Fri Aug 6, 2010
by Lil Joe
The reason I am writing and posting this extensive response to Felix Diawouh and forwarding it is not because Felix is important or even a worthy opponent. Rather, it is because he perfectly regurgitates US imperialist press and media propaganda. In refuting him I am addressing and refuting the political and propaganda networks whose rhetoric he so perfectly regurgitates.
A Negro Tea Party advocate who parades around as an African immigrant, Felix is perfect in his regurgitation in that he has so completely memorized the talking points and flowery rhetoric promoting the wars and mass murder campaigns of US imperialism and Israeli Gestapo occupation forces, as well as demonising accusations of enemies of US imperialism and Zionism, that he has become the Negro faced personification of fascism in America.
Yesterday Felix posted an article on Pat Robertson denouncing the building of an Islamic Center in New York, (See: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Mwananchi/message/129044). He also supports the Arizona anti-immigrant law of racial profiling, although he is himself an immigrant from Ghana (Africa).
The manner in which Felix Diawouh supports everything and everyone US imperialism, Israel and the right wing of the Republican Party support is not by presenting empirical based arguments, but by flowery rhetoric presenting imperialism as noble by intent, altruism as motive. Similarly he opposes everything and everyone US imperialism, Israel and the Right wing of the Republican Party and Tea Baggers oppose. Again not by marshalling data and basing arguments on it, but by words demonizing the opponents, by words like 'evil'.
My method of confronting Felix Diawouh's regurgitation of US and Israeli imperialist and Zionist rhetoric, politicians, and press and media propaganda, his flowery and demonising word games is by presenting the data. Stubborn things facts are, they not only don't go away but also don't lie. Facts also puts the lie to 'arguments' based on nothing but culturally conditioned loaded terms and buzz words that have no empirical content nor evidence to support them.
Felix Diawuoh wrote:
Lil Joe, ... You just use the phrase "empirical evidence" as if it is the only premise on which logic and reason can be based for understanding any human situation and intellectual analysis.
Lil Joe Response:
I have never heard of, let alone ever written about any of the words/phrases attributed to me by Felix above. It's a straw man stated by Felix Diawouh and attributed to me. I have not even heard of any category called "the human situation" and what other kind of analysis is there other than 'intellectual analysis'? If analysis is not made by the intellect in the cerebral cortex, then where is it made, Felix? In the foot? http://biology.about.com/od/anatomy/a/aa032505a.htm
Felix Diawouh's fine sounding phrase mongering containing words that would impress the ignorant and inspire the gullible who heard or read it falls apart once it is analysed against empirical reality. He has the right to make up his own assertions, but does not have the right to make up facts. Facts can be checked.
I am here as the Socratic gadfly stinging the slothful mind from its ignorance to awaken anger, critical faculties of thought, rigorous skepticism, rejection of authority and resentment of demagogy of fine words without empirical substance.
That is, in this polemic I will exposed the partisanship of Felix's flowery rhetoric that he uses to present the foul, sadistic behavior of imperialist aggression as an noble undertaking on one hand, which he usually accompanied with demonizing language on the other: both the flowery and demonizing rhetoric is used to justify sadistic militarist behavior by US imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq and the Israelis in Gaza, West Bank and southern Lebanon occupation by his words painting the victims of the occupation and Gestapo mass murder campaigns - the Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians and Lebanese as the villain and the villain as the victim.
Felix Diawouh is a trained master of sophistry and eloquence using empirically useless, and therefore meaningless words and phrases that have no empirical content whatsoever, such as 'freedom' 'peace' and 'dictator'. But, the anecdote to this is empirical science: to the empirical scientist these words are meaningless trash propaganda.
I never presented any arse backward logic advocating that 'empirical evidence' is a 'premise on which logic and reason is based'. On the contrary, I advocate the scientific method by which theories are based on data and supported by empirical evidence.
Felix Diawuoh is of the Arizona Tea Party's right-wingnut faction of the US proto-fascist politics Republican Party, like most of its spokespersons Felix deals in loaded terms, accusations, ad hominems and is once again resorting to straw manning to evade the issue.
George Ayittey, a paid imperialist lackey of propaganda and Felix Diawuoh wanted to justify the invasion and bloody occupation, they want to turn away from the data to instead substitute words and ostensible motives for the invasion and occupation: claim it is done for the sake of 'freedom', 'democracy' and 'peace'.
On the contrary, I present the facts: US imperialism has armed and financed the Ethiopian lackey army invasion and bloody occupation of Somalia, plunging that country into war and devastation. I don't base my analysis on words, but on what actually happened and is happening and to support my analysis I provide empirical evidence in the forms of press and media documentation, photographic documentation, statistics and so on.
Diawouh and Ayittey have no evidence to support their claims that US imperialism in Somalia is fighting "Al Qaeda connected terrorists", any more than they have any 'empirical evidence' to support the charge that the invasion and occupation of Iraq by US/NATO was because Iraq had 'weapons of mass destruction'.
In Iraq, after hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been murdered by US occupation forces and conversely thousands of US soldiers had been killed by the Iraqi Resistance and yet no WMD had been found, the US switched its rhetoric to claim it is in Iraq to "overthrow the dictator Saddam Hussein" and thereby to being 'freedom', 'democracy', 'human rights' and 'peace', whereas all the empirical evidence shows bombing campaigns, mass murder operation, rapes and destruction of civilization. Consequently Felix Diawouh, ever the brown-noser of imperialist propaganda subsequently switched to the same flowery rhetorical regurgitation as it was changed and farted into his nose.
What I said was that all authentic natural and social phenomena as things "have an objective existence in the external empirical world".
This is an epistemological materialist ontological premise that is inherently the overthrow and rejection of Idealism and the epistemology of innate ideas, metaphysics and notions of apriori concepts and syllogisms of pure reason, solipsism and existentialism, and so on.
