Jacksonville, Florida, había sido vigilado y fotografiado por una empresa consultora de Alabama, cuyo eslogan es “Resolvemos problemas”. Una fotografía que se hizo pública lo muestra conversando con su novia en el patio de su casa. El pecado de Monroe fue hacer un trabajo decente de investigación sobre el intento de privatización de la gigante eléctrica de la ciudad de Jacksonville, JEA, la que luego se reveló como un plan deliberado y corrupto de sus propios directores, aplicando la vieja estrategia de la receta neoliberal: convertir una empresa pública en ineficiente para que la opinión pública apoye su venta a los eficientes privados. Otra vez, la mano invisible del mercado.

Unos meses antes, los ex directivos de la empresa pública, Aaron Zahn y Ryan Wannemacher habían sido acusados de conspiración, pero liberados luego de pagar una fianza de cien mil dólares cada uno. La idea de los exdirectores, según informó el Dayly Record de Jacksonville, consistía en recibir varios millones de dólares en caso de que lograsen la privatización de la empresa pública, valorada en más de 11 mil millones de dólares.

Según la información revelada por el Florida Times Union, reconocida por la propia empresa de Alabama, el archivo sobre el Monroe consta de 72 páginas e incluye “su historial financiero, su afiliación política, los nombres y números de teléfonos de sus parientes y vecinos, su número de Seguro Social, la marca de su automóvil, los números de su licencia de conducir, la patente de su auto y los lugares donde ha vivido desde su infancia”.

El instructor de periodismo de la Universidad de Florida, editor de la Associated Press y ganador de un Premio Pulitzer, Ted Bridis, declaró a la prensa que “es realmente antiestadounidense estar vigilando a los periodistas”. No importa que sepamos que la NSA lee y escucha millones de mensajes por año. Siempre que en este país se revela un caso de corrupción o de moral dudosa se lo califica así, antiestadounidense, no importa si se trata de una tradición con un historial de un par de siglos.

Una vez derrotados los poderosos esclavistas el Sur en la Guerra Civil (poderosos por su poder desproporcionado en el Congreso, por las mayores fortunas del país debido a la esclavitud, y por un fanatismo racial y religioso que perdura hasta hoy), fueron reemplazados por el creciente poder de las corporaciones. Los empresarios más poderosos continuaron las prácticas de explotación, deshumanización y concentración de la riqueza de los esclavistas, solo que desde finales del siglo XIX los esclavos fueron reemplazados por trabajadores asalariados y, de la misma forma, fueron demonizados como peligrosos individuos que querían subvertir el orden de Dios, según el cual la libertad, la civilización y el progreso existen gracias a los de arriba.

Diferente a las dictaduras personalistas o de las juntas cívico-militares, en las democracias liberales se suele aceptar lo que en Estados Unidos se encuentra resumido en la Primera enmienda. Gracias a este primer artículo del Bill of Rights, el derecho a expresar una opinión está protegido de la amenaza de terminar en la cárcel. No es poco. Naturalmente, las limitaciones a este derecho y los recursos del poder para limitar este derecho básico de los de abajo son múltiples.

Los periodistas, por buenos que sean, se encuentran limitados por las líneas editoriales de los medios en los que trabajan, los cuales, a su vez, están condicionados por sus clientes, es decir, ya no los lectores de los cuales dependían casi exclusivamente, sino de los grandes anunciantes, quienes, naturalmente, subscriben una determinada ideología de clase. 

Los rebeldes, disidentes o simplemente investigadores incómodos son el objetivo natural de la maquinaria del poder. Sus instrumentos más comunes (antes de la persecución y la cárcel, como es el caso de Julian Assange y Edward Snowden) son el acoso y la descalificación. Pero la democracia, la libertad de expresión y el menos reconocido “derecho a la verdad” no existen por los grandes poderes concentrados sino a pesar de ellos; no existen a pesar de los rebeldes y disidentes sino gracias a ellos.

JM, julio 2022

https://www.pagina12.com.ar/446511-la-libertad-de-expresion-bajo-vigilancia

https://archive.org/details/2022-08-11-jorge-majfud-eeuu

https://ar.radiocut.fm/audiocut/jorge-majfud-en-una-vuelta-al-mundo

https://archive.org/details/2022-08-11-jorge-majfud-eeuu

Good, Damned Hispanics: Who Are We?


The first time I visited the United States in 1995, I had to fill out a form before arrival. In the “race” section, I wrote “no race.” It was the first time in my life that I had read such a classification. A decade later, after traveling and living in some 50 countries, I returned to set up in a classroom. Over time, I understood that you had to ‘play the game’: the more “Hispanics” mark “Hispanic” instead of “White,” the more political power the government affords them. The logic is well-traveled: Minority groups accept being confined to a box with a label conferred by the dominant group. Through sharing a language, a history, and an otherness, at 40, I began converting myself into a “Hispanic.”

