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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.
By Noam Chomsky, Peter Hutchison, Kelly Nyks, Jared P. Scott / Seven Stories Press

The following is an excerpt from the new book Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power by Noam Chomsky and edited by Peter Hutchison, Kelly Nyks, and Jared P. Scott (Seven Stories Press, 2017): 

One of the leading political scientists, Martin Gilens, has done important studies of the relationship between public attitudes and public policy, based on polling data. It’s a pretty straightforward thing to study—policy you can see, and public opinion you know from extensive polling. In one study, together with another fine political scientist, Benjamin Page, Gilens took about 1,700 policy decisions, and compared them with public attitudes and business interests. What they show, I think convincingly, is that policy is uncorrelated with public attitudes, and closely correlated with corporate interests. Elsewhere he showed that about 70 percent of the population has no influence on policy—they might as well be in some other country. And as you go up the income and wealth level, the impact on public policy is greater—the rich essentially get what they want.

Polling data is not refined enough for him to look beyond the top 10 percent, which is kind of misleading because the real concentration of power is in a fraction of 1 percent. But if the study was carried up to there, it’s pretty clear what you’d find: they get exactly what they want, because they’re basically running the place.

The fact that policy doesn’t correspond to public interest shouldn’t come as a big surprise. This has been going on for a long time. Government policy is designed to implement state power and the power of dominant elements within the society. Here, it means mainly the corporate sector. The welfare of the population is secondary, and often not cared for at all. And the population knows it. That’s why you have this tremendous antagonism toward institutions—all institutions. So, support of Congress is often in the single digits; the presidency is disliked; corporations are disliked; banks are hated—it extends all over. Even science is disliked—“why should we believe them?”

Unfocused Anger

There’s popular mobilization and activism, but in very self-destructive directions. It’s taking the form of unfocused anger—hatred, attacks on one another and on vulnerable targets. Really irrational attitudes—people mobilizing against their own interests, literally against their own interests. Supporting political figures whose goal is to harm them as much as possible. We’re seeing this right in front of us—you look at the television and the Internet, you see it every day. That’s what happens in cases like this. It is corrosive of social relations, but that’s the point. The point is to make people hate and fear each other, look out only for themselves, and not do anything for anyone else.

So take Donald Trump. For many years, I have been writing and speaking about the danger of the rise of an honest and charismatic ideologue in the United States, someone who could exploit the fear and anger that has long been boiling in much of the society, and who could direct it away from the actual agents of malaise to vulnerable targets. The dangers, however, have been real for many years, perhaps even more so in the light of the forces that Trump has unleashed, even though Trump himself does not fit the image of honest ideologue. He seems to have very little of a considered ideology apart from me and my friends.

He got huge support from people who are angry at everything. Every time Trump makes a nasty comment about whoever, his popularity goes up. Because it is based on hate and fear. The phenomenon that we are seeing here is “generalized rage.” Mostly white, working-class, lower-middle-class people, who have been cast by the wayside during the neoliberalism period. They’ve lived through a generation of stagnation and decline. And a decline in the functioning of democracy. Even their own elected representatives barely reflect their interests and concerns. Everything has been taken away from them. There is no economic growth for them, there is for other people. The institutions are all against them. They have serious contempt for institutions, especially Congress. They have a deep concern that they are losing their country because a “generalized they” are taking it away from them. That kind of scapegoating of those who are even more vulnerable and oppressed, along with illusions about how they are being coddled by the “liberal elites,” is all too familiar, along with the often bitter outcomes. And it’s important to bear in mind that the genuine fears and concerns can be addressed by serious and constructive policies. Many of the Trump supporters voted for Obama in 2008, believing the message of “hope and change.” They saw little of either, and now in their disillusionment they are seduced by a con man offering a different message of hope and change—which could lead to a very ugly reaction when the imagery collapses. But the outcomes could be far more hopeful if there is a real and meaningful program that genuinely inspires hope and does promise seriously to bring about badly needed change. The response instead is generalized anger at everything.

One place you see it strikingly is on April 15. April 15 is kind of a measure—the day you pay your taxes—of how democratic the society is. If a society is really democratic, April 15 should be a day of celebration. It’s a day when the population gets together to decide to fund the programs and activities that they have formulated and agreed upon. What could be better than that? You should celebrate it.

It’s not the way it is in the United States. It’s a day of mourning. It’s a day in which some alien power that has nothing to do with you is coming down to steal your hard-earned money—and you do everything you can to keep them from doing it. That’s a measure of the extent to which, at least in popular consciousness, democracy is actually functioning. Not a very attractive picture.

The tendencies that we’ve been describing within American society, unless reversed, will create an extremely ugly society. A society that’s based on Adam Smith’s vile maxim, “All for ourselves, nothing for anyone else,” the New Spirit of the Age, “gain wealth, forgetting all but self,” a society in which normal human instincts and emotions of sympathy, solidarity, mutual support, in which they’re driven out. That’s a society so ugly I don’t even know who’d want to live in it. I wouldn’t want my children to.

If a society is based on control by private wealth, it will reflect those values—values of greed and the desire to maximize personal gain at the expense of others. Now, a small society based on that principle is ugly, but it can survive. A global society based on that principle is headed for massive destruction.