As stated by Francis Bacon:
The subtlety of nature is greater many times over than the subtlety of the senses and understanding; so that all those specious meditations, speculations, and glosses in which men indulge are quite from the purpose, only there is no one by to observe it. As the sciences which we now have do not help us in finding out new works, so neither does the logic which we now have help us in finding out new sciences. The logic now in use serves rather to fix and give stability to the errors which have their foundation in commonly received notions than to help the search after truth. So it does more harm than good. The syllogism is not applied to the first principles of sciences, and is applied in vain to intermediate axioms, being no match for the subtlety of nature. It commands assent therefore to the proposition, but does not take hold of the thing. The syllogism consists of propositions, propositions consist of words, words are symbols of notions. Therefore if the notions themselves (which is the root of the matter) are confused and overhastily abstracted from the facts, there can be no firmness in the superstructure. Our only hope therefore lies in a true induction.
Now my method, though hard to practice, is easy to explain; and it is this. I propose to establish progressive stages of certainty. The evidence of the sense, helped and guarded by a certain process of correction, I retain. But the mental operation which follows the act of sense I for the most part reject; and instead of it I open and lay out a new and certain path for the mind to proceed in, starting directly from the simple sensuous perception. The necessity of this was felt, no doubt, by those who attributed so much importance to logic, showing thereby that they were in search of helps for the understanding, and had no confidence in the native and spontaneous process of the mind. ... http://www.constitution.org/bacon/nov_org.htm
Marx on Bacon's achievement:
Materialism is the natural-born son of Great Britain. Already the British schoolman, Duns Scotus, asked, "whether it was impossible for matter to think?" In order to effect this miracle, he took refuge in God's omnipotence, i.e., he made theology preach materialism. Moreover, he was a nominalist. Nominalism, the first form of materialism, is chiefly found among the English schoolmen. The real progenitor of English materialism and all modern experimental science is Bacon. To him natural philosophy is the only true philosophy, and physics based upon the experience of the senses is the chiefest part of natural philosophy. Anaxagoras and his homoeomeriae, Democritus and his atoms, he often quotes as his authorities. According to him the senses are infallible and the source of all knowledge. All science is based on experience, and consists in subjecting the data furnished by the senses to a rational method of investigation. Induction, analysis, comparison, observation, experiment, are the principal forms of such a rational method. http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/holy-family/ch06_3_d.htm
The premise is that what does not have objective existence - that is, objective meaning an existence outside the thinking subject - and does not have any verifiable or refutable existence is therefore rejected by science, both physical and social science.
Anthropology, cultural materialism (White, Steward, Harris) is based also on the premises of materialist conception of human society, human behavior and its institutions as articulated by Marx and Engels:
The premises from which we begin are not arbitrary ones, not dogmas, but real premises from which abstraction can only be made in the imagination. They are the real individuals, their activity and the material conditions under which they live, both those which they find already existing and those produced by their activity. These premises can thus be verified in a purely empirical way. http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/german-ideology/ch01a.htm#a2
What can be verified can also be falsified, which is in fact what Karl Popper demanded of any and all sciences which claim empirical objectivity (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsifiability)
The demand for 'the fact, mam, just the facts' is already the procedure in law enforcement, and in Courts of law no conviction is made on the basis of flowery rhetoric or demonisation of the accusers or the accused. Empirical evidence is demanded both of the prosecution and the defense. The presentation of an assertion by rhetoric can be rejected upon the objection by the other side that the assertion 'assumes facts not in evidence'. The entire court proceeding is a process of presenting empirical evidence and counter evidence, the burden of proof is required of the State or the accuser.
The Supreme Court, and all the courts in the United States ostensibly judge cases of law and law violations, on the grounds that the laws are 'Constitutional'. The Declaration of Independence is demagogic rhetoric, not a legal document and cannot be offered as evidence for anything. It cannot be appealed to in a court of law, whereas the Constitution can be referred to and used to support or challenge laws.
The Declaration of Independence is not a legal document, although it is based on the reasoning of John Locke's articulations in his "Second Treatise on Civil Government" - it is to be remembered that this reasoning of Locke's was written in context of the empirical premises derived from capitalist's material interests fought out in two democratic revolutions in England, of which Locke was a participant in the 2nd revolution. (See: http://www.constitution.org/jl/2ndtr19.htm)
But, the sloganeering in the Declaration of Independence was itself based on the empirical premise of the need to justify the war of independence and bring the masses of the poor people colonies to participate in that war without consideration of their own empirical economic interests - "patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel" (Samuel Johnson) - it was nothing but patriotic rabble rousing flowery rhetoric about 'life', 'liberty' and 'happiness' and demonisation of King George.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of those ends, it is the right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government...
This flowery rhetoric was useful in rabble rousing the gullible among the patriotic working classes and toiling masses to fight the British armed occupation forces. They fought not their direct enemy - the American landed gentry and slaveocracy, the merchant and manufacturing capitalists, bankers and speculators. Rather, they fought the enemy of their enemies.
The Tea Tax rebellion, for instance, wasn't against levying of taxes on American colonists but the opposite, it eliminated taxes on imported tea that would have made tea cheaper for the colonial consumers!