Like any group, we are an invention. In fact, the term “Hispanic” is an invention of the United States government. Nothing new, considering the country’s obsession with race since before it was founded. As an invention, we Hispanics are a reality, and as a reality, many wish to escape from the box, not in rebellion but rather in submission. A “z” that needs to be accepted by the “A” group must be at least 200% “A” to be accepted as an “almost-A.”

In a civilized society, change is allowed, but no one needs to forget who they were and who they are to be integrated or accepted (leaving aside the neo-colonial doctrine of assimilation). Furthermore, the idea of being “accepted” is another invented need. Why the hell do I care if others do not accept me as I am? When someone in a supermarket sees red because an “other” speaks to their child or the cashier in Spanish, decreeing their own laws about “the language that must be spoken in this country,” this person is breaking the same laws they claim to defend: Everything that is not proscribed by the law is permissible.

As history shows, no progression towards “equal rights” originated from the groups in power; they came from the organized resistance of those below. In this sense, we “Hispanics” in the United States have a historical debt. Yes, we had a César Chávez, but we have been far too accommodating in the face of an obscene list of injustices. We have not had a Malcolm X who dared to speak directly to power radically rather than delicately. Even worse, countless times we have betrayed the heroic struggles of other minorities: Firstly, because privileged immigrants have been unable to resist the temptation to pass off as White. Secondly, because we Latin Americans have also been corrupted by centuries of interventions and dictatorships promoted by Washington and the corporations that installed puppets as presidents or dictators, demanding laws and privileges for their businesses, destroying democracies, and leaving behind millions of exiles and massacred bodies.

Initially, this was justified by the traditional racial excuse that we were corrupt mestizos (because for us “the n*** does not belong socially to a degraded race”) or that we did not know how to govern ourselves because we were indigenous or Black. After WWII, the marvelous excuse of the fight against communism emerged to continue doing the same things that had been done since the beginning of the 19th century. The U.S. pro-slavery contingent expanded slavery across Native American territories and restored it throughout Mexican lands, all justified by the repeated discourse of “promoting freedom and democracy.” This practice never changed, although it did become more sophisticated with the multi-million-dollar secretive interventions of the CIA and the rich creole elites in our continent.

We have also betrayed our brothers and sisters in the South by denying this racist and classist reality behind the new imperial arrogance. As a hegemonic power with the ability to print trillions of the global currency and with hundreds of military bases all around the world, the US can conduct very profitable business by twisting the arm of those “non-compliant” nations. No one calls impoverished countries such as Haiti and Honduras capitalist, even though they are more capitalist than the US. Thus, the greatest expulsion of migrants (usually Black, Brownand poor) comes from these capitalist countries that are not on Washington’s boycott list. On the contrary, they are financed with millions of dollars as well as the classic media narrative.

Now, the immigrants, who depend on their work to survive, must adhere to the law of supply and demand in an even more dramatic fashion than capital. But capital is free; the workers are not. They are not even free to say what they think. The immigration laws (anyone who has been to a U.S. embassy for a visa will be aware of this) hate workers.

So, when a “z-Hispanic” arrives in a country with this hegemonic force, often fleeing from the violence, corruption and chaos organized by that same country, they dress up as an “a-Hispanic.” Many claims to be fleeing from countries where they do not have freedom of expression, but the second they hear a different opinion, they vomit the old myth from the “A” group: “if you do not agree, go to another country.” It is as if the adulation of power and the reification of national myths were a moral and constitutional obligation, as if countries had owners, as if they were cults, armies, football teams, political parties, as if critical thinking and the search for the truth were somehow anti-American…

In 2019, a terrorist killed 23 Hispanic people in a Walmart in Texas, alleging that they were invading his country. This was a mirror of the linguistic inversions of Andrew Jackson, who after pillaging and massacring Native American communities accused them of unprovoked aggression, and James Polk, who made up a Mexican aggression “on American soil” to expropriate half of the neighbor’s territory. The traditional recourse to “we were attacked first, and we had to defend ourselves” (such as with the USS Maine and in countless other false flag operations) is in the DNA of nativist fanatics, some of them “a-Hispanics,” all of them monuments to ignorance.

The profound racism of politicians and KKK-sympathizing ultra-religious zealots, from whom Hitler took inspiration, was reborn as an ideological triumph after the Confederacy was defeated in battle. Not without irony, modern-day Mexico and all Caribbean and Central American countries are not states in the U.S. because the invaders discovered that those countries were full of Black people. When Abraham Lincoln ended the long U.S. dictatorship, former slaveowners brought in the Jim Crow laws. As a result, Cubans in Florida (which in its clubs, industries, and hospitals did not discriminate between Black and White people) were separated by force and obliged to adopt the customs of the successful Anglo-Saxons. New Mexico and Arizona did not become states with the full right to vote until 1912 when Washington was able to verify that the Hispanic majority had receded since 1848 to the point of becoming a minority. From 1836, Hispanics that stayed north of the border became the “invading bandits”. Those that arrived had to fight in the courts until the beginning of the 20th century to prove that they were White. During the Great Depression in the ‘30s, half a million Americans were deported to Mexico because they had Mexican faces and accents, causing many to continue fighting to ‘whiten’ themselves.

