Chris Hedges Print this item Our Mania for Hope Is a Curse

Our Mania for Hope Is a Curse

  Demonstrators protesting the influence of big corporations march on Wall Street amid heavy police presence in 2011. (AP / John Minchillo)

The naive belief that history is linear, that moral progress accompanies technical progress, is a form of collective self-delusion. It cripples our capacity for radical action and lulls us into a false sense of security. Those who cling to the myth of human progress, who believe that the world inevitably moves toward a higher material and moral state, are held captive by power. Only those who accept the very real possibility of dystopia, of the rise of a ruthless corporate totalitarianism, buttressed by the most terrifying security and surveillance apparatus in human history, are likely to carry out the self-sacrifice necessary for revolt.

The yearning for positivism that pervades our corporate culture ignores human nature and human history. But to challenge it, to state the obvious fact that things are getting worse, and may soon get much worse, is to be tossed out of the circle of magical thinking that defines American and much of Western culture. The left is as infected with this mania for hope as the right. It is a mania that obscures reality even as global capitalism disintegrates and the ecosystem unravels, potentially dooming us all.

The 19th century theorist Louis-Auguste Blanqui, unlike nearly all of his contemporaries, dismissed the belief, central to Karl Marx, that human history is a linear progression toward equality and greater morality. He warned that this absurd positivism is the lie perpetrated by oppressors: “All atrocities of the victor, the long series of his attacks are coldly transformed into constant, inevitable evolution, like that of nature. … But the sequence of human things is not inevitable like that of the universe. It can be changed at any moment.” He foresaw that scientific and technological advancement, rather than being a harbinger of progress, could be “a terrible weapon in the hands of Capital against Work and Thought.” And in a day when few others did so, he decried the despoiling of the natural world. “The axe fells, nobody replants. There is no concern for the future’s ill health.”

SIGN PETITION TO STOP TORIES SCRAPPING OUR HUMAN RIGHTS!

 https://www.change.org/p/david-cameron-mp-we-call-on-the-government-and-the-prime-minister-to-provide-a-national-referendum-on-the-planned-abolition-of-the-human-rights-act

We call on the Government and the Prime Minister to provide a national referendum on the planned abolition of the Human Rights Act.

May 27 will be the first National Switch Off Day

Take action against Tories’ harmful policies by hitting them in the wallet

Sunday 24th May 2015 at 10:06 By David Icke

‘People across the country will be taking part in a different kind of protest – on the day of the state opening of Parliament.

May 27 will be the first National Switch Off Day, when thousands of people have already pledged to stop using gas and electricity, and stop shopping in non-local shops for 24 hours.

Organised by a varied group of campaigners, this will be the first in a series of multi-issue actions that will take place once a month. Reasons for taking part range from keeping the NHS public and tackling issues like overpriced parking in hospitals, to stopping benefit cuts, to issues affecting vulnerable people and their carers such as the cold weather benefits to the elderly, to keeping the Human Rights Act, to stopping fracking – and mostly that all members of the general public get a voice in matters that concern them.’

Read more: Take action against Tories’ harmful policies by hitting them in the wallet

Tina Rothery – ‘Evidence Of Electoral Fraud Is Being Ignored By The Corporate media’

Tina Rothery – ‘Evidence Of Electoral Fraud Is Being Ignored By The Corporate media’

Lab tests: McDonald’s ‘Devastates’ Gut Health in 10 Days

Lab tests: McDonald’s ‘Devastates’ Gut Health in 10 Days

new Friday 15th May 2015 at 09:30 By David Icke

‘We all know food at McDonald’s is virtually unfit for human consumption, but disturbing new lab results have reportedly demonstrated the true extent of the damage you are doing to your body when you eat fast food. Specifically, we’re talking about the ‘devastation’ of your gut health — the attack on the most important part of your biological immune response.

In a report that really brings into focus just what’s going on when we throw a bunch of chemical additives together with some ‘meat-like substances,’ a professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London used one unlucky college student (who also happened to be his son) to see what truly goes on in our stomachs when we chow down on some quarter pounders.

It goes way beyond just super sizing your pant size and clogging up your arteries.’

Read more: Lab tests: McDonald’s ‘Devastates’ Gut Health in 10 Days

McDonald’s apologises after customer told he wouldn’t be served because he looked ‘homeless’

new Friday 15th May 2015 at 09:31 By David Icke

‘McDonald’s bosses have apologised after staff told a customer he wouldn’t be served because he ‘looked homeless’.

Landscape gardener Daniel Jackson, 27, was wearing his outdoor work gear when he was told he initially denied service.

He claims the manager of the fast food outlet on Oxford Road in Manchester city centre told him the company had a ‘zero tolerance policy’ to serving homeless people – McDonald’s has denied such a policy exists.’

