Closing Thought–02Jan17

We begin a new year and the month that our new lord ascends the throne of power…..and as he does so the situation with immigrants will make it to the forefront…..during the campaign there was lots of talk and insults flying around the issue….and of course those BB brains that worship Trump still echo the crap about all those “illegals” pouring across the border daily.

The problem is that may not be the truth…oh the horror!  A politician that lies!  Now that would be something to grab the attention of the public.

A new study challenges that assumption.

The U.S./Mexico Cycle: End of an Era” concludes that the days of massive legal and illegal immigration from Mexico have ended and are not likely to return. Hence, it is called “the end of an era,” according to Aracely Garcia-Granados, executive director of Mexicans and Americans Thinking Together (MATT), which conducted the study in collaboration with Southern Methodist University.

The study confirms what a Pew Hispanic Center study first reported in 2012: The net emigration of Mexicans to the United States has slowed if not reversed, and that many Mexicans residing in the United States are going back home in historic numbers.

The value of the new report is that it reveals surprising reasons for the new trend in Mexico–U.S. migration. Economic motives for leaving the United States and deportation were not among the top reasons. The reasons were generally much more personal.

The findings are based on interviews with 601 returnees from the state of Jalisco, which has the highest return migrant population in Mexico among the Mexican states. The MATT website states that this is the first study to investigate the factors driving the return of Mexican immigrants to Mexico.

The top three reasons for return migration were family reasons (37 percent), nostalgia for their country of origin (29 percent), and difficulty in finding a job in the United States (11 percent). Only 1.7 percent said being discriminated against or racism was a reason for their return.

Of course the GOP and the other bigoted twats will ignore the data…they will do what their hero does…..take to social media to make up the story they want to be the story……there are NOT millions pouring across the border for free stuff….the trickle is in the other direction home.

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Is It Just Paranoia?

I apologize it seems that I am beating you about the brain with historical perspectives today….but it is a new year so why not learn something, right?

With all the stuff about Russia coming to the forefront…the hacking…the military build-up….the political rhetoric…..is there reason for them to be paranoid?

Keep in mind this is a historic perspective and not some endorsement of anything….just a short history lesson is all.

Russia has had two major invasion in history…..the first was Napoleon in 1812 and then in 1941 by Germany and each time the invaders came in through Poland and Central Europe….so at the end of WW2 Russia kept the invasion route under their control so it could not ever happen again.

Then the US…..Russia worried about the US and its new weapon, the A-bomb…..they, the US, had used it twice and would they use it again?  Yes they were worried about a possible invasion by the US.  Now you ask why would the US consider such a thing?

But first a little background…..I recently watched a History Channel program that was entitled “America’s First War on Communism”….it was a look at the Korean War.

Being a history nut I quickly sent an email to the Channel and then wrote a piece here on IST….I worked to dispel a misconception…that was not the first War on Communism…..

Source: America’s First War On Communism – In Saner Thought

That is correct the US sent troops into Russia in 1919 in support of the Whites, the loyalist that were fighting the Communists in the Civil War that ensued after the revolution…..but for more info read on……

It was a war few Americans knew about then or now. Orchestrated behind closed doors, inspired by panic, and plagued by futility, America’s military intervention in Siberia during the First World War continued long after the Armistice sent the doughboys in France home.President Woodrow Wilson considered the order to send American troops to Siberia, a region besieged by civil war, lawlessness, and murder, one of the most difficult decisions of his presidency. Despite Russia’s separate peace treaty with Germany ending the war on the Eastern Front early in 1918, Wilson hesitated to get involved in Russia’s civil war even at the Allies insistence. By Summer 1918 things changed. The mounting Japanese occupation of Siberia threatened American business interests in the East. Piles of Allied military goods amassing to over 600,000 tons of war materials laid vulnerable around the crowded city.[1] The plight of the stranded Czech Legion vulnerable to the merciless Red Army gave Wilson a much needed moral foundation for intervention. Intervention, Wilson realized, could be used later to pressure the Allies into adopting his ideas for a League of Nations.

Source: AEF Siberia

NATO is building up on Russia’s western border…I would say ….There is good reason for Russia to have these feelings of paranoia….as they say….old habits die hard..

Maybe The Frankfurt School Can Help

Ever since the news broke that Donald Trump had won the electoral college there has been a wealth of ink wasted trying to explain what went wrong and how this person could have won so much of the electoral college.

Us academics….you know those people that the Right demonizes every chance they get….maybe be able to help explain the situation and that nagging question…how could this happen?

I have read most of the stuff both Right and Left that attempts to explain the 2016 elections….most of it is supposition…..but some of the thoughts of the Frankfurt School could help in this endeavor……

At least spend some time and learn about their thoughts before dismissing them outright.

The Frankfurt School, also known as the Institute of Social Research (Institut für Sozialforschung), is a social and political philosophical movement of thought located in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. It is the original source of what is known as Critical Theory. The Institute was founded, thanks to a donation by Felix Weil in 1923, with the aim of developing Marxist studies in Germany. The Institute eventually generated a specific school of thought after 1933 when the Nazis forced it to close and move to the United States, where it found hospitality at Columbia University, New York.