This psychology of the colonized, of the individual desperate to be accepted through disguising themselves, continues to this day. Consequently, the greatest service that anyone can do for this country is not to go to the beach with the stars and stripes emblazoned across their bathing suit but rather to tell the truth. Above all, inconvenient truths, those that have been buried by the brute force of barbarism in the name of civilization.

Until then, we will continue to be complicit in imperial myths. Just as we maintain those useless patches of grass at the front of our houses to avoid raising eyebrows (perfectly geometric and with no sign of human life around them, the neurotic expression control), we do the same with national myths. This country will never overcome the trauma of the Civil War, nor will it achieve great social progress, until it stops lying to itself. We Hispanics can contribute to a courageous change, or we can join the ranks of cowardly self-satisfaction and the misty-eyed adulation of power.

Jorge Majfud, 2021

La grande crisi del 21° secolo: democrazie dirottate, propaganda e ribellioni

di JORGE MAJFUD

Il professor Walter Scheidel, nel suo libro The Great Leveler, ha mostrato, in modo più che convincente, che dalla preistoria ai giorni nostri, tutti i sistemi socioeconomici conosciuti dall’umanità tendevano alla disuguaglianza e si sono conclusi in catastrofi globali. Il primo è abbastanza ovvio e lo stiamo vedendo oggi: chi ha potere finanziario ed economico ha infiammato il potere politico, che produce un effetto valanga. I ricchi e le loro corporazioni sono i grandi donatori dei partiti politici e poi scrivono le leggi a loro piacimento. Nel 1971, un classico dei fumetti politici, The Wizard of Id lo riassumeva meglio: “La regola d’oro è che chi ha l’oro fa le regole”.

L’attuale capitalismo corporativo è un’eredità del sistema schiavista: in nome della libertà, dello sfruttamento di coloro che stanno sotto, della concentrazione della ricchezza, della sacralizzazione dei padroni-imprenditori e della demonizzazione dei lavoratori-schiavi.

Nel 2013, il filosofo francese Thomas Piketty ha scritto il suo acclamato libro Il capitale nel ventunesimo secolo in cui sosteneva che, in larga misura, la crescita della disuguaglianza è dovuta al fatto che la ricchezza dei ricchi (basata sullo stock di tutti i beni) è cresciuto più velocemente dell’economia e del reddito degli altri, cioè più velocemente dei salari di coloro che lottano per sopravvivere.

Ma la disuguaglianza non è solo economica; è anche razziale, sessuale, religiosa, ideologica e culturale. Per generazioni, le società hanno dibattuto sul significato della disuguaglianza sociale e se questa sia buona o cattiva. Una delle ipotesi conservatrici (poiché non sono mai arrivate alla categoria delle teorie) si basava sulla giustificazione della disuguaglianza come conseguenza naturale della prosperità. In una tribù o nell’antichità le differenze non erano mai così grandi come nelle nostre (orgogliose) società attuali. Da qui l’idea che (1) la prosperità derivi dalla disuguaglianza o (2) la disuguaglianza sia una conseguenza necessaria e inevitabile della prosperità. “Mai prima d’ora i poveri sono stati meno poveri di oggi”, e per tutto questo dobbiamo ringraziare il capitalismo e i ricchi.

Questa dimostrazione di ignoranza radicale è la bandiera di libertari e neoliberisti, missionari contro l’intervento dei governi (dei loro regolamenti e delle loro tasse) nella vita sociale ed economica dei popoli. Ironia della sorte, hanno come modello ideologico le corporazioni americane, la cui prosperità, come quella europea, è stata costruita sulla schiavitù e sulla forza di brutali interventi imperiali (dei governi e delle loro agenzie segrete) sul resto dell’umanità. Né vedono le corporazioni come dittature come lo erano i feudi nel Medioevo e le repubbliche delle banane più recentemente.

Puri miti. Dove viene mostrato che la prosperità deriva dalla ricchezza accumulata dai ricchi? Perché non vedere che lo sviluppo e la ricchezza sono prodotti dell’umanità, basati sull’esperienza accumulata e sulla conoscenza della storia umana millenaria?

Un altro dogma del mondo di oggi risiede in una lettura errata dello stesso Adam Smith, secondo il quale ogni progresso sociale si basa sull’ambizione e sull’egoismo dell’individuo. Da qui il mito sociale secondo cui progresso e prosperità si basano sull’ambizione degli individui di essere milionari, motivo per cui non c’è bisogno di “punire il successo” con le tasse. Un mito popolare ma a buon mercato, se si considera che tutto il progresso, tutte o quasi tutte le invenzioni tecniche, scientifiche e sociali registrate nella storia (anche nell’era capitalista) sono state fatte da persone che non pensavano a quei dannati soldi.