Read more: McDonald’s apologises after customer told he wouldn’t be served because he looked ‘homeless’

Our Human Rights Scrapped! The right to life! The right not to be tortured! The right not to be a slave!

Street Democracy writes:

The soulless suits of blue, ‘these Tory trespassing authors’, show a wilful arrogance and fierce demeanour when it comes to stripping us of our basic human rights.

Their sinister ‘sour principles’ prove they fear us and will disempower us under the guise of ‘terrorism’.

Their ‘hate speared policies’ are a crude penetration to pierce the heart of family life and rip people’s only power apart.CEtu_pMW0AA0qqU

The Tories are unshackled filled with malicious murmurs of a cursed Tory ambition and to denounce the public’s power further by police state society.

They fraudulently pose as innately decent gentlemen and women but seething under their skin’s of blue they wish to devour our intimate privacy, dignity and self honour.

They don’t just have a bitter malice towards the poor but the whole of British society that isn’t in their pockets or is one of the concentrated wealthy few who sits above them.

They wish to strip us of our human rights to honour our protection in the name of ‘terrorism’ a war never intended to end and anyone can be one, so that makes us all suspects, or domestic terrorist’s.

This shows nothing more than the Tories paranoia, a hidden foul of exorbitant desires disguised as saintly, but is a hideous horror of ‘mass murder of our freedoms’.

By Debbie Simmons-Street Democracy

Please read Mirror online or continue reading further.

13 basic rights you’re going to lose under the new Conservative governmentMichael Gove and David CameronPick up the phone and dial the number of any teacher you know, or at least one who has taught in English schools over the past five years.

Ask them what they think about Michael Gove, and remember every single word they tell you – because the former Education Secretary is now in charge of our human rights.

It’s no great secret that the Tories want to scrap our current Human Rights Act. What’s more, in making Michael Gove Justice Secretary, Cameron has appointed a man who has absolutely no qualms with upsetting millions of people.

The Conservatives released an eight page document last year which detailed their hopes for changing our human rights in the UK.

It seems innocent enough, at least for the first couple of pages – our human rights are controlled by Europe, are open to interpretation by the Strasbourg Court, and the Tories want the UK to be in charge of its own human rights.

That may seem reasonable… but here’s what will effectively be scrapped by the Tories:

  • The right to life
  • The right not to be tortured
  • The right not to be a slave
  • The right to a fair trial
  • The right NOT to be punished if you haven’t broken the law
  • The right to private family life
  • The right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion
  • The right to freedom of expression
  • The right to marry and start a family
  • The right to peaceful enjoyment of possessions
  • The right to education
  • The right to free elections
  • The right NOT to be given to death penalty

Tories’ repeal of Human Rights Act will spark constitutional crisis, erode civil liberties – experts

Tuesday 12th May 2015 at 10:49 By David Icke

‘Newly appointed Justice Secretary Michael Gove will push ahead with Conservative plans to repeal the Human Rights Act – a move experts warn could spark a constitutional crisis and blight Britain’s reputation on human rights worldwide.

Conservative Party sources, fresh from last week’s general election victory, told the Guardian the human rights reforms are imminent.

Civil liberty advocates warn the soon-to-be implemented measures would erode the right to life, the right to privacy, the right to a fair trial, the right to protest and the right to freedom from torture and discrimination.’

Read more: Tories’ repeal of Human Rights Act will spark constitutional crisis, erode civil liberties – experts

Benefit Reform “Shambles” Pushing Disabled People To Suicide, Says Whistleblower

Benefit Reform “Shambles” Pushing Disabled People To Suicide, Says Whistleblower

Sick and disabled claimants are experiencing severe distress and some are even close to suicide due to botched disability benefit reform, an insider has revealed.

Personal Independence Payments (PIP) are replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for Britain’s sick and disabled, but the assessment process which should take no longer than 26 weeks is sometimes taking twice as long.

For more click here for Welfare News Service:

Benefit Reform “Shambles” Pushing Disabled People To Suicide, Says Whistleblower

RIP David Clapson, Another Man ‘Helped’ To Death By Iain Duncan Smith

RIP David Clapson, Another Man ‘Helped’ To Death By Iain Duncan Smith by johnny void

RIP David Clapson, the latest tragic victim of callous welfare reforms.RIP David Clapson, the latest tragic victim of callous welfare reforms.

When Funghi, the unemployed alcoholic  featured in the recent Benefits Street television series, disclosed that he had been abused as a child, most of those condemning him on twitter did not even blink.  Such is the state-whipped up contempt amongst some towards people on benefits, that not even the revelation of a tragic childhood was enough to stop the bullying mob.