The Survival of the Species

I think the future looks pretty grim. I mean, we are facing really serious problems. There’s one thing that shouldn’t be ignored—we’re in a stage of history for the first time ever where we’re facing literal questions of species survival. Can the species survive, at least in any decent form? That’s a real problem.

On November 8, 2016, the most powerful country in world history, which will set its stamp on what comes next, had an election. The outcome placed total control of the government—executive, Congress, the Supreme Court—in the hands of the Republican Party, which has become the most dangerous organization in world history.

Apart from the last phrase, all of this is uncontroversial. The last phrase may seem outlandish, even outrageous. But is it? The facts suggest otherwise. The party is dedicated to racing as rapidly as possible to destruction of organized human life. There is no historical precedent for such a stand.

Is this an exaggeration? Consider what we have just been witnessing. The winning candidate calls for rapid increase in use of fossil fuels, including coal; dismantling of regulations; rejection of help to developing countries that are seeking to move to sustainable energy; and in general, racing to the cliff as fast as possible.

And there have already been direct consequences. The COP21 Paris negotiations on climate change aimed for a verifiable treaty, but had to settle for verbal commitments because the Republican Congress would not accept any binding commitments. The follow-up COP22 Marrakech conference aimed to fill in the gaps. It opened on November 7, 2016. On November 8, election day, the World Meteorological Organization presented a dire and ominous report on the current state of environmental destruction. As the results of the election came in, the conference turned to the question of whether the whole process could continue with the most powerful country withdrawing from it and seeking to undermine it. The conference ended with no issue—and an astonishing spectacle. The leader in upholding the hopes for decent survival was China! And the leading wrecker, in virtual isolation, was “the leader of the Free World.” One can, again, hardly find words to capture this spectacle.

It is no less difficult to find words to capture the utterly astonishing fact that in all the massive coverage of the electoral extravaganza, none of this receives more than passing mention. At least I am at a loss to find appropriate words.

We are heading, eyes open, toward a world in which our grandchildren may not even be able to survive. We’re heading toward environmental disaster, and not just heading toward it, but rushing toward it. The US is in the lead of accelerating these dangers under the pressure of business for in large part institutional reasons. Just take a look at the headlines. There was a report on the front page of the New York Times, a revealing report on the measurements of the Arctic ice cap. Well, it turns out the melting was far beyond anything that had been predicted by sophisticated computer models, and the melting of the Arctic ice cap has very substantial effects on the climate altogether.

It’s an escalating process because as the ice cap melts, less of the sun’s energy is reflected, and more comes into the atmosphere, creating an escalating, nonlinear process that gets out of control. The article also reported the reactions of governments and corporations. Their reaction is enthusiasm. We can now accelerate the process because new areas are open for digging and extraction of fossil fuels, so we can make it worse. That’s great.

This is a death sentence for our descendants. Fine, let’s accelerate it—hundreds of millions of people in Bangladesh are gonna be driven from their homes by rising sea level in the not-distant future, with consequences for the rest of us too. This demonstrates either a remarkable lack of concern for our own grandchildren and others like them, or else an equally remarkable inability to see what’s before our own eyes.

There’s another major threat to survival that’s been hanging over human life for more than seventy years—and that’s nuclear war. And that’s increasing. Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein, around 1955, issued a passionate plea to the people of the world to recognize that they have a choice that is stark and unavoidable: they must decide—all of mankind must decide—to renounce war, or to self-destruct. And we have come very close to self-destruction a number of times. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has what it calls a “Doomsday Clock.” It started in 1947, right after the atom bomb was used. The clock measures the distance that we are from midnight—midnight means termination. Just two years ago the clock was moved two minutes closer to midnight—to three minutes before midnight. The reason is that the threat of nuclear war and the threat of environmental catastrophe are increasing. Policy makers are amplifying them, that’s the future that we’re not only creating but accelerating.

This has been an excerpt from the new book Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power by Noam Chomsky and edited by Peter Hutchison, Kelly Nyks, and Jared P. Scott (Seven Stories Press, 2017).

 

This article was made possible by the readers and supporters of AlterNet.

42 Responses to Noam Chomsky: The Republican Party Is the ‘Most Dangerous Organization In World History’

  1. This is pretty scary, but very true! We’re rushing to destruction and the Republican party doesn’t seem to care about anyone but themselves! I guess they think that they are immune to the oncoming catastrophes that are fast coming. At the rate that our government is going, there won’t BE a planet for our grandchildren or great-grandchildren! Why we let this happen is a mystery to me, but Chomsky explains it in pretty plain English!

  2. When the hate and division started, I tried to bring the sides together and heal the division in any way that I could. The Republicans do not want the division healed. They had the queen of ugly and hate writing books like, “Godless Democrats.” and “How to talk to a Democrat if you must.” At first, I thought she was an aberration. Then I heard Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann spread more hate and ignorance. This divide is not going to be healed until the republicans do something so terrible, it wakes up the unlearned. It will either be that, or we will go the way of Germany in the 30s.