I miti sociali non vengono dalle persone. Vengono dal potere. Sì, (1) la rivoluzione industriale ha moltiplicato (2) la ricchezza e (3) la disuguaglianza di cento volte, ma non è possibile separare i tre elementi del (4) brutale imperialismo euro-americano. Se il Sudamerica avesse depredato per secoli il resto del mondo, oggi sarebbe un modello di progresso e di sviluppo.

Il fatto che oggi i poveri siano meno poveri di ieri non è una prova dei benefici del capitalismo, poiché l’umanità sta facendo progressi da millenni e tutto a un ritmo accelerato. Nessun progresso tecnico o scientifico non è dovuto al capitalismo o ai capitalisti. I milionari li hanno appena rapiti. L’attuale capitalismo corporativo è un’eredità del sistema schiavista: in nome della libertà, dello sfruttamento di coloro che stanno sotto, della concentrazione della ricchezza, della sacralizzazione dei padroni-imprenditori e della demonizzazione dei lavoratori-schiavi.

In questo momento, il capitalismo non sta portando altro che problemi esistenziali, come (1) la distruzione del pianeta a forza di una crescita basata sul consumo e la distruzione e (2) l’aggravamento delle differenze sociali, che porteranno a maggiori conflitti. Il capitalismo è esausto e la crisi sta nel negare la socializzazione del progresso umano, che sarà inevitabile (dopo il crollo) con la massiccia robotizzazione e lo sviluppo dell’IA.

Suggerire di risolvere il problema della disuguaglianza con le dispense è come combattere un’infezione con l’aspirina. Invece di essere curata, l’infezione aumenta. Il crollo potrebbe essere evitato con un accordo globale, ma se la sanità mentale non fosse una merce rara, non annegheremmo in una crisi ambientale ora. L’alternativa è un collasso globale, una situazione distopica in cui tutte le leggi accettate oggi come dogmi, come il valore del dollaro e della proprietà privata, vengono infrante. Un crollo dove non ci sono vincitori ma una definitiva regressione al medioevo.

Se in una città ci fossero bambini che muoiono di fame e qualcuno si accendesse una sigaretta con una banconota da cento dollari, sarebbe immorale. Bene, questa è la situazione oggi. Vale a dire che siamo nel primo livello di tre:

1) Morale: è immorale che i bambini muoiano di fame in un mondo super ricco e ipertecnologico. I bisogni primari coperti sarebbero il primo passo di una civiltà umanistica.

2) Ingiustizia: Poi, ci sarebbe la discussione dell’ingiustizia di ciò che spetta a ciascuno e in base a quale motivo.

3) Convenienza: una discussione meno rilevante riguarda la necessità o la convenienza dell’iniquità. Per molti di noi, l’equità favorisce lo sviluppo e persino la produzione di ricchezza. La crescita come prerequisito per qualsiasi ridistribuzione è un dogma creato dal potere.

I super ricchi sono i nemici dell’umanità. Non solo rapiscono la ricchezza dal resto dell’umanità, non solo monopolizzano la politica nelle democrazie e nelle dittature, ma le tengono in uno stato di ipnosi attraverso (1) i grandi mezzi di propaganda, (2) i mezzi di distrazione, divertimento tossico e frammentario , e (3) in virtù del fatto di mantenere milioni di altri esseri umani in uno stato di bisogno, come schiavi salariati senza il tempo di pensare che i loro fratelli e vicini non sono i pirati.

Ma gran parte dell’umanità ama, ammira e desidera i super ricchi, come gli schiavi hanno amato i padroni che hanno lanciato loro una pozione alla fine di una giornata estenuante. Il maestro e la pozione furono ricevuti come una benedizione e i ribelli come i demoni che volevano capovolgere il mondo.

Fonte: Common Dreams, 18 Luglio 2022

The Great Crisis of the 21st Century: Hijacked Democracies, Propaganda, and Rebellions

The super-rich are the enemies of humanity.

JORGE MAJFUD July 18, 2022

Professor Walter Scheidel, in his book The Great Leveler, showed, more than convincingly, that from prehistory to the present day, all the socioeconomic systems known to humanity tended towards inequality and ended in global catastrophes. The first is quite obvious and we are seeing it today: those who have financial and economic power have inflamed political power, which produces a snowball effect. The rich and their corporations are the big donors to the political parties and then write the laws at their convenience. In 1971, a classic of political comics, The Wizard of Id summed it up best: “The golden rule is that he who has the gold makes the rules.”

The current corporate capitalism is a legacy of the Slave system: in the name of freedom, the exploitation of those below, the concentration of wealth, the sacralization of the masters-entrepreneurs, and the demonization of the workers-slaves.

In 2013, the French philosopher Thomas Piketty wrote his acclaimed book Capital in the Twenty-First Century in which he argued that, to a large extent, the growth of inequality is due to the fact that the wealth of the rich (based on stock of all assets) grew faster than the economy and the income of the rest, that is, faster than the wages of those who struggle to survive.