"John Hancock did not directly participate in the Boston tea party. But he stood to lose the most from the East India Company imports of English tea to Boston. On the other hand Samuel Adams who led the Mohawks aboard the British ships was so close to John Hancock that Bostonians even joked that "Sam Adams writes the letters [to newspapers] and John Hancock pays the postage". You do the math. John Hancock was a wealthy shipping magnate, who made the bulk of his money illegally by smuggling. Many colonials were smugglers, Hancock just happened to have a flair for it. Because the ever-tightening British policies that came about after the French and Indian War were aimed at his sort, he wholeheartedly took part in the call for Revolution. It was a well known fact that John Hancock had made his fortune through smuggling Dutch tea, which was cheaper than East Indian tea. A commonly forgotten fact is that East Indian prices were cut before the introduction of the three pence tax, in effect making its price, even with the tax, cheaper than Hancock's tea. Presented with this information, many loyalists did not wonder at Hancock's involvement in the boycotting of East Indian tea and indeed, the entire war. After he inherited a fortune in his mid-20s, this elegant dandy nearly single-handedly bankrolled the early protests in Boston." http://www.boston-tea-party.org/smuggling/John-Hancock.html
So, what did it mean when Patrick Henry said "give me liberty, or give me death'? Death is an empirical fact that speaks of itself, the cessation of biological life of an organism. But, liberty is a term that needed an empirical definition, if it existed.
Surely, the terms 'life', 'liberty' and 'pursuit of happiness', and the slogan 'give me liberty, or give me death', had different meanings for Samuel Adams, John Hancock, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe than it had for the yeomen, the slaves, the indigenous Americans, for instance Gabriel Prosser, Jack Bowler and George Smith:
Gabriel Prosser (ca. 1775-1800) was the African American slave leader of an unsuccessful revolt in Richmond, Va., during the summer of 1800. Gabriel Prosser, the slave of Thomas H. Prosser, was about 25 years old when he came to the attention of Virginia authorities late in August 1800. Little is known of his childhood or family background. He had two brothers and a wife, Nanny, all slaves of Prosser. Gabriel Prosser learned to read and was a serious student of the Bible, where he found inspiration in the accounts of Israel's delivery from slavery. Prosser possessed shrewd judgment, and his master gave him much latitude. He was acknowledged as a leader by many slaves around Richmond. With the help of other slaves, especially Jack Bowler and George Smith, Prosser designed a scheme for a slave revolt. They planned to seize control of Richmond by slaying all whites (except for Methodists, Quakers, and Frenchmen) and then to establish a kingdom of Virginia with Prosser as king. The recent, successful American Revolution and the revolutions in France and Haiti--with their rhetoric of freedom, equality, and brotherhood--supplied examples and inspiration for Prosser's rebellion. In the months preceding the attack Prosser skillfully recruited supporters and organized them into military units. Authorities never discovered how many slaves were involved, but there were undoubtedly several thousand, many armed with swords and pikes made from farm tools by slave blacksmiths. The plan was to strike on the night of Aug. 30, 1800. Men inside Richmond were to set fire to certain buildings to distract whites, and Prosser's force from the country was to seize the armory and government buildings across town. With the firearms thus gained, the rebels would supposedly easily overcome the surprised whites. On the day of the attack the plot was disclosed by two slaves who did not want their masters slain; then Virginia governor James Monroe alerted the militia. That night, as the rebels began congregating outside Richmond, the worst rainstorm in memory flooded roads, washed out bridges, and prevented Prosser's army from assembling. Prosser decided to postpone the attack until the next day, but by then the city was too well defended. The rebels, including Prosser, dispersed. Some slaves, in order to save their own lives, testified against the ringleaders, about 35 of whom were executed. http://www.africawithin.com/bios/gabriel_prosser.htm
There is nothing in the Constitution about 'self-evident truths', or 'all men being created equal' or that all men are "endowed by a creator with unalienable [sic!] rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness".
The empirical facts of the matter was that the "We the People" of the United States in the preamble of the Constitution was restricted to citizens with voting rights who ratified it by legislature, based on property qualifications to run and hold legislative offices.
The masses of women, slaves, Indians, and propertyless white men were excluded from citizenship, from voting and holding office. http://books.google.com/books?id=P9QpAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=beard+economic+interpretation+of+the+constitution&source=
Nevertheless the Constitution as in cases of legislated laws and judicial decisions words and rules of evidence are clearly stated and defined.
Amendment I: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
In these cases 'freedom' is not defined, but it is not the same as the vague abstract term 'liberty' in the Declaration of Independence. In the Constitution 'free exercise of religion' is clearly meant that the State is prohibited from interfering in religious practices, and 'freedom of speech' and 'of the press' similarly means the State cannot interfere in people's discourse or speech making or with publishers publications.
These rights are quite specific and is of empirical behavior - a religious collective participating in their worship and rituals, individuals speaking, writing, publication, assembly; violations of these rights by the State is empirical interference and therefore can be empirically documented and the empirical evidence proving the State's interference is brought to courts for adjudication...
So, similarly if 'dictatorship of individuals' existed in the objective empirical world it has documentation. If so it must be proved by documentation that a single individual has and do as a single hand govern a nation or empire and at the same time terrorize every individual subject of his kingdom or citizen of the republic, while at the same time watching every individual in government and society and listening in on all conversations between members of families, organizations and communities, the empirical evidence of this omnipotent and omniscient individual must be collected and presented to the world for analysis, verification or refutation of the accusation.
On the other hand, if 'dictator' means 'bad man' as head of state, then 'bad' has to be defined -politically as such in contemporary American political and ideological discourse, this is but a case of the diseased mentality of American exceptionalism and its attribute of ignorance engendered stupidity resulting in mass hysteria of gullibility. The anecdote to this sickness of the mind is the counter to illusions national delusional patriotic exceptionalist mentality is the empirical method's debunking function.
Caesar, Caligula and Nero have often been defined as 'bad' and 'dictators' who were self-made rulers for life. Yet, each of them was murdered by their colleagues or soldiers close to them assigned to protect them, which proves they were neither omniscient - they didn't know of the conspiracy to kill them, nor were they omnipotent: each of them got killed.