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  3. Partisan politics wasn’t always this wildly irrational and dangerous—as a matter of fact, American history would show it as being capable of harnessing for the general good of humanity, discounting the horrendous policies of Indian Removal from their lands, and the institution of slavery being condoned in the minds of the founding Fathers.
    However, as I’ve noted in detail by citing the opinions and analyses offered by the Central Figures of The Baha’i Faith, there has been an inability of the partisan political set-up to properly adjust to the complexities of changing social dynamics. That, coupled with Religions of the past Dispensations and sent in succession by God, which no longer are able to address the unique exigencies of the 20th Century and onward, is why one particular Party has fared the worst in coping with the complex world we find ourselves in.

    This mix of an outdated political structure, a deeply conservative attitude and refusal to adapt and adjust, as embodied in the GOP, is the cause of why a particular Party is hopelessly out of sync with the realities and needs of this Day and Age.

    This then is why the likes of Dr. Noam Chomsky, are alarmed at the current state of affairs, and why the Universal House of Justice, as a result of constant consultation among its nine members in Haifa, Israel, are imploring the Baha’is in America to engage their fellow Americans in conversations, and guiding their efforts—Baha’is in the other nations and localities around the world are being urged to do the same in light of their particular social conditions, as political/social conditions in their national/island nation spheres allow, and to what extent they are permitted to act given the strictures that may already be placed on them.

    • “Guiding their efforts”? A bunch of whacko Boola-Boolas in Israel are going to guide an equally nutty bunch of Boola-Boolas in America to engage their fellow Americans in conversations? Sounds like a lot of pseudo religious crap to me.

      • I can always count on you to consistently raise your ugly head above the dung heap of racism and hate, and irreligion. You are truly an abysmal example of a human who no longer is a human, and as such an ancestor of the city of Sodom and Gomorrah.
        Your puerile descent into making up names is a vivid example of your downward trajectory into a hellish condition, but don’t let me stop your descent.

          • And you, my dear, are like an ill-mannered child who stoops to calling someone a racist, without knowing what the word means, nor how and when it should be used.
            Please strive to do better in the future, and in the meantime, learn some good manners. your response is the antithesis of the attitude Jesus would have expected you to display in your response to me. Church has had no influence on your soul whatsoever, based on your post. And for that, you should be ashamed and should seek to develop a stronger bond with God. To personally attack a fellow human being as you’ve done, without an explanation, is the total opposite of the way a Christian should behave. Your behavior is more akin to what we would expect from a minion of Satan.

  4. I recently contemplated the condition of the modern GOP with its slave/ master relationship to “capitalism” which as for a system of commerce has the potential to influence a free and productive society–as we once experienced after WWII; albeit at the dear expense of so many others’ lives.

    The point is, “American capitalism” is amoral as an organizing principle/ concept.

    As an organizing principle of commerce our current system appears to be without concern for human morality because of a chiefly modern conservative impulse to de-regulate it so citizens are turned into machines and used as such. And those machines don’t have important basic needs to the progenitors of de-regulation (modern pernicious republicanism)

    This is where the GOP with it’s slave/master relationship with the principle of capitalism has become in-and-of-itself… a party without morals since citizens have become objectified, converted into “machines”:

    Want to start a war exploit the patriots and cajole them to step into the meat grinder of death; Want to play casino with the daily bread of the People at the risk of a recession then use the mechanism of amoral capitalism to shove the People into the meat grinders of Wall Street (keep them working keep them poor, give them credit then financialize the debt: Wall Street catches a cold, main street gets the flu).

    When People are objectified –as they are in an amoral system of capitalism, they lose their subjective-nature as human-beings with desires and fears. So policy can’t regard their desires and fears as valuable. Policy can take great risks of “doing-harm” to the People as we see modern conservative policy crushing the will of the People with it’s slavish devotion to profiteering (free market, individualism)

    People get ground up in the gears of profit making machines like the health care and energy industries: People are dispossessed of property and deprived of basic rights.

    The “evil” of modern conservative polity is the self-righteousness and usurping of the fundamental memes of society that holds society together: the laws, the family, the faith and lastly patriotism.

    It could be that America has become drunk on her own sense of greatness and the GOP is the corrupt expression of this fatal realty!

    This might be our last dance!

    • 1stand

      If I test your hypothesis by replacing Capitalism with Communism nothing else desrived changes. This test shows that Capitalism is therefore not the weak link. It is the lack of moral principles.

      Individuals can have moral principles, therefore individualism is not the weak link either. It is the lack of moral principles.

      The opposite of individualism is group think/action/control. Now what happens when you have entire groups/institutions acting in an amoral way? You get things like Nazi holocaust or the Siberian death camps or the Killing Fields of Cambodia. Again, it is the moral principles which are the key factor.

      The difference in all the systems described is that only individualism and Capitalism support Freedom and Liberty. While Capitalism can result in good or bad things depending on the moral standards, the other systems are all based on an immoral standard from the start. They are based on the belief that the individual is a servant of the group. I thought we fought a Civil War to outlaw that concept.

  5. There is one other component that bears further scrutiny, and which another poster, “1standlastword”, brought up. And that is the notion of “Individualism”. This is a quality particularly glorified in America. For example, if we consider what American historians, policy-makers, and most ordinary citizens value highly it’s the concept of “rugged individualism”, the idea that strength and worth is dictated by how the image of the male figure is exalted. The exaltation is depicted with such flair and fervor when we see depictions of the famous battle of the Alamo, of the saga of winning of the West by taking on hostile elements and those indigenous peoples who stood in the way of the European male to move forward in conquering and subduing all in his path.
    A man’s sense of worth was based on his ability to conquer harsh conditions and come out on top—sometimes called “pulling up one’s self by one’s bootstraps” in the most extreme form of the notion.
    This syndrome is depicted in Australian society by those settlers from Europe when a man tells his friends “I’m OK, Jack”—an expression that usually amounts to ‘I don’t need help, mate”.