But inequality is not only economic; it is also racial, sexual, religious, ideological, and cultural. For generations, societies have debated the meaning of social inequality and whether this is good or bad. One of the conservative hypotheses (since they never reached the category of theories) was based on justifying inequality as a natural consequence of prosperity. In a tribe or in ancient times the differences were never as great as in our (proud) current societies. Hence the idea that (1) prosperity comes from inequality or (2) inequality is a necessary and inevitable consequence of prosperity prevailed. “Never before have the poor been less poor than today”, and we have to thank Capitalism and the rich for all this.

This show of radical ignorance is the banner of libertarians and neoliberals, missionaries against the intervention of governments (of their regulations and their taxes) in the social and economic livesof the peoples. Ironically, they have the US Corporations as their ideological model, whose prosperity, like Europe’s, was built on slavery and by force of brutal imperial interventions (by governments and their secret agencies) on the rest of humanity. Nor do they see corporations as dictatorships in the way fiefdoms were in the Middle Ages and Banana republics more recently.

Mere myths. Where is it shown that prosperity comes from the accumulated wealth of the rich? Why not see that development and wealth are products of humanity, based on the accumulated experience and knowledge of the millenary human history?

Another dogma of today’s world lies in a misreading of Adam Smith himself, according to whom all social progress is based on the ambition and selfishness of the individual. Hence, the social myth according to which progress and prosperity are based on the ambition of individuals to be millionaires, which is why there is no need to “punish success” with taxes. A popular but cheap myth, if we consider that all the progress, all or almost all the technical, scientific, and social inventions recorded in history (even in the Capitalist Age) have been made by people who were not thinking about the damn money.

Social myths do not come from the people. They come from power. Yes, (1) the Industrial Revolution multiplied (2) wealth and (3) inequality a hundredfold, but you can’t separate the three elements of (4) brutal Euro-American imperialism. If South America had plundered the rest of the world for centuries, today it would be a model of progress and development.

The fact that today the poor are less poor than yesterday is not proof of the benefits of Capitalism, since humanity has been making progress for millennia and all at an accelerated rate. No technical or scientific progress is not due to Capitalism or the capitalists. The millionaires just kidnapped them. The current corporate capitalism is a legacy of the Slave system: in the name of freedom, the exploitation of those below, the concentration of wealth, the sacralization of the masters-entrepreneurs, and the demonization of the workers-slaves.

At this moment, Capitalism is bringing nothing but existential problems, such as (1) the destruction of the planet by dint of growth based on consumption and destruction and (2) the aggravation of social differences, which will lead to greater conflicts. Capitalism is exhausted and the crisis lies in denying the socialization of human progress, which will be inevitable (after the breakdown) with massive robotization and the development of AI.

To suggest that the problem of inequality be solved with handouts is like fighting an infection with aspirin. Instead of being cured, the infection increases. The breakdown could be avoided by a global agreement, but if sanity were not a rare commodity, we would not be drowning in an environmental crisis now. The alternative is a global collapse, a dystopian situation where all the laws accepted today as dogmas, such as the value of the dollar and of private property are broken. A collapse where there are no winners but a definitive regression to the Middle Ages.

If in a town there were kids dying of hunger and someone happened to light a cigarette with a hundred-dollar bill, it would be described as immoral. Well, that’s the situation today. That is to say that we are in the first level of three:

1) Moral: It is immoral that children die of hunger in a super-rich and hyper-technological world. Basic needs covered would be the first step of a humanistic civilization.

2) Injustice: Then, there would be the discussion of the injustice of what falls to each one and based on what reason.

3) Convenience: A less relevant discussion is about the necessity or convenience of inequity. For many of us, equity favors development and even the production of wealth. Growth as a precondition for any redistribution is a dogma created by power.

The super-rich are the enemies of humanity. Not only do they kidnap wealth from the rest, they not only monopolize politics in democracies and dictatorships, but they keep them in a state of hypnosis through (1) the great propaganda media, (2) the media of distraction, toxic fun and fragmentary, and (3) by virtue of keeping millions of other humans in a state of need, as wage slaves with no time to think that their brothers and neighbors are not the pirates.

But a large part of humanity loves, admires, and desires the super-rich, as the slaves loved the masters who threw a potion at them at the end of an exhausting day. The master and the potion were received as a blessing and the rebels as the demons who wanted to turn the world upside down.

JM, july 2022

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2022/07/18/great-crisis-21st-century-hijacked-democracies-propaganda-and-rebellions

El gran quiebre del siglo XXI

El profesor Walter Scheidel, en su libro The Great Leveler mostró, de forma más que convincente, que desde la prehistoria hasta nuestros días todos los sistemas socioeconómicos que conoció la humanidad tendieron a la desigualdad y terminaron en catástrofes globales. Lo primero es bastante obvio y lo estamos viendo hoy en día: aquellos que tienen poder financiero y económico tienen poder político inflamado, lo que lleva a un efecto bola de nieve. Los ricos y sus corporaciones son los grandes donantes de los partidos políticos y luego escriben las leyes a su conveniencia. En 1971, un clásico de los comics políticos, The Wizard of Id  lo resumió de forma insuperable: “La regla de oro consiste en que quien tiene el oro hace las reglas”. 