In actual history dictator was an office in the Roman government/State, as were Senator, magistrate, consul, proconsul, tribune and so on which had specific function and specific purposes. The meaning of dictator was not pejorative but referred to one who ruled by dictat for a set period, rarely (as in the case of Julius Caesar) it was a title for life [See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Roman_dictators)
The most famous and renown dictator was one Cincinnatus:
Cincinnatus was a Roman farmer, dictator, and consul from the legendary period of Roman history. He gained fame as a model of Roman virtue. He was a farmer above all, but when called to serve his country he did so well, efficiently, and without question, even though a prolonged stay away from his farm could mean starvation for his family. When he served his country, he made his stint as dictator as brief as possible. He was also admirable for his lack of ambition. http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/rulersleaderskings/p/Cincinnatus.htm
In 458 BCE (according to tradition), Cincinnatus, who had been consul in 460 BCE, was plowing his fields when messengers arrived to tell him he had been named dictator to defend the city against the Aequi and the Volscians. He took up the supreme command, defeated Rome's enemies, freed the beseiged consul Minucius, and returned to his farm, all within 16 days. Further, he refused the honors that came with his military victories. Legend says he was named dictator a second time in 439 BCE, but there is no foundation for this story.
George Washington was sometimes called an American Cincinnatus because he too held his command only until the defeat of the British and, at a time when he could have chosen to exercise great political power, instead returned as soon as he could to cultivating his lands. After the end of the Revolutionary War, a group of former officers in the (now) American army formed The Society of the Cincinnati, taking the name from the Roman general. The city of Cincinnati was named after this organization, and a statue of Cincinnatus stands there today. http://www.dl.ket.org/latin1/historia/people/cincinnatus01.htm
In the modern era of revolutions and counter-revolutions, as Trotsky noted:
Following at the tails of those living non-lions who write leading articles in the Manchester Guardian and other Liberal organs, the Labour Party leaders generally counterpose democracy to any sort of despotic government whether 'the dictatorship of Lenin' or 'the dictatorship of Mussolini'. The historical mumbo-jumbo of these gentlemen is nowhere expressed more clearly than in this juxtaposition. Not because we are in hindsight inclined to deny the 'dictatorship of Lenin'- his power was, through its effective influence on the whole course of events in an enormous state, exceptional. But how can one speak of dictatorship while passing over its social and historical content? History has known the dictatorship of Cromwell, the dictatorship of Robespierre, the dictatorship of Arakeheev, the dictatorship of Napoleon I, and the dictatorship of Mussolini. It is impossible to discuss anything with a crackpot who puts Robespierre and Arakcheev on a par. Different classes in different conditions and for different tasks find themselves compelled in particular and indeed, the most acute and critical, periods in their history, to vest an extraordinary power and authority in such of their leaders as can carry forward their fundamental interests most sharply and fully. When we speak of dictatorship we must in the first place be clear as to what interest of what particular classes find their historical expression through the dictatorship. For one era Oliver Cromwell, and for another, Robespierre expressed the historically progressive tendencies of development of bourgeois society. William Pitt, likewise extremely close to a personal dictatorship, defended the interests of the monarchy, the privileged classes and the top bourgeois against a revolution of the petty bourgeoisie that found its highest expression in the dictatorship of Robespierre. The liberal vulgarians customarily say that they are against a dictatorship from the left just as much as from the right, although in practice they do not let slip any opportunity of supporting a dictatorship of the right. But for us the question is determined by the fact that one dictatorship moves society forward while another drags it back. Mussolini's dictatorship is a dictatorship of the prematurely decayed, impotent, thoroughly contaminated Italian bourgeoisie: it is a dictatorship with a broken nose. The 'dictatorship of Lenin' expresses the mighty pressure of the new historical class and its superhuman struggle against all the forces of the old society. If Lenin can be juxtaposed to anyone then it is not to Napoleon nor even less to Mussolini but to Cromwell and Robespierre. It can be with some justice said that Lenin is the proletarian twentieth-century Cromwell. Such a definition would at the same time be the highest compliment to the petty-bourgeois seventeenth-century Cromwell. ...
The lower house represented the nation in that it represented the bourgeoisie and thereby national wealth. In the reign of Charles I it was found, and not without amazement, that the House of Commons was three times richer than the House of Lords. The king now dissolved this parliament and now recalled it according to the pressure of financial need. Parliament created an army for its defence. The army gradually concentrated in its ranks all the most active, courageous and resolute elements. As a direct consequence of this, parliament capitulated to this army. We say, "As a direct consequence," but by this we wish to say that Parliament capitulated not simply to armed force (it did not capitulate to the King's army) but to the Puritan army of Cromwell which expressed the requirements of the revolution more boldly, more resolutely and more consistently than did Parliament. http://marxists.anu.edu.au/archive/trotsky/works/britain/ch06.htm
In Europe political theory is objective and taken seriously.
Terms are defined to correspond to empirical economic classes and corresponding political categories that have definate historical meaning. The terms monarchy and tyranny, aristocracy and oligarchy, timocracy and democracy, and even dictator and dictatorship have empirical basis and not, as in the United States just words used to in flowery rhetoric of self-praise and praise for allied, lackey or quisling regimes or to demonise opponent regimes of other countries as 'good' or 'bad'.
In Europe the Conservative Party openly represent the class interests of the industrial, finance and merchant capitalist classes in opposition to the working classes, and conversely the Labour, Socialist and Communist Parties are trade union based and openly claim to represent the interests of the working classes. In the United States, the terms capitalist class vis-a-vis working class is not mentioned, because these terms imply the exploitation of wage labor by capital and proletarian politics with the expropriation of the capitalist classes as the final cause of political activism.
In the United States the Republican Party objectively represent the interests of finance and transnational capital and the Democratic Party the interests of industrial and domestic capital. The American working class and trade unions have failed to create a Labour Party.
American historians and sociologists and 'political science' books present US 'democracy' as classless society of 'American exceptionalism' and the political parties counterpose empirical class conflict by nationalist populism. Politicians do not run for office as representatives of Party's, of class interests articulated in party programme, but as individuals in personality contests by flowery rhetoric and self-congradulation on the one hand and negative campaigns against each other on the other.