    The GOP, and other conservative elements, are keen to constantly project this theme of “going it alone”, “take the resources at whatever cost”, because that would fulfill one of the requirements of this concept of rugged individualism.

    The constant barrage of Cowboy images and programming daily on TV in the 50-s through the 60’s has conditioned the generation of “Baby Boomers” to be the most vociferous in calling for a macho take-no-prisoners approach to problem-solving. And to help accomplish that, deregulation is helpful to free one up to get what one feels is his/her birthright regardless of whether someone else might have a right to the same resource.

    The GOP has taken the principle of Social Darwinism to such an extreme, unseen anywhere else on the planet. Within the perimeter defined by America’s sphere of influence, with such material, technical, financial, and military superiority, and with the parallel near-extinction of the influence of Religion, social darwinism becomes a dangerous and volatile combination never before witnessed in the history of humankind. And we have the likes of Trump, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, FOX, Breitbart, and the alt-Right, at the helm of this out-of-control powder-keg with nuclear and technical capabilities unmatched by all other nations combined.

    • I am a 70 year old white female Baby Boomer who grew up in the 50’s and 60’s, and I am APPALLED at the GOP deregulation, hatred of government, do-anything-to-win mentality, and their me, me, me and my rich buddies are the only ones who matter attitude. The GOP is hell bent on polluting our country and destroying what’s left of the middle class. I have boomer friends who are equally appalled, so please do not judge us. We didn’t vote for the current corrupt regime. I live in Florida, and have to wonder if the return fire from the nukes that Trump is so eager to launch will land in my yard.

      • As a fellow Baby-Boomer who grew up during same period as an African-American, in Jackson, Miss., I greet you my sister.

        The threats posed by the GOP and this current Administration are real and challenging, but you and I will prevail. We just need to inform the youth not to follow in the footsteps of those who are hell-bent on destroying humanity just to exalt the moribund concepts of nationalism-gone-berserk, and all the baggage of racism, misogyny, etc. that goes with it.

        • Hi, my brother, Aaron!

          I hope that you are right! I literally have been sick to my stomach since the election. I keep hoping that I will wake up one morning, and it will be over.

          Sadly, my younger brother and both of my nephews voted for this sick regime. My brother is totally irrational on the subject; one of my nephews voted for Trump because “he couldn’t vote for a liar”, and I have no idea about the other nephew except that he’s the irrational brother’s son.

          My mother was born and raised in Arkansas, and I remember the “Colored Only” signs from trips south when I was a child. Your journey had to be more difficult than mine for just that reason. I was born and raised in a village in Michigan and didn’t think, act or dress like everybody else, but I have learned to embrace being different. Pain can destroy a person or make them stronger.

          The times are “a changing” but not fast enough, and the GOP wants to take pretty much everything in the wrong direction. We need to stay strong, resist whenever and however we can and hope that somehow the GOP’s supporters wake up to the truth. We are all in this together.

          • I understand your predicament although I can’t say that I have the patience and courage you’ve displayed thus far, by being so close to loved ones who chose to side with irrationality.
            These are indeed troubling times, to put it mildly. Extremist elements in America are so emboldened as to openly profess their hate for those humans who look different, have different Religions, and so on. Lately, I’ve decided that I would be bolder in asserting my belief in “The Oneness of Humankind”, by posting on Jared Taylor’s website for his online magazine, “The American Renaissance”—an innocuous euphemism for someone as openly racist as Jared.

            I feel it my duty to refute Jared and the racist who visit his site daily, by posting refutations of the false doctrines of “Race” and “Racial Superiority”—I do this as a Baha’i foremost, and secondly, as an African American.

            To better understand my inspiration and drive, visit the official Baha’i website at http://www.bahai.org.

            As I’ve mentioned on occasion to others here, my introduction to the Baha’i Faith occurred while I was a sophomore in a segregated high school in Jackson, Miss. My family attended what may have been the only black Presbyterian church in all of Miss., unbeknownst to me at the time. My dad tried to attend a Christian Science Church because his sister in Chicago had become a member of that church. After reading several of the church’s tracts and books, he decided to attend the local Christian Science Church, but wasn’t allowed to enter the church because of his skin color and race. (My dad could have passed for white if he wanted, but he steadfastly refused to do so, and had married my mother who had a lovely dark complexion, an unusual sort of pairing in the black community given the times and attitudes).
            He was bitterly disappointed, and when I heard about him being prevented from attending that church I was incensed. He later heard of the Baha’i Faith while delivering some mail on his postal route—one such mailing included some literature with the word “Baha’i” on it. He asked the woman what the literature was about; she explained, and he attended their gathering which was held weekly, and on certain other days. What he saw[I wasn’t there] was a group of black and white Baha’is gathered together in the mid-60’s Miss. in a medium size room in a white neighborhood near downtown Jackson. My dad was immediately impressed by this unusual sight in Jim Crow Miss. and became a Baha’i. He told me, but I was skeptical—the name of this unheard of Religion, and the unusual sounding name, “Baha’u’llah” was weird in my provincial way of thinking, and therefore I hesitated to embrace this Religion. Until I got a better grasp of its principles, and the multiracial dimension of this group of intrepid people got the better of me. And the fact that I could still embrace Jesus and this new Messenger with the strange-sounding name, sealed the deal for me. And the rest is history.