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Yet one of the reasons child abuse is such an abhorrent crime is that the scars often last a lifetime.  Everybody knows this.  Addiction, depression, low self-esteem, isolation, these are just some of the ways that a life can be blighted by mistreatment as a child.  Often people like this find it hard to just get a job, and often not through want of trying.  The sad truth is that employers are not rushing out to hire people addicted to drink or drugs, or those with a serious mental condition, or even people who might simply be judged to have a mild personality disorder.  In an economy based on high unemployment, and no real political will to change that, some people will be left behind.  There are over two million people currently looking for a job.

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Captitalism chews people up and spits them out.  Everybody knows this as well.  Whether the stress of a shit job or no job, poverty, lack of adequate housing and fractured communities, the pressures faced by those at the bottom are immense.  Yet the poor are now expected to be super-heroes.  Lone parents are not only expected to juggle looking after young children with endless work-related activity imposed by Jobcentres, but also to feed them healthy food, home-cooked on the fucking Aga using only natural ingredients.  It doesn’t matter that the pittance those parents have to survive on barely pays for value chicken nuggets and oven chips.  They should make do and mend, live on ten pounds a week, darn socks by the fire and be grateful that their children are just malnourished, not starving.

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Disabled people and those with health conditions are now having those conditions and disabilities magically disappeared by endless health assessments which are designed to stop their benefits.  Such is the triumph of neo-liberalism, the rhetoric goes, that there is a job for anyone now if they just try hard enough.  If you can tweet you can work as one Tory MP claimed.  The stark fact that employers are guilty of grotesque discrimination towards disabled workers is swept under the carpet at best, or at worst disabled people themselves are blamed for this prejudice.

Many tyrants claim to be helping the people whose live are demolished by their acts of barbarism.  Whether European invaders ‘civilising’ Africa by forcing the people into chains, or Tony Blair carpet-bombing Baghdad to save it, death and destruction have often been inflicted by messianic monsters who believe they are killing people for their own good.

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The latest government workfare scheme is called Help To Work.  It is nothing of the sort of course, when this type of workfare was tried in a pilot scheme it had no impact on whether people found a job.  But that hasn’t stopped gushing press releases from the DWP lying about all the wonderful new support the scheme offers.  In truth this so-called support is either forced labour or starvation and this Government couldn’t particularly give a fuck which.

Under the guise of this ‘help’, Iain Duncan Smith has re-designed the already scant support of the social security system to be a torture machine.  Slip up, just for a second, and you will be dragged down, to poverty, homelessness and destitution.  It doesn’t even matter if it’s not your fault.  People newly diagnosed with cancer now spend as much time fighting the DWP so they can have enough money to eat, as they do fighting their illness.  Victims of domestic abuse face being socially cleansed from the area they may have grown up in, instead of being provided safe, and secure housing.  Kids who’ve been in care are sanctioned, cut off benefits completely, and left beg, rob, or sell their bodies to survive.

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Today the Daily Mirror features that harrowing case of former soldier David Clapson on their front page.  This man, a 59 year old diabetic, was left penniless and without even electricity to keep his insulin chilled in the fridge.  A coroner found he had no food in his stomach.  His crime was to miss a meeting at the Jobcentre.  His punishment was death by benefit sanction.  Sanctions which ‘help’ people and according to one senior DWP official are even welcomed by those they are inflicted on.

For more click here:

RIP David Clapson, Another Man ‘Helped’ To Death By Iain Duncan Smith by johnny void

Home Town Crawley: Fight which started night of violence in Bewbush involved 50 youths

Fight which started night of violence in Bewbush involved 50 youths

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Sussex Police – Crawley Police Station, Northgate Avenue, Crawley, RH10 8BF

Comments (0)THE huge fight which sparked a night of violence on the streets of Bewbush involved up to 50 youths, police have confirmed this morning.

At 7.42pm last night (Sunday) police were called to Dorsten Square, where there were reports that some of those fighting were armed with weapons.

More than 20 separate calls were received from concerned members of the public about the brawl.

Police units from Crawley and neighbouring areas were assigned to the incident.

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Six people were arrested on suspicion of affray and at least one on suspicion of assault on a police officer.

A number of people required hospital treatment, but there are not thought to be any serious injuries at this time.

Reports from witnesses claimed that a 15-year-old boy was badly injured by a gang who attacked him with weapons.

It was also claimed that a woman was then hit by a car amid the chaos.

Police have not confirmed at this stage whether these reports are correct, but have also not said they are incorrect.

The mass brawl led to a number of other incidents around Bewbush, with the public being advised to avoid hot-spots of trouble last night while police gained control of the situation.

Police will be providing further updates later in the day on the injuries and other incidents.