The main attacks of American politicians on each other is to accuse one another of representing 'special' [i.e. class] 'interests', while claiming that he or she if elected will represent the interests of "all" the so-called "American people" - the general interest. The political campaigns and 'debates' in Congress and in print and media commentary is nothing but this sort of apolitical demogogy and pretentious narcissistic claptrap contrived to elicit applause and manipulate the emotions of the gullible.
The same is true when the US politicians, and the print and media propaganda machines pump out narcissistic patriotic flowery rhetoric and self-praise about America being a "Christian country", 'the greatest country in history', 'leader of the free world', a 'democracy' and promoter of 'democracy' and 'freedom', 'human rights' and so on on the one hand, and demonise leaders of countries it oppose as 'dictators', 'communists', 'violators of human rights' of 'pro-democracy' advocates.
American culture is extremely anti-intellectualism and pragmatism on the one hand, and contemporary generations are raised on television and movies on the other, which engenders extreme ignorance, opposition to critical thinking, and gullibility engendered by brainwashing.
There are tons of patriotic world War II movies and 'documentaries' in which Hitler is presented as the personification of the word 'dictator' - never mind that he won election and became Chancellor by democratic procedure and is shown in these movies as an extremely popular and mesmerising speaker.
But, the point here is that if Hitler qua Dictator is the personification of Evil, even the Devil incarnate, and US imperialism is fighting German imperialism for control of the world, yet as the enemy of "Hitler" America is presented as the personification of Good, altruistic and liberator of occupied countries and of Jews. The Soviet Union's decisive role in defeating the German army is unknown to American movie goers. The Longest Day, Patton, Winds of War, the 'documentaries' of the Holocaust, Hitler's Hinchmen,etc.
So, when American presidents compare the leaders of countries its about to invade as 'another Hitler' - e.g. Milosevic when it bombed Serbia and Saddam when it invaded Iraq, the American culturally brainwashed into gullibility by movies and documentaries lacking knowledge of actual history and having no critical faculties of thought believe that US invasions and occupations, e.g. Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq is freeing people from 'dictators', whereas in reality the US occupation forces in these countries are the Gestapo occupation forces, just as the Israeli occupation forces are the Gestapo in Gaza, West Bank and South Lebanon.
US cultural internalization, upbringing and education conditions Americans to respond positively when they hear the term 'democracy' and 'pro-America', and negatively when they hear the denounciation of leaders of other countries as 'dictators', 'communists', 'human rights' violators and 'sponsers of terrorists'. Conditioned to respond to these loaded terms and buzz words, the masses of the American people are ignorant, and to stupid to ask the speakers what those terms mean, historically and in the rest of the world.
US presidents claim that America as the 'bastion of democracy' and in a 'war against evil' is going to war ostensibly to 'overthrow a brutal dictator', e.g. Saddam, and as in this case call the bloody invasion and brutal occupation 'Operation Iraqi Freedom'. Gullible Americans, egged on by 'news' media 'reports', with patriotic music in the background, wave flags and patriotically send their sons and daughters to fight in imperialist wars, maiming and killing and being maimed and killed.
Felix Diawouh wrote:
If you do not know what is "good governance" or 'bad governance', 'dictators', 'peace', 'security' 'democracy' and so on because they are imperialist tools, what then can I talk about with you, except you will continue to refer to me as a "brown noser" and I shall refer to you as "a plantation slave" who sees everything in Blacks and Whites?
Lil Joe Response:
Felix, if these things have an objective existence in the external empirical world, and not just manipulate slogans, then the list is waiting for you to provide empirical definitions of the categories, not just repeating the words > Define "good", "bad", "dictator", "democracy", "peace" and "security" .....
Felix Diawouh's Response to me:
Lil Joe, If you think there is no objectivity in definitions of these words that define the success or failure of every given society and world civilization in general then you are intellectually bankrupt. Why do I have to define them to you?
Lil Joe's Response:
Well, well, well .... This from Felix who pats himself on the back, and is patted on the back by rich Republican Tea Party racists as their own 'educated Nigger', doesn't even know the significance of definitions and political categories in political theory.
It was in fact Plato, the conservative philosopher of the Greek slave-owning classes who first raised the issue of 'good governance'. In the Republic, much of the discussion was taking up the question of definition of 'good' and 'bad'. In The Republic, Plato argues through Socrates that good is ideational and contrasted to the empirical, as thought is contrasted to flesh or the intellect to the appetites, and 'bad' are the appetites and the lusts of the flesh. (See: Plato - The Republic - http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/republic.html)
Plato was fighting demagogy and sophistry by demanding of opponents and audience / and readers alike that discourse and lectures on politics begin with ontological certainty by the settlements of epistemological requirement that the basis of logical reasoning is to begin at the beginning to know what discussants are basing their arguments upon by in the very beginning of the discourse each party define its terms: definitions are refutable premises of ideational concepts: predicated upon which arguments are based and references to which arguments are argued.
Plato believed that the intellect of man must dominate the appetites, and corresponded this to classes of society where he said in the best or good society the intellectual elite should govern the working classes and toiling masses, the merchants and the artisans, a meritocracy in which the few [best educated guardian class] should rule over the many, and the one most educated of the educated guardian: the best of all being philosopher kings who by education and intellectual should be elevated to a monarchical position of 'philosopher-king' who could bring about the good world because he or she (Plato was not a male chauvinist!) .
Plato preferred the rule of one: the best of the best on the basis of his epistemologic-ontological theory being philosopher kings who by education and intellectual discipline in dialectical reasoning achieve intellectual access to transcendental knowledge of the Good, of the noumenological essence of things.