          • Interesting story about what led you to the Baha’i faith! My mother was raised as a Southern Baptist and had uncles who were Baptist preachers; my father didn’t attend church until a few years before his death, and I was raised in the Methodist church. When my mother wrote to the Baptist church in Arkansas and asked to have her membership transferred to the Methodist church, the Baptists sent her a letter that said she would go to hell if she became a Methodist. I have the letter now that my mother has gone to her reward.

            My friends cover the gamut from atheists to Muslims. One of my closest friends is a Mennonite. I don’t care what religion a person is unless they are judgmental and hostile.

            I lived in North Carolina for seven years and tired of “Christians” telling me that other people thought that they, too, were Christians, but really weren’t because they went to the wrong church. A number of Baptists have consigned me to hell, also, because I’m not a Baptist.

            I lived in Chicago for a couple of years and took pictures of the Baha’i Temple in Wilmette. It’s a beautiful building! I’m a photographer by the way and have a website with about 800 pictures on it, some of them religious. Check it out if you’d like. http://www.silverisis.com

            My mother retired from the postal service many years ago; she started out as a rural mail carrier. I went with her sometimes and put the mail into the boxes. I always opened the boxes cautiously as I was afraid of spiders and snakes. Here in Florida, I have a frog that lives in my mailbox.

            Re: the Trump loving relatives, it isn’t easy to “forgive” them for what they’ve done, but I’ve had years of practice. In my Michigan home town, I’m still friends with people that I’ve known since childhood. Most of them are Tea Partiers, Obama haters extraordinaire and who fervently desire the resurrection of Reagan. Some of the emails they distributed during Obama’s presidency were absolutely vicious. So, politics are off limits now when we get together. I still love them as people but consider them “off” when it comes to politics. Years ago, one of my male friends said that you shouldn’t expect your friends to be perfect. I’ve never forgotten that.

            I do miss the intelligence and class that the Obama family brought to the White House. They are a wonderful family!

            Keep fighting the good fight, Aaron. I know that you are the man for the job.

          • Thank you—I will keep fighting the good fight, because I owe it to my fellow sisters and brothers across the globe.
            I marvel that you have such a diversity of friends and relatives with so many political viewpoints—that requires some serious interpersonal skills, wisdom., and a strong spiritual character.

            The advice from your friend about not expecting your friends to be perfect is so right on. Otherwise, none of us would have friends in the first place, or be able to keep them for more than a week of two.

            And another point—My exposure to the stories of the early Baha’is—stories replete about the contributions of women in Iran and in America who taught, sacrificed their time and energies to travel in order to inform people of the “Oneness of Humankind”—in the case of Baha’is in Iran, some Baha’i girls and women in the 80’s during the Iranian Revolution were hanged just for refusing to recant their Faith, because of their commitment to better the lives of their fellow Iranians, Muslim, Christian, Zoroastrian, etc.. Therefore, I take that personally as a challenge to try and emulate their courage and selflessness. (Seven Baha’i men and women are now going into their 10th year of imprisonment, simply for being Baha’is, because of being falsely charged as “Zionist spies” for Israel, and other baseless charges. The are referred to as “The Yeran Seven”. Other Baha’is still languish in prisons in Iran for simply being Baha’is).

            And thanks for the link to the website with your photos. I’ll check them out. I feel obliged to put up photos I took of my trips to Santiago, Oman, and Zanzibar, and I’ll be traveling to Cork, Ireland to hobnob with whomever I can strike up a friendship with.

            “The earth is but one country, and humankind, its citizens”.

          • I am very sorry to learn of the horrific treatment of some extremely courageous Baha’i men and women! Cruelty always has been with us, and it seems that we aren’t winning that battle. Even today, some women and girls are killed for having been raped (thereby disgracing the family), or for wanting an education or the right to choose a husband. As difficult as it is to believe, we have “honor” killings in the USA.

            I once met a man from a middle eastern country who had been raped by some men when he was a boy. He said that his father beat him for allowing it to happen.

            My friend, who said that we shouldn’t expect our friends to be perfect, was raised in Pakistan as a Muslim. He has turned his back on that religion and told me that some of his “friends” said that they should kill him now that he is an infidel. He’s a wonderful person, writes silly poetry and loves America.

            Religious rigidity can lead to shameful behavior, and we’re seeing some of it from the current administration.

            I believe that having a diversity of friends is a good thing even if I don’t agree with some things they say or do. We don’t learn much if we spend all of our time with people just like us.

            Knowledge is power, and it pays to learn as much as possible about our opponents. The more you know about them, the easier it is to find their “soft spots” and more effectively oppose them.

            I, too, do some traveling and consider it my duty to try and counteract the “ugly American” designation we have in some countries. I travel alone and have met some wonderful people.

