A Response to Gram Slattery's "The Last Maoists of Cambridge"
By Dennis Loo (6/26/14)
It's been four months since I last posted an article here. I have had some health issues. What prompts me breaking my lengthy silence is an article that appears this month at the Harvard Political Review entitled "The Last Maoists of Cambridge." A month ago, the author, Gram Slattery, while preparing his article, approached me via email. He wanted to know why I was one of those who signed a statement in support of people engaging the works of Bob Avakian. This was a full page ad that ran in The New York Review of Books in 2008 entitled: "Dangerous times demand courageous voices. Bob Avakian is such a voice." It was signed by a very long list of academics, celebrities/artists such as Chuck D and film director David Zeiger, and California Poet Laureate Al Young. Slattery wanted to know why I put my name to that list. I was happy to answer his questions and did so via phone and email.
American Sniper and Twisting People's Impressionable Minds
By Dennis Loo (2/22/15)
Author's note: Tonight is the Academy Awards and the film American Sniper is up for possible Oscars. It's remarkable that such a stupid film that celebrates an American soldier for killing scores of people in Iraq and in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, could be so lauded. But then again, the fundamental lie that this film is based upon - that the US had and has a right to invade, occupy, and kill the people of Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 - mirrors the lie that was told to the nation by the Bush Regime and the mass media.
So even though that lie has been made public since the invasion (a lie that some of us tried to warn people about before the invasion, but mass media refused to give that information to the country), many people still can't think straight enough to realize that American Sniper is about a killer who deserves condemnation, not praise. All you would have to do to wake some of these impressionable people up, however, is to ask them a simple question: What the hell is the US doing in Iraq in the first place? How would you feel as an American if Iraq's army had invaded us fourteen years ago, after claiming that because we had weapons of mass destruction that we were a threat to them and that they had to invade and kill over a million Americans to prevent the "greater evil?" How would you feel if an Iraqi Sniper killed scores of Americans while occupying America who openly wished he had killed more American "savages"? Would you think this guy's story deserved an Academy Award? Or would you want to call him the Iraqi Psychopath? And what would you be doing towards the Iraqi invaders if they were the occupying and marauding foreign army in our streets?
In dishonor of tonight's expected touting of this war crime of a movie, I am reprinting an analysis that I posted on January 8, 2010 after the Nigerian student Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab unsuccessfully tried to blow up his boxer briefs on a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Xmas Day, 2010. It brings up the truth about this big lie called the "war on terror" and how it actually creates anti-state terrorists such as ISIL.
Police and "One Story"
By Dennis Loo (1/8/15)
In an Atlantic Magazine article entitled "The NYPD Officers Who See Racial Bias in the NYPD," dated January 7, 2015, and reposted by Yahoo.com here, the author Conor Friedersdorf quotes from a retired black police officer's testimony citing his superior's advice to him about minority suspects,
"They are fucking animals. You make sure if you have to shoot, you shoot them in the head. That way there’s one story."
People should remember this when they hear the "one story" told by police officers and vigilantes like George Zimmerman, relating their sole accounts of why they just had to shot to death their black or brown victims, making certain there are not surviving victims to tell a radically different story.
The Atlantic story goes on to cite another black officer's description of his superiors' attitudes, and much else, as well:
[I]n raids in black neighborhoods, his superiors “didn’t care if it was kids in there, they didn’t care if it was women in there, naked women... They treated them as if they had no rights whatsoever. It was disgusting." One can either credit these allegations, or believe that three [black] NYPD officers conspired to lie under oath.
This site aims to accomplish two related goals. First, it complements Dennis Loo's book Globalization and the Demolition of Society so that people reading the book can get more deeply into it. (See navigation bar above, labeled "GDS Book Annotations"). We believe that his book is a landmark, providing a solid foundation for politics of a new path. Taking such a path is critical to humanity and the planet's future. As his book's dust jacket states:
[F]ree market fundamentalism - also known as neoliberalism - makes us not more secure or prosperous: it tears the social fabric and undermines security, leading inevitably to disasters on the individual, regional, and global levels.
Neoliberalism is based on the mantra that market forces should run everything. It aims to eliminate job and income security, the social safety net (including welfare and other social guarantees), unions, pensions, public services, and the governmental regulation of corporations. It consequently undermines the basis for people to voluntarily cooperate with authority as almost everyone is increasingly left by themselves to face gargantuan private interests, with governmental and corporate authority ever more indifferent to the public’s welfare.
Those in charge of our collective fates in government and business personify a heartless system based on profit and plunder. They have been relentlessly instituting profoundly immoral and unjust policies even while they insist that they are doing the opposite. We, on the other hand, stand for and are fighting for a radically different system and set of values than this.
Second, in order to get at the truth and because the ways in which humanity's historic striving for understanding and its capacity to wonder and imagine are very rich and diverse, we seek to reflect that richness and diversity on our site. See "About Us" on navigation bar. We intend to be engaging and compelling, as the best investigative journalism and art are, and relentlessly scientific, rigorous, and direct, as those who cherish the truth are. We believe that we can be both accessible and sophisticated. As Loo lays out in his book,
Defeating the empire is not something that occurs only on the literal battlefield. It is also something that is determined throughout the continuum of battles over many issues, including: ideas; philosophy; forms of organization and leadership in economy, politics, and other realms; ways of arguing; ways of responding to and respecting empirical data; interest in truth as opposed to expedience; how people and the environment should be treated; the nature of relations among people (e.g., between women and men, different races and ethnicities, rich and poor countries, etc.); ways of responding to criticism and ideas that are not your own; ways of handling one’s own errors and those of others; and more, all the way up through how warfare is carried out. The contrast between the methods and goals of the neoliberals and those of us who seek an entirely different world is stark. (Globalization and the Demolition of Society, Pp. 326-7)