Personifications of knowledge of the Good, the philosopher, who like a Star-Trek Vulcan has suppressed appetites and emotions is 'the Word made flesh', but being in-the-world [flesh, appetites, passions] the philosopher-king is not of the world. His or her 'mind' is freed from material passions and economic partisanship of economic classes to exist in pure reason and therefore should have dictatorial powers to shape the good polis by making decisions, executive orders and determinations of justice on the basis and according to objective definition of the Good, Justice, and corresponding government of Guardian, a government of the 'best'.
Plato advocated 'good governance' is best of all ruled by One - he prefered the philosoper king as autocrat, but understanding this to be but wishful thinking he settled for the monarchy as the good form, and tyranny as the bad. His next choice was government by the best few, if not that, he choose aristocracy; but, settled for oligarchy. His last choice was to come to grip with 'bad governance': rule by the many. The best of the bad forms, he advocated for the timocracy, and last - the worst of the bad was in his opinion 'mob ruled by appitites', 'democracy'.
Since Felix Diawouh parrots the words of Plato how is it that he reverses Plato's definitions [of good and bad governance]
Felix is able to skirt this contradiction by using the illogical slogan 'common sense' as opposed to presenting his definitions of good and bad 'governance'.
Felix Diawouh wants to throw out the demands of empirical sciences. The demands of the scientific method is the definition of the problem according to empirical data that is presented as the basis for investigation and the subsequent collection, analysis and synthesis of relevant data resulting in formulating an hypothesis to explain the data and the results of the experiments or tests of the hypothesis, which either falsify or confirm the hypothesis. The validity of the tested hypothesis is the premise for the 'arguments', and the reference point of proof.
Syllogism like faith does not require empirical proof. Syllogism requires but the correctness of distribution of the middle term to argue the logical validity of the claim; but, 'faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen' (Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews, ch. 11). Felix Diawouh doesn't even provide for a syllogism, becaue it would require the objectivity of a definite premise.
Sophists, Socrates and Plato each of them began with the quest for objective definitions of Justice, and the Good: 'knowledge' progressing through dialectical process of debate from position, opposition to composition as a higher position, and from it engedered opposition reaching a higher composition moving thereby from immediate or "common sense" definitions through negations, negations of negations to reach positive Ideas through therefore and by transcendental pure reason.
Felix doesn't even define his terms. Yet, he regurgitate the slogans and loaded language of US politicians, print and media propagandists to 'justify' bombing campaigns, invasions and bloody occupation on the basis of his undefined words: liberty, freedom, democracy, peace and security.
The US claims that its murder and bombing campaigns have brought liberty, freedom, democracy, and are beinging 'security' to Afghans and Iraqis by killing the Resistance, simply by name calling the Resistance "terrorists" and claiming these "terrorists" want to impose an "Islamist totalitarian State", whereas the Resistance fighters in reality are fighting to liberate their country from foreign Gestapo occupation.
Occupation is occupation: 'liberty', 'freedom', 'democracy' under occupation are just empty words without empirical content. It's nothing but flowery rhetoric to dupe gullible Americans into beliving the imperialist invasion and occupation that their sons and daughters are ostensibly fighting for a nobility of purpose, whereas the real intent is the US transnational capitalists fighting for the oil regions of the Middle East.
Were Felix to define these terms the concepts they ostensibly represent could be objectively compared and contrasted to the bloody reality, and thereby refuted by the facts.
The point of contention between Felix Diawouh and myself for nearly a decade on several African oriented lists is that he has endorsed every belligerent act of aggression, occupation and mass murdering campaign by US imperialism and Israel. I on the contrary oppose these bloody campaigns.
The way the US politicians, press and media propagandists, and brown nosers and lackeys regurgitate justifications for these invasions and occupations is by claiming their motives is to overthrow 'dictators' and promote 'freedom' and democracy, or to route 'terrorists'. Thus Felix mealy mouthed his support for the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan, Iraq - including the blood baths in Fallujah, and Somalia in the name of 'freedom', 'democracy' and 'peace'! Similarly he endorsed the mass murder and genocidal campaigns by Israel in West Bank and Gaza of occupied Palestine, and the wars of aggression in Lebanon in the names of routing terrorists and bringing 'peace' and 'security' to the Middle East.
It is in this context that I have repeatedly challenged Felix Diawouh to define what he and the imperialist mean by freedom, democracy, peace, security and so on. The US politicians and propagandists, regurgitated on lists by Felix, claimed the Iraqis were grateful for being invaded, bombed and occupied, subjected to repression and torture by US and British armed Gestapo forces in their country, and it was just the 'Saddam loyalist' that opposed them.
War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Occupation is Liberation
Resistance is Terrorism
Democracy is Quisling obedience
Independence is Lackey obedience
Ignorance is Strength
Media Propaganda is Truth
After years of Resistance following the assassination of Saddam, they claimed the continued resistance was "Al Qaeda operatives". Then, when the resistance broke out in Shia territories, they said these resistance forces were "Islamists" and 'terrorists', taking a page from the Zionists demonisations of the Palestinian and Lebanese resistance forces.
For the US politicians and their press and media propagandists, their 'Ministry of Truth' Orwellian language:
The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible. It was intended that when Newspeak had been adopted once and for all and Oldspeak forgotten, a heretical thought - that is, a thought diverging from the principles of Ingsoc - should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words. Its vocabulary was so constructed as to give exact and often very subtle expression to every meaning that a Party member could properly wish to express, while excluding all other meanings and also the possibility of arriving at them by indirect methods. This was done partly by the invention of new words, but chiefly by eliminating undesirable words and by stripping such words as remained of unorthodox meanings, and so far as possible of all secondary meanings whatever. To give a single example. The word free still existed in Newspeak, but it could only be used in such statements as 'This dog is free from lice' or 'This field is free from weeds'. It could not be used in its old sense of 'politically free' or 'intellectually free' since political and intellectual freedom no longer existed even as concepts, and were therefore of necessity nameless. Quite apart from the suppression of definitely heretical words, reduction of vocabulary was regarded as an end in itself, and no word that could be dispensed with was allowed to survive. Newspeak was designed not to extend but to diminish the range of thought, and this purpose was indirectly assisted by cutting the choice of words down to a minimum. ...