            I was “adopted” by a 40-year-old Pakistani man during my last trip to Italy. He worked at the hotel where I stayed. He had gone to Italy when he was 26 to find work and only sees his family once or twice a year. He has a mother, a wife and two daughters in Pakistan, and feels like a bad son because he isn’t there to personally care for his mother.

            He said that I am his American mother, and invited me to come and stay with his family in Pakistan for a month. However, I want my lily-white head to stay on top of my body, so I doubt that I will ever take him up on the invitation. I trust him, but not the religious fanatics who would love nothing more than to get their hands on an uppity, white, American woman.

            I do take as many precautions as possible to protect myself from the predators when I travel and so far have been pretty lucky.

            In 2013, 2014 and 2015, I took trips to Italy. Last year, it was Paris. There are quite a few photos from Italy on my website and a few from Paris. There will be more.

            This year, I’m staying in the USA. My health is shaky right now, but my doctor and I are working on it. She loves that I travel and wants to see me back at it.

            I’ve been to Great Britain, but not to Ireland, even though I’m part Irish on my father’s side. We’re part of the McNeil clan.

            I would like to see the pictures of your travels. One never knows what lies ahead, so I wish you a safe trip!

          • I admire your courage in traveling alone. But as you state, it is dangerous, especially nowadays. Those males who were never taught to respect their mothers, sisters, and other women, have multiplied exponentially. When I traveled to Nigeria, and to Liberia a year later, I did so as a member of a group of Baha’i men of African descent, as requested by the Universal House of Justice in their call to American Baha’is of African ancestry to travel to the Baha’i communities in sub-Saharan Africa. We were asked to stress in our meetings with officials in governments during our visits about the importance of eliminating tribalism and the divisiveness it engenders, and also the necessity to fight for the application in society of the Baha’i principle of the equality of women and men.
            I and a few other men in our group on that particular trip in 1996 stayed at the National Baha’i Center in Lagos—from there, a subset of us and myself went up to Abouja, and a town in northern Nigeria, called Jos. After we left, I received an email from a man who was in attendance at an impromptu meeting in an auditorium in Abouja in which we talked about the importance of Unity in helping Nigeria overcome centuries of inter-tribal disputes and other social ills.
            I later learned through the news, that outbreaks of violence between Christians and Muslims, had broken out in Jos, and a family I had spent the night with was in the same region of turmoil. They’re OK, but it was a tense situation.

            The Baha’is in the Gulf Arab countries and in North Africa have to be particularly careful, lest they cause fanatical elements to arise in animosity. The Baha’i faith is generally looked upon as “bringing light to our country” as one official had stated decades ago in private, when Baha’is from Iran were asked by Shoghi Effendi to leave their homes and security in order to bring the Message of Baha’u’llah to the Arab people, just as the Arabs had brought the Message of Islam to the Zoroastrian peoples of Iran back in the 7th Century.

            I’ve had the opportunity to meet Muslims in Oman and Qatar, keeping my Baha’i identity “beneath the radar”, so as not to cause alarm for my taxi drivers. I was able to show genuine respect and appreciation for Islam, quoting from memory certain verses from the Qur’an. At which point, one driver was so excited that he said “Allah-u-Akbar, someday you will come to Islam”, to which I kindly nodded. (In my mind, I thought— ‘If only I could tell him that in effect, I’ve already come to Islam by virtue of being a Baha’i, and have moved on to the Baha’i Faith’. But, I changed the subject to another topic).

            I got along swell with the Muslims in Oman and the few I met in Qatar, and they were most courteous to me. One even invited me to stay at his home overnight in case i missed the bus to Mirbat, after my arrival in Salalah. During the Salalah Festival the next year, a tour guide in Salalah invited me to sit at a tent with members of his tribe, the Al-Mahri, for coffee and bread, during an exhibition they had set up for the tourists to sample life and culture in Oman.

  6. Blood filled their eyes when a ‘person of colour’ was elected to the throne, and they could no longer see; and then blood filled their brains, and they could no longer think –

  7. [email protected] says:

    Noam Chomsky: The Republican Party Is the ‘Most Dangerous Organization In World History’ ,,, and to think that THE DONNY DUMP CLOWN SHOW was a Democrat at one time . it was too good for the POS . part of the solution it stands is part of all the problems he has made for his self for the country & world . ONLY TRUE SOLUTION is dump the DONNY DUMP DUMPSTER. in all its really a easy fix .cut out the DONNY DUMP cancer and then let all start healing . to wait only lets the cancer spread . it very well can and more then likely spreads so fast (as it seems to be doing now ) might never have a chance to heal . and as cancer dose kills and destroys all & every thing this CLOWN SHOW DUMPSTER thinks any and every thing he says is the answer and its him in his deranged pea brain mind feels its only him that is right all the time . (which he isn’t ). watching the CLOWN SHOW as he was giving the teacher of the year award to the teacher that won it . the clown then held the trophy in front of his BOZO clown face for a while with his goofy stupid clown smile as if the award was for him (SUCH A JOKE ) and now the DONNY DUMP CLOWN SHOW cult and staff is putting news out (truly the ones that make pretty much all the fake news the DUMPSTER talks about ) how stupid dose this sound one and all can add it to the ever growing stupid ( DONNY DUMP CLOWN SHOW’S list ) think about this and try not to laugh its truly sad the DONNY DUMP CULT CLAN posted that all of FLYNN WAS Pres. Obama’s doing . WHATTTTTTTT ???? hey brain dead like the DONNY DUMP followers cult clan news flash Obama fired FLYNN and the AG did try to tell you the whole side of brain dead people about FLYNN . but the DUMPSTER didn’t want to hear none of that . maybe just because it made sense . then to keep his own fake news coming the CLOWN said Canada & Mexico called him up and said please don’t stop the trade deal of us . then the CLOWN with his overinflated EGO makes only himself feel its him that save the day he was the one that crushed . as for North Korea with their new movie thy put out with them blowing up the White House the USA should make a deal (the ones that are not brain dead in the country of course ) tell the problem child FATBOY we will give you food to feed your people if you just make sure that THE DONNY DUMP CLOWN is in the house when you blow it up . be it hew is id bet the whole world would be sending the FATBOY gifts with big time thank you cards know this THE DONNY DUMP CLOWN SHOW is truly a threat and big time danger to the world