En 2013, el filósofo francés Thomas Piketty escribió su aclamado libro El Capital en el siglo XXI donde expresó que, en gran medida, el crecimiento de la desigualdad se debe a que la riqueza de los ricos (basado en acciones y propiedades) creció más rápido que la economía y los ingresos del resto, es decir, más rápido que los salarios de quienes luchan por sobrevivir. 

Pero la desigualdad no es solo económica; también es racial, sexual, religiosa, ideológica y cultural. Desde generaciones, las sociedades han debatido sobre el significado de desigualdad social y si esto es bueno o malo. Una de las hipótesis conservadoras (ya que nunca alcanzaron categoría de teorías) radicó en justificar la desigualdad como una consecuencia natural de la prosperidad.  En una tribu o en la Antigüedad las diferencias nunca fueron tan grandes como en nuestras (orgullosas) sociedades actuales. De ahí se impuso la idea de que (1) la prosperidad procede de la inequidad o (2) la inequidad es una consecuencia necesaria e inevitable de la prosperidad. “Nunca antes los pobres fueron menos pobres que hoy”, y todo eso hay que agradecérselo al capitalismo y a los ricos. 

Esta demostración de ignorancia radical es la bandera de libertarios y neoliberales, misioneros contra la intervención de los gobiernos (de sus regulaciones y sus impuestos) en la vida social y económica de los pueblos. Irónicamente, tienen a EEUU como modelo ideológico, cuya prosperidad, como la europea, fue construida en base a la esclavitud y a fuerza de brutales intervenciones imperiales (de los gobiernos y sus agencias secretas) sobre el resto de la humanidad. Tampoco consideran que las corporaciones son dictaduras como lo eran los feudos en la Edad Media y las repúblicas bananeras más recientemente. 

Meros mitos. ¿Dónde se demuestra que la prosperidad procede de la riqueza acumulada de los ricos? ¿Por qué no ver que el desarrollo y la riqueza son productos de la humanidad, sobre la experiencia y el conocimiento acumulado de la milenaria historia humana?

Otro de los dogmas del mundo actual radica en una mala lectura del mismo Adam Smith, según el cual todo progreso social se basa en la ambición y el egoísmo del individuo. De ahí, el mito social según el cual el progreso y la prosperidad se basan en la ambición de los individuos por ser millonarios, razón por la cual no hay que “castigar el éxito” con impuestos. Un mito popular pero barato, si consideramos que todos los progresos, todos o casi todos los inventos técnicos, científicos y sociales que registra la historia (incluso en la Era capitalista) han sido hechos por gente que no estaba pensando en el maldito dinero. 

Los mitos sociales no proceden del pueblo. Proceden del poder. Sí, (1) la Revolución Industrial multiplicó (2) la riqueza y (3) la desigualdad por cien, pero no se puede separar los tres elementos del (4) brutal imperialismo euro-estadounidense. Si América del Sur hubiese saqueado al resto del mundo por siglos, hoy sería modelo de progreso y desarrollo. 

El hecho de que hoy los pobres sean menos pobres que ayer no es una prueba de las bondades del capitalismo, ya que la Humanidad ha venido haciendo progresos por milenios y todos de forma acelerada. Ningún progreso técnico o científico se debe al capitalismo ni a los capitalistas. Los millonarios solo lo secuestraron. El capitalismo corporativo actual es una herencia del sistema esclavista: en nombre de la libertad, la explotación de los de abajo, la concentración de la riqueza, la sacralización de los amos-empresarios y la demonización de los trabajadores-esclavos.

En este momento, el capitalismo no está aportando nada más que problemas existenciales, como (1) la destrucción del planeta a fuerza de crecimiento basado en el consumo y la destrucción y (2) el agravamiento de las diferencias sociales, las que conducirán a mayores conflictos. El capitalismo está agotado y la crisis radica en negar la socialización del progreso humano, el cual será inevitable (luego del quiebre) con la robotización masiva y el desarrollo de las IA. 

Sugerir que el problema de la desigualdad sea solucionado con limosnas es como combatir una infección con una aspirina. En lugar de curarse, la infección aumenta. El quiebre podría evitarse por un acuerdo global, pero si la sensatez no fuese un bien escaso, no estaríamos ahogándonos en una crisis ambiental. La alternativa es un colapso global, una situación distópica dende se rompan todas las leyes aceptadas hoy como dogmas, como el valor del dólar, de la propiedad privada. Un colapso donde no haya ganadores sino una regresión definitiva a la Edad Media. 

Si en un pueblo hubiese gente muriéndose de hambre y alguien se le ocurriese encender un cigarro con un billete de cien dólares, sería calificado de inmoral. Bueno, esa es la situación hoy en día. Es decir que estamos en el primer nivel de tres:

1) Moral: Es inmoral que mueran niños de hambre en un mundo superrico e hiper tecnológico. Necesidades básicas cubiertas sería el primer escalón de una civilización humanista.