So did the fact of having very few words to choose from. Relative to our own, the Newspeak vocabulary was tiny, and new ways of reducing it were constantly being devised. Newspeak, indeed, differed from most all other languages in that its vocabulary grew smaller instead of larger every year. Each reduction was a gain, since the smaller the area of choice, the smaller the temptation to take thought. Ultimately it was hoped to make articulate speech issue from the larynx without involving the higher brain centres at all. This aim was frankly admitted in the Newspeak word duckspeak, meaning 'to quack like a duck'. Like various other words in the B vocabulary, duckspeak was ambivalent in meaning. Provided that the opinions which were quacked out were orthodox ones, it implied nothing but praise, and when the Times referred to one of the orators of the Party as a doubleplusgood duckspeaker it was paying a warm and valued compliment. http://www.orwell.ru/library/novels/1984/english/en_app
Felix Diawouh wrote:
"If you think there is no objectivity in definitions of these words that define the success or failure of evry given society and world civilization in general then you are intellectually bankrupt. Why do I have to define them to you?"
Lil Joe's Response:
There has not been any discussion of what constitute "the success or failure of evry [sic!] given society and world civilization in general". Felix is using words he does not define, in this instance 'success' and 'failure' of what he calls 'society' and 'world civilization'.
Felix Diawouh is an Ashamed African immigrant hanging out with White Supremacist Eurocentric racist Tea Party Republicans who see Africans as savages and primitives. Their 'world-view' of 'any given society and world civilization in general' is not based on the materialist conception of history and scientific cultural materialism but on the race supremacy and imperialist world view articulated by Rudyard Kipling in "The White Man's Burden":
Take up the White Man's burden--
Send forth the best ye breed--
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives' need;
To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild--
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half-devil and half-child.
Take up the White Man's burden--
In patience to abide,
To veil the threat of terror
And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made plain
To seek another's profit,
And work another's gain.
Take up the White Man's burden--
The savage wars of peace--
Fill full the mouth of Famine
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
The end for others sought,
Watch sloth and heathen Folly
Bring all your hopes to nought.
This is the world-view of Felix Diawouh and the ideological racism he has internalized notion of Africa as a continent of 'bad governed' and 'failed states'.
The empirical world is understood differently predicated upon the materialist conception of society:
What is society, irrespective of its form? The product of man's interaction upon man. Is man free to choose this or that form of society? By no means. If you assume a given state of development of man's productive faculties, you will have a corresponding form of commerce and consumption. If you assume given stages of development in production, commerce or consumption, you will have a corresponding form of social constitution, a corresponding organisation, whether of the family, of the estates or of the classes-in a word, a corresponding civil society. If you assume this or that civil society, you will have this or that political system, which is but the official expression of civil society.
Needless to say, man is not free to choose his productive forces-upon which his whole history is based-for every productive force is an acquired force, the product of previous activity. Thus the productive forces are the result of man's practical energy, but that energy is in turn circumscribed by the conditions in which man is placed by the productive forces already acquired, by the form of society which exists before him, which he does not create, which is the product of the preceding generation.
Protected by the corporative and regulatory system, capital had accumulated, maritime trade had expanded, colonies had been founded-and man would have lost the very fruits of all this had he wished to preserve the forms under whose protection those fruits had ripened. And, indeed, two thunderclaps occurred, the revolutions of 1640 and of 1688. In England, all the earlier economic forms, the social relations corresponding to them, and the political system which was the official expression of the old civil society, were destroyed. Thus, the economic forms in which man produces, consumes and exchanges are transitory and historical. http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1846/letters/46_12_28.htm
The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the entire surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connexions everywhere.
The bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of the world market given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country.
The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, nations into civilisation. The cheap prices of commodities are the heavy artillery with which it batters down all Chinese walls, with which it forces the barbarians' intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilisation into their midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image. http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch01.htm
Empirical analysis by careful ascertaining and analysis of economic and historical data proves techno-economic envormental determinism and refutes the assertion of imperialist politicians and ideologists, who want to divide the populations of humanity into and according to "the success or failure of evry given society and world civilization in general" and exposes the power-dependence relationship of European and North American technological and economic power and the dependence of African nations on them.
The countries of the world can be divided into two major world regions - the 'core' and the 'periphery.' The core includes major world powers and the countries that contain much of the wealth of the planet. The periphery are those countries that are not reaping the benefits of global wealth and globalization.
The Theory of Core and Periphery
The basic principle of the 'Core-Periphery' theory is that as general prosperity grows worldwide, the majority of that growth is enjoyed by a 'core' region of wealthy countries despite being severely outnumbered in population by those in a 'periphery' that are ignored.
There are many reasons why this global structure has formed, but generally there are many barriers, physical and political, that prevent the poorer citizens of the world from participating in global relations. The disparity of wealth between core and periphery countries is staggering, with 15% of the global population enjoying 75% of the world's annual income.
The 'core' consists of Europe (excluding Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus) , the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, and Israel. Within this region is where most of the positive characteristics of globalization typically occur: transnational links, modern development (i.e. higher wages, access to healthcare, adequate food/water/shelter), scientific innovation, and increasing economic prosperity. These countries also tend to be highly industrialized and have a rapidly-growing service (tertiary) sector.