  8. I have believed for at least the past twenty years that our country is headed for a revolution, because the middle class has been disenfranchised by the Supreme Court and the rich are increasing their social, political and economic dominance.

    • You nailed it. Even before the election we’ve had all the telltale signs of a new Civil War brewing. Even if Clinton was President today Trump would’ve refused the results as he said he’d do if he hadn’t won by very dubious means and interference from Russia. The racists and worst are out of the closet felling they no longer feel the need to be nice and they don’t care who they hurt. The Republicans were threatening early on they would find ways to stop a President Clinton for making an appointment to the Supreme Court and had concocted plans to investigate her and her emails with ever greater scrutiny. The GOP has most definitely lost their way and no longer serve the people who elected them

  9. Why on earth is anyone surprised that the Republican Party is the most dangerous? I was a Republican woman when I registered in rebellion to my Dem parents in 1966 and remained in the party until 2004. I left when I saw what MEN in the Republican Party were doing to this country.

    Like a bunch of hungry rats all after the last morsel of cheese, these men and in the GOP all you see are MEN and a sprinkling of the kind of women who can’t make it without a man’s approval.

    It was humorous watching Nikki Haley get the back of Trump’s hand at that meeting this week. You could see by the expression on her face she took umbrage with Trump’s usual “That’s nice little girl; but, now it’s time to let the REAL MEN do the job” BS.

    There is a reason the Dem party has more female representatives in the House and the Senate than Republicans. It is because like everything else the Republican Party does, their attitude of super superiority turns women OFF.

    But their real damnation comes from their constant need to “win” come hell or high water, cheating, smearing the reputations of innocent people and generally playing Lords and Bastards” of the Universe, as my Grandmother used to say.

    The Republican Party and ONLY the Republican Party has, since 1850 at its founding represented ONLY Business.

    All I heard from these big mouth bullies at GOP meetings was, “If you support big business, the people will benefit. Okay. So, let’s see now, Warren Harding became a Republican President, his Secy of the Interior went to jail for selling public lands to oil interests for pennies on the dollar and accepting a $500,000 bribe from Big Oil boys. Thereafter, the Big Business Republicans have gotten into more messes and recession than any of the Dem presidents:
    . Hoover – pandering to Wall Street speculators got him the Great Depression
    . Nixon – 2nd term recession and WaterGate scandal
    . Reagan – Iran ContrGate and a 2nd term recession
    . Bush ’41 – A recession and no 2nd chance for a 2nd term and his involvement in Iran ContrGate
    . Bush ’43 – left office in 2008 with 2 unpaid wars, the Scooter Libby CIA Outing scandal and the Sept. 2008 Financial meltdown, 8 million lost jobs from 2004 to 2008, not to mention 2 tax cuts that made the 1% 11% wealthier according to the GAO reports in 2004 and 2008.

    Now we have The Grifter in Chief showing his ass signing off on Executive Orders and not even knowing the details of what the hell he is doing.

    How do we NOT blame the Republican Party? We bail them out of the Civil War, the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl THEY helped create by insisting on allowing Wall Street to manage “farming” in the midwest to the point where they depleted the soil so badly everything turned to dust.

  10. I’d like to share with you all a post I made at Jared Taylor, the proponent of the virulent and deadening philosophy of Racialism, and its active form, Racism. My response was triggered by reading the article in the recent “Newsweek” magazine, with the caption “I WANT YOU TO BE A RACIST”.

    My response to Jared is posted as a comment to an article at Jared Taylor’s website, “https://www.amren.com/news/2017/04/judge-mostly-white-southern-city-may-secede-school-district-despite-racial-motive/”

    My long response is the following:
    =================================================================

    This Website, it’s author, and all who subscribe to this magazine’s credo are making a monumental mistake on so many levels, any or all which will haunt the protagonists of the myths and falsehoods disseminated from a mind wrapped in the darkness of a sense of racial superiority, throughout the realms of their Creator.

    Perhaps the author of this depot of sordid and depraved flotsam of ideas has no belief in his Creator, and if so, has no concern for His Authority—in other words, the author, Mr. Jared Taylor is content with being the antithesis of who God created Jared to be. In that case, let me remind Jared of his place in the world of humanity—a humanity evolved from “s single clot of blood” as cited in the first 5 verses of Surah 96 of the Qur’an; also, Jared is a part of humanity across the globe in light of a similar reference in the Book of Genesis in the Bible.