2) Injusticia: Luego, quedaría la discusión de la injusticia de lo que le toca a cada uno y en base a qué razón. 

3) Conveniencia: una discusión menos relevante es sobre la necesidad o la conveniencia de la inequidad. Para muchos de nosotros, la equidad favorece el desarrollo y hasta la producción de riqueza. El crecimiento como condición previa a cualquier redistribución es un dogma creado por el poder.

Los superricos son los enemigos de la Humanidad. No sólo le secuestran riqueza al resto, no sólo monopolizan la política en democracias y dictaduras, sino que lo mantiene en estado de hipnosis a través de (1) los grandes medios de propaganda, (2) los medios de distracción, de diversión tóxica y fragmentaria, y (3) por la virtud de mantener a otros millones de humanos en estado de necesidad, como esclavos asalariados sin tiempo para pensar que los piratas no son sus hermanos ni sus vecinos. 

Pero gran parte de la humanidad ama, admira y desea a los superricos, como los esclavos amaban a los amos que les arrojaban una pócima al final de una jornada agotadora. El amo y la pócima eran recibidos como una bendición y los rebeldes como los demonios que querían poner el mundo patas arriba. 

JM, julio 2022

https://www.pagina12.com.ar/447598-el-gran-quiebre-del-siglo-xxi

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2022/07/18/great-crisis-21st-century-hijacked-democracies-propaganda-and-rebellions

https://parstoday.com/en/radio/programs-i179800-the_great_crisis_of_the_21st_century_hijacked_democracies_propaganda_and_rebellions

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2022/07/18/great-crisis-21st-century-hijacked-democracies-propaganda-and-rebellions

The Great Crisis of the 21st Century: Hijacked Democracies, Propaganda, and Rebellions

The super-rich are the enemies of humanity.

JORGE MAJFUD July 18, 2022

Professor Walter Scheidel, in his book The Great Leveler, showed, more than convincingly, that from prehistory to the present day, all the socioeconomic systems known to humanity tended towards inequality and ended in global catastrophes. The first is quite obvious and we are seeing it today: those who have financial and economic power have inflamed political power, which produces a snowball effect. The rich and their corporations are the big donors to the political parties and then write the laws at their convenience. In 1971, a classic of political comics, The Wizard of Id summed it up best: “The golden rule is that he who has the gold makes the rules.”

In 2013, the French philosopher Thomas Piketty wrote his acclaimed book Capital in the Twenty-First Century in which he argued that, to a large extent, the growth of inequality is due to the fact that the wealth of the rich (based on stock of all assets) grew faster than the economy and the income of the rest, that is, faster than the wages of those who struggle to survive.

But inequality is not only economic; it is also racial, sexual, religious, ideological, and cultural. For generations, societies have debated the meaning of social inequality and whether this is good or bad. One of the conservative hypotheses (since they never reached the category of theories) was based on justifying inequality as a natural consequence of prosperity. In a tribe or in ancient times the differences were never as great as in our (proud) current societies. Hence the idea that (1) prosperity comes from inequality or (2) inequality is a necessary and inevitable consequence of prosperity prevailed. “Never before have the poor been less poor than today”, and we have to thank Capitalism and the rich for all this.

This show of radical ignorance is the banner of libertarians and neoliberals, missionaries against the intervention of governments (of their regulations and their taxes) in the social and economic livesof the peoples. Ironically, they have the US Corporations as their ideological model, whose prosperity, like Europe’s, was built on slavery and by force of brutal imperial interventions (by governments and their secret agencies) on the rest of humanity. Nor do they see corporations as dictatorships in the way fiefdoms were in the Middle Ages and Banana republics more recently.

Mere myths. Where is it shown that prosperity comes from the accumulated wealth of the rich? Why not see that development and wealth are products of humanity, based on the accumulated experience and knowledge of the millenary human history?

Another dogma of today’s world lies in a misreading of Adam Smith himself, according to whom all social progress is based on the ambition and selfishness of the individual. Hence, the social myth according to which progress and prosperity are based on the ambition of individuals to be millionaires, which is why there is no need to “punish success” with taxes. A popular but cheap myth, if we consider that all the progress, all or almost all the technical, scientific, and social inventions recorded in history (even in the Capitalist Age) have been made by people who were not thinking about the damn money.

Social myths do not come from the people. They come from power. Yes, (1) the Industrial Revolution multiplied (2) wealth and (3) inequality a hundredfold, but you can’t separate the three elements of (4) brutal Euro-American imperialism. If South America had plundered the rest of the world for centuries, today it would be a model of progress and development.

The fact that today the poor are less poor than yesterday is not proof of the benefits of Capitalism, since humanity has been making progress for millennia and all at an accelerated rate. No technical or scientific progress is not due to Capitalism or the capitalists. The millionaires just kidnapped them. The current corporate capitalism is a legacy of the Slave system: in the name of freedom, the exploitation of those below, the concentration of wealth, the sacralization of the masters-entrepreneurs, and the demonization of the workers-slaves.