The 'periphery' consists of the countries in the rest of the world: Africa, South America, Asia (excluding Japan and South Korea), and Russia and many of its neighbors. Although some parts of this area exhibit positive development (especially Pacific Rim locations in China), it is generally characterized by extreme poverty and a low standard of living. Health care is non-existent in many places, there is less access to potable water than in the industrialized core, and poor infrastructure engenders slum conditions. http://geography.about.com/od/politicalgeography/a/coreperiphery.htm
Kwame Nkrumah did a detailed empirical analysis of the power-dependence relationship between Western transnational capital and their respective African nation's compradore bourgeoisie, and the corresponding dominate-subordinate relationship of imperialist governments and the neo-colonial regimes in thodr African nations, in his Neo-Colonialism, the Final Stage of Imperialism (See: http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/nkrumah/neo-colonialism/)
The transnational capitalists based in Europe &/or North American own the technology and transplants it to African countries such as South Africa, Congo or Nigeria where they hire compradore bourgeois to manage production, such as extraction of gold, diamonds or crude oil, pay off and corrupt governments, and the imperialists oversee the buying and selling of military hardware -guns, tanks, warplanes &c., that make those governments further more dependent upon the imperialists to control their native populations, or make war on each other. Then the imperialist politicians and press and media propagandists call these collapsing government's 'failed states'.
Then in come the likes of Felix Diawouh regurgitating the Western politicians, and the print and media propaganists calling these 'failed states', as if the words themselves constituted objective empirical facts. They don't.
"Success" and "failure" require objective empirical standards that is neutral and this does not exist. What exists are empirical economic relationships in the global economy. Felix Diawouh uses European and North American developed capitalist countries as military powers as his standard model of 'success' against which he posits African 'failures' without doing an empirical analysis of the power-dependence relationships.
Felix Diawouh wants to pretend moral outrage against Africans killing each other but does not want to discuss where the guns and tanks come from. He wants to fake moral outrage about 'corruption' [which is a moral concept] but objects to an empirical analysis of where the guns are produced and transported together with where the money comes from and why.
Felix Diawouh wants to present the transnational capitalists and imperialist governments as altruists who were 'taken advantage of' by the 'corrupt' African governments, that is that US and European governments supplying weapons and corrupting African governments with money as victims of African villians. He correspondingly thereby plays the blame game, obsolving the transnational capitalists and governments of supplying money and weapons and accuses Africans as causes of African 'failure' rather than 'successes'.
Calling African nations "failed states" is a red herring because it diverts from empirical analysis to moral indignation that explains nothing.
In the objective empirical universe transnational corporations are not run by suckers and heads of imperialist states are not fools - when they transfer military hardware and money to African governments it is the transnational capitalists and the imperialist governmentsy that are the ones in charge in these power -dependence and corresponding dominant-subordinate relationships.
What the "African" contestants at war one faction against another is all about is winning position of government to become the bribed heads of governments, they regard failure as lossing the war and success becoming the enriched lackeys of imperialist governments. It is not the development of national economies but getting rich by betraying their countrymen by selling it to transnational capitalists based in the US or EU.
What is ironic is that George Ayittey the imperialist's lackey propagandist and Felix Diawouh denounce African lackeys in state power as corrupt. George Ayittey and Felix Diawouh's so-called "Free Africa Foundation" is just as "corrupt" in their regurgitations of imperialist propaganda (See http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ChatAfriK/message/34072)
Felix Diawouh attributing to me that I said "there is no objectivity in definitions of these words" -viz: 'good', 'bad', 'democracy', 'dictator', 'freedom' &c., "that define the success or failure of evry given society and world civilization in general" is also a straw man. I never said there was 'no objectivity in definitions' of the terms under consideration - 'good' and 'bad', dictator', 'democracy', 'freedom', 'terrorist' and so on. I also never wrote anything about "success or failure" of any given "society" and never connected any "society" with metaphysical terms.
I proved by presentations from his own writings that Felix Diawouh has never presented any objective definitions for these terms; he has not even provided any external documentation or examples to support an objective definition. All he does is regurgitate these words, never presenting any definitions and never presenting any corroborating documentation.
This is not about Felix defining these terms to me personally. It is a matter of him proving his definitions and corroborating empirical evidence to the group: what is the definition and meaning of his use of the words 'freedom', 'democracy', 'good', 'bad', 'dictator', 'terrorist'? What is Felix data? What do these terms mean in the objective world? What and where are Felix's objective references in the empirical world?
Since Felix Diawouh has been incapable of presenting any objective definitions of good, bad, democracy, freedom, dictator, terrorist and so on it is his use of them that has no objective definition and empirical existence and is just Orwellian phraseology and newspeak propaganda based on 'doublethink'.
Felix Diawouh wrote:
"You are just a pathetic rambling parrot. You are just enjoying the comfort of American freedom to write your non-sense and calling yourself "radical". You will have a different perspective of your supporting the terrorist groups and dictators if you were to live them and criticize them."
Lil Joe's Response: Felix has never defined 'freedom', nor has he presented any evidence of American exceptionalism. What is "American freedom"?
Rather than presenting a logical, data based refutation of my data based arguments against US politicians, print and media propagandists manipulative use of loaded terms and buzz words such as good, bad, democracy, freedom and peace in demogogic flowery rhetoric falsely intimating altruistic 'motives' to justify US imperialism's bloody invasion and brutal occupation in Afghanistan, Iraq and its armed and financed Ethiopian lackey army mass murder campaigns invading and occupation of Somalia, Felix instead goes ad hominem and red herring.
Rather than defining the demonizing term 'terrorism', and correspondingly providing evidence supporting his claim that the Afghan, Iraqi, Somali, Palestinian and Lebanonese Resistance forces are not similar to the Resistance forces in German Gestapo occupied Greece, France, Serbia, Albania and other countries brutally invaded and ruthlessly occupied, Felix instead repeatedly regurgitates the demonising of the Resistance by calling those soldiers of national liberation 'terrorist' and accuses me of supporting 'terrorist groups'. The Nazi occupation forces in the Warsaw Ghetto Rebellion also called the Jewish rebels 'terrorist' and accused their killing of Gestapo murderers as 'acts of terrorism'!
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