    From a newer perspective, based on an aphorism by Baha’u’llah, the Prophet-Founder of the Baha’i Faith, we have the following epigram(#68) from the ‘Arabic’ section of His work, “The Hidden Words”—a compendium of 153 such epigrams. Let’s examine this 68th Hidden Word, which is as follows:
    ——————————————————————————————————————-
    “O CHILDREN OF MEN! Know ye not why We created you all from the same dust? That no one should exalt himself over the other. Ponder at all times in your hearts how ye were created. Since We have created you all from one same substance it is incumbent on you to be even as one soul, to walk with the same feet, eat with the same mouth and dwell in the same land, that from your inmost being, by your deeds and actions, the signs of oneness and the essence of detachment may be made manifest. Such is My counsel to you, O concourse of light! Heed ye this counsel that ye may obtain the fruit of holiness from the tree of wondrous glory.”
    ——————————————————————————————————————-
    As one can plainly see from this, and considering the explicit and clear evidence of humankind’s common ancestry being in southeast Africa by virtue of DNA analysis using the tools of Genomics, Jared, his fellow racists of the Alt-Right, and any other believers in the myths of racial superiority, are in clear violation of the intent of God and the reality of this “Oneness of Humankind”.

    Unless Jared is able to make a course-correction in the current downward trajectory of his soul’s evolution, then the logical conclusion would be that Jared and company are in for an eternity of sorrow as a result of proposing and actively espousing the patently false fantasy of “Race” as a biological concept, putting forth the satanic doctrine of racialism, and encouraging the spiritually corrosive practice of racism. Only a depraved and lurid fascination with an accidental quality of skin color would entertain the belief in racial superiority based on skin color.

    To underscore the last point, Jared should consider this warning by Baha’u’llah to humanity, given in another aphorism from “The Hidden Words”:
    ——————————————————————————————————————-
    “O Son of Being! Free thyself from the fetters of this world, and loose thy soul from the prison of self. Seize thy chance, for it will come to thee no more.”
    ——————————————————————————————————————-
    By “fetters, this would mean anything, any idea, that stands in the way of adhering to the purpose and intent which God has in mind for His Creation. And racism is such a fetter.

    • Your post was ridiculous. The very thought that you “INformed” Jared is ridiculous. YOU are just another garden variety racist who hates Caucasions the greatest race of people ever to inhabit planet earth.

      • Katherine, your response suggests that you are depraved, deluded, enamored with the racism Jared espouses, and therefore satanic in nature. Do you really aspire to be that way? Is this the way your parents taught you how to behave?
        If so, shame on them and on you. Please try to cleanse your mind and heart.

        • Oh, screw you and your fake bahaii nonsense. You are the satanist here peddling your fake religion and your lies. And stop with the drama.

          • Actually, considering your comment, I’d say that YOU are the groper and rapist who would say it is a spiritual experience for your victims. And seriously, I’ve known Bahai’s like Seals and crofts and their progeny and they were hygiencially challenged and a screwed up psychologically because of their parents.

          • “Hygiencially challenged”? What drugs are you taking, Katherine? You are definitely dialing in from an orbit around the earth—
            please join the rest of humanity from your lofty perch, and try to stay focused on the original story.

            You’ve gone around Robin Hood’s barn so many times that you’re clearly winded, gasping for air, and have no ability to focus on the on the article.

          • And one other thing, dear Katherine. I’m troubled by the satanic outbursts that are spewing from your lurid mind. You really need to calm down, relax, chill out, and take a walk in the woods. A detox program may help.

            In the meantime, I find your posts amusing.

          • Oh, dear Aaron, you are the Bahai satanist. Maybe you should see a psychiatrist for your pedophilia.

          • Pedophilia? What a ridiculous assumption on your part. Your anger and vituperative nature are rarely seen among normal humans. Have you been abused, resulting in these wild outbursts of yours?

  11. Any open minded student of history will know that a society will eventually become the thing that it opposes the most. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the new Sodom and Gomorrah; Where the poor suffer as the entertainment and profit of the rich and powerful.

  12. Is Mr. Chomsky a scientist? Does he have any academic qualifications in any field of science? Why doesn’t he leave the scientific theorizing to those who are qualified. In exchange, scientists will stay far away from the field of linguistics.

    • To be a professor at MIT for as long as he has been teaching there, requires a background in science, and a proven ability to specialize in a field of science. There are also professors of the Humanities, Music, and engineering.
      Linguistics, as you should know, is a branch of science. Prof. Chomsky, and others in his disciple, use the tools of science in order to discover the roots of words, how differences in language presents a trail of how humanity branched out from its origins as Modern Humans in Africa.
      M.I.T. doesn’t hire people with only a casual knowledge of any discipline, nor would they give a professor tenure for as long as Noam Chomsky has been at MIT—a position he held long before I went to school there as an undergraduate.

      A definition of linguistics is below for your convenience:

      ———————————————————————————————————-
      LINGUISTICS—the scientific study of language and its structure, including the study of morphology, syntax, phonetics, and semantics. Specific branches of linguistics include sociolinguistics, dialectology, psycholinguistics, computational linguistics, historical-comparative linguistics, and applied linguistics.

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