At this moment, Capitalism is bringing nothing but existential problems, such as (1) the destruction of the planet by dint of growth based on consumption and destruction and (2) the aggravation of social differences, which will lead to greater conflicts. Capitalism is exhausted and the crisis lies in denying the socialization of human progress, which will be inevitable (after the breakdown) with massive robotization and the development of AI.

To suggest that the problem of inequality be solved with handouts is like fighting an infection with aspirin. Instead of being cured, the infection increases. The breakdown could be avoided by a global agreement, but if sanity were not a rare commodity, we would not be drowning in an environmental crisis now. The alternative is a global collapse, a dystopian situation where all the laws accepted today as dogmas, such as the value of the dollar and of private property are broken. A collapse where there are no winners but a definitive regression to the Middle Ages.

If in a town there were kids dying of hunger and someone happened to light a cigarette with a hundred-dollar bill, it would be described as immoral. Well, that’s the situation today. That is to say that we are in the first level of three:

1) Moral: It is immoral that children die of hunger in a super-rich and hyper-technological world. Basic needs covered would be the first step of a humanistic civilization.

2) Injustice: Then, there would be the discussion of the injustice of what falls to each one and based on what reason.

3) Convenience: A less relevant discussion is about the necessity or convenience of inequity. For many of us, equity favors development and even the production of wealth. Growth as a precondition for any redistribution is a dogma created by power.

The super-rich are the enemies of humanity. Not only do they kidnap wealth from the rest, they not only monopolize politics in democracies and dictatorships, but they keep them in a state of hypnosis through (1) the great propaganda media, (2) the media of distraction, toxic fun and fragmentary, and (3) by virtue of keeping millions of other humans in a state of need, as wage slaves with no time to think that their brothers and neighbors are not the pirates.

But a large part of humanity loves, admires, and desires the super-rich, as the slaves loved the masters who threw a potion at them at the end of an exhausting day. The master and the potion were received as a blessing and the rebels as the demons who wanted to turn the world upside down.

Los esclavos de la casa

Qué triste los disfrazados

del pobre Sur en el grandioso Norte

pies secos de países masacrados

como Vietnam, empobrecidos y fumigados

como las repúblicas bananeras o bloqueados

como los negros desobedientes.

*

Oye, qué triste esos esclavos que gritan

¡libertad! ¡libertad! ¡libertad!

¡Bienvenidos a la bendita casa de la libertad!

*

Qué triste tantos mercenarios

sin sueldo, burlándose sin descanso

del hambre de sus hermanos

en los países que dejaron, mientras posan

delante de vidas que pagan en cuotas, delante de altos

edificios de cristal a los que nunca entrarán sino como

aspirantes a esclavos exitosos que comienzan

desde abajo en el sótano y terminan arriba

en la planta baja, o como

turistas en sus propias ciudades.

*

Qué triste tantos disfrazados

pobres de buen estatus, con sudor acumulado

en sus deudas, llenos de sueños de grandeza

a la sombra de un león, para lamerle

las garras, para sentirse importantes, para creerse

felinos, aunque solo sean pequeños

roedores presumiendo del éxito ajeno según

la definición ajena del éxito.

*

Qué triste tantos héroes

como rémoras que se pegan

a los tiburones en busca de protección, para comer

los parásitos del gran depredador. 

*

Qué triste cuando los esclavos gritan

¡libertad! ¡libertad! ¡libertad!

¡Bienvenidos a la tierra de la libertad!

*

Qué triste tantos amantes

como los buenos esclavos que defendían

a los amos blancos cuando azotaban

a los malos esclavos negros.

*

Qué triste tantos creyentes

como el Judas que le vendió

al imperio un rebelde de los de abajo

por treinta monedas de plata y luego se compró

una iglesia y un Lamborghini.

*

Qué triste tanto sudor lleno de pastores

del Evangelio según el Éxito

de la vida según la muerte

de la libertad según las bombas

del coraje de one dollar según la risa

y la furia cobarde de Ronald McDonald.

*

Qué triste tantos arrimados

gritando por más muros por más

látigos del hacendado que los proteja

contra sus hermanos perdedores

los perdedores que necesitan

los ganadores de la muerte dorada.

*

Qué triste ese esclavo que grita

¡libertad! ¡libertad! ¡libertad!

¡Bienvenidos a la gran tierra de la libertad!

*

Los negros de la casa

(los llamaba el gran negro del campo, Malcom X)

los esclavos bien vestidos

los esclavos arrimados al brillo del cristal

los esclavos convencidos, orgullosos

los esclavos con derechos especiales

los esclavos que odian a sus hermanos pobres

aquellos que quedaron trabajando

bajo el sol de un dios indiferente.

*

Pobres los esclavos que gritan

¡libertad! ¡libertad! ¡libertad!

¡Bienvenidos a la tierra de la libertad!

A la libertad del amo blanco

a la libertad rica del amo rico.

***

JM, julio 2022