Read more: http://www.crawleynews.co.uk/Fight-started-night-violence-Bewbush-involved-50/story-21947635-detail/story.html#ixzz38kwC1owk
Read more at http://www.crawleynews.co.uk/Fight-started-night-violence-Bewbush-involved-50/story-21947635-detail/story.html#RR6w09gRXcCIvpl3.99

Read more: http://www.crawleynews.co.uk/Fight-started-night-violence-Bewbush-involved-50/story-21947635-detail/story.html?ito=email_newsletter_crawleynews#ixzz38kvfPhUO

The secret handbook that helps Israel twist the BBC round its little finger

The secret handbook that helps Israel twist the BBC round its little finger

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Before interviewing an Israeli spokesman, says Patrick Cockburn, all journalists should read Israel’s secret instruction booklet on how to handle the media.

BBC protest

Protests have been held at BBC offices all over the UK, this one in London, 14/07/14

ISRAELI spokesmen have their work cut out explaining how they have killed more than 1,000 Palestinians in Gaza, most of them civilians, compared with just three civilians killed in Israel by Hamas rocket and mortar fire.

But on television and radio and in newspapers, Israeli government spokesmen such as Mark Regev appear slicker and less aggressive than their predecessors, who were often visibly indifferent to how many Palestinians were killed.

There is a reason for this enhancement of the PR skills of Israeli spokesmen. Going by what they say, the playbook they are using is a professional, well-researched and confidential study on how to influence the media and public opinion in America and Europe. Written by the expert Republican pollster and political strategist Dr Frank Luntz, the study was commissioned five years ago by a group called The Israel Project, with offices in the US and Israel, for use by those “who are on the front lines of fighting the media war for Israel”.

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Every one of the 112 pages in the booklet is marked “not for distribution or publication” and it is easy to see why. The Luntz report, officially entitled “The Israel project’s 2009 Global Language Dictionary, was leaked almost immediately to Newsweek Online, but its true importance has seldom been appreciated. It should be required reading for everybody, especially journalists, interested in any aspect of Israeli policy because of its “dos and don’ts” for Israeli spokesmen.

These are highly illuminating about the gap between what Israeli officials and politicians really believe, and what they say, the latter shaped in minute detail by polling to determine what Americans want to hear. Certainly, no journalist interviewing an Israeli spokesman should do so without reading this preview of many of the themes and phrases employed by Mr Regev and his colleagues.

The booklet is full of meaty advice about how they should shape their answers for different audiences. For example, the study says that “Americans agree that Israel ‘has a right to defensible borders’. But it does you no good to define exactly what those borders should be. Avoid talking about borders in terms of pre- or post-1967, because it only serves to remind Americans of Israel’s military history. Particularly on the left this does you harm. For instance, support for Israel’s right to defensible borders drops from a heady 89 per cent to under 60 per cent when you talk about it in terms of 1967.”

How about the right of return for Palestinian refugees who were expelled or fled in 1948 and in the following years, and who are not allowed to go back to their homes? Here Dr Luntz has subtle advice for spokesmen, saying that “the right of return is a tough issue for Israelis to communicate effectively because much of Israeli language sounds like the ‘separate but equal’ words of the 1950s segregationists and the 1980s advocates of Apartheid. The fact is, Americans don’t like, don’t believe and don’t accept the concept of ‘separate but equal’.”

So how should spokesmen deal with what the booklet admits is a tough question? They should call it a “demand”, on the grounds that Americans don’t like people who make demands. “Then say ‘Palestinians aren’t content with their own state. Now they’re demanding territory inside Israel’.” Other suggestions for an effective Israeli response include saying that the right of return might become part of a final settlement “at some point in the future”.

Dr Luntz notes that Americans as a whole are fearful of mass immigration into the US, so mention of “mass Palestinian immigration” into Israel will not go down well with them. If nothing else works, say that the return of Palestinians would “derail the effort to achieve peace”.

The Luntz report was written in the aftermath of Operation Cast Lead in December 2008 and January 2009, when 1,387 Palestinians and nine Israelis were killed.

There is a whole chapter on “isolating Iran-backed Hamas as an obstacle to peace”. Unfortunately, come the current Operation Protective Edge, which began on 6 July, there was a problem for Israeli propagandists because Hamas had quarrelled with Iran over the war in Syria and had no contact with Tehran. Friendly relations have been resumed only in the past few days – thanks to the Israeli invasion.

Much of Dr Luntz’s advice is about the tone and presentation of the Israeli case. He says it is absolutely crucial to exude empathy for Palestinians: “Persuadables [sic] won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Show Empathy for BOTH sides!” This may explain why a number of Israeli spokesman are almost lachrymose about the plight of Palestinians being pounded by Israeli bombs and shells.

In a sentence in bold type, underlined and with capitalisation, Dr Luntz says that Israeli spokesmen or political leaders must never, ever justify “the deliberate slaughter of innocent women and children” and they must aggressively challenge those who accuse Israel of such a crime. Israeli spokesmen struggled to be true to this prescription when 16 Palestinians were killed in a UN shelter in Gaza last Thursday.

For more click here: The Israel Project or 

The secret handbook that helps Israel twist the BBC round its little finger