The academic influence of the “critical” method is far reaching in terms of educational institutions in which such tradition is taught and in terms of the problems it addresses. Some of its core issues involve the critique of modernities and of capitalist society, the definition of social emancipation and the perceived pathologies of society. Critical theory provides a specific interpretation of Marxist philosophy and reinterprets some of its central economic and political notions such as commodification, reification, fetishization and critique of mass culture.

Source: Frankfurt School and Critical Theory | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

In 1923, a motley collection of philosophers, cultural critics, and sociologists formed the Institute of Social Research in Frankfurt, Germany. Known popularly as the Frankfurt School, it was an all-star crew of lefty theorists, including Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Erich Fromm, Max Horkheimer, and Herbert Marcuse.

A guiding belief of the Frankfurt School, notably among Adorno and Horkheimer, was that mass culture, in all its forms, was a prop for totalitarian capitalism. The idea was that art, in late-capitalist society, had been reduced to a cultural commodity. Critical theory sought to expose this by rigorously examining the products of popular culture. In particular, they tried to show how culture became a stealth vehicle for the inculcation of capitalist values.

Source: If you want to understand the age of Trump, you need to read the Frankfurt School – Vox

One may not approve of their approach….but they were instrumental in the formation of the “critical theory”…..

The New, New Dictatorship of the Proletariat

This is a fun post for me….for too long those slobbering idiots on the Right have thrown around the terms Marxist….Communist….socialist…ad nauseum and I would wager that the way that any of them knew the term was from the use of the Google button or listen to another babbling buffoon.

So about here the reader is thinking that I will go off on some rant about this thing about the workers being in charge….oh wait!  Maybe I should explain the term “Dictatorship of the Proletariat”……

  1. In Marxist socio-political thought, the dictatorship of the proletariat refers to a socialist state in which the proletariat, or the working class, has control of political power. The term, coined by Joseph Weydemeyer, was adopted by the founders of Marxism, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, in the 19th century. The use of the term “dictatorship” does not refer to the Classical Roman concept of the dictatura, but instead to the Marxist concept of dictatorship. Following on from the theories of Marx and Engels, Marxists believe that such a socialist state is an inevitable step in the evolution of human society. They argue that it is a transitional phase that emerges out of the “dictatorship of the bourgeoisie”, or capitalist society, in which the private ownership of industry and resources leads to a monopoly of economic power by the capitalist class. With an economy under democratic control, Marxists expect political power to be held by the majority working class. Whether or not capitalists are disenfranchised would depend upon the particular circumstances of a nation. In a period immediately after the Russian Revolution, the mode in which democracy was organised automatically disenfranchised capitalists; however, Marxists such as Lenin argued that other forms of a ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ in more developed countries would include capitalists among the electorate. However, as large-scale capitalism is phased out, future generations would not become capitalist owners, and class divisions would no longer exist within the electorate. As a result, the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ would wither away, resulting in an entirely classless, stateless form of society known as pure communism.

If that one is too much to handle then maybe a short more simplistic definition…..The temporary period following the fall of capitalism characterized by a struggle to achieve a classless, stateless and moneyless communist society.

Could there be a new way of looking at an old term?

2016 has shown us that the worker is looking for any option to make his/her life better….even to the point of looking to those in the ivory towers for answers………..

So, I’m watching CNN or MSNBC, one of those, and I see a guy being interviewed, identified as the head of the union that represents the workers at that factory down the road from Carrier. Carrier, you’ll recall, was the outfit that got over three-quarters of a billion in tax breaks in exchange for a temporary hold on sending an additional 800 American jobs to Mexico, instead of the larger number of jobs that Carrier had planned to ship south of the border, down Mexico way. In exchange for that big tax break, Donald Trump dominated another couple of news cycles and became, momentarily, the champion of the working man, the indefatigable foe of predatory capitalism, and the best damn friend the working man ever had, a veritable Joe Hill for our times.  Remember his famous last words: “Don’t mourn. Organize”? That Joe Hill.

Anyhoo, this guy on CNN or MSNBC, one of those, was being asked if he wasn’t a little peeved to find that Trump hadn’t saved a single job at his plant, hadn’t cared about the workers at Rexnord the way he did about those workers at Carrier. As it turned out, this union spokesman had voted for Trump, and though he was sorry Trump hadn’t lifted a finger to protect workers at his plant, he seemed unrepentant about having cast a union officer’s vote for a man who was notorious for stiffing workers. In fact, this union rep even went so far as to make excuses for Trump, and to explain to viewers how there were just lots of jobs that would never be saved, no matter what, because of things like automation. even though that plant closure wasn’t going to result in Mexican robots getting those jobs that were going south. No, it was real flesh-and-blood Mexican workers who were going to be doing what those men and women in Indiana had been doing. Or so it seemed to this viewer.

Source: The New, New Dictatorship of the Proletariat – LA Progressive

From Dead Drops To Hacking

Everyone that visits IST regularly knows that do enjoy my history and dropping a bit of historical perspective from time to time.

So how can I change that in this New Year.

Since the “hacking” by the Russians there seems to be a bit of interests in the spy game as they say…..so let me drop some more history on you guys about the spying by the Russians over the decades…..

From sleeper agents in suburban America to an assassination in London and hacking of the US presidential election, the list of alleged activities by Soviet and Russian spies abroad is long.

Following US accusations that Russian spies tipped the vote in President-elect Donald Trump’s favour — by stealing Democratic Party information — here are some of the most brazen operations in the West.

Source: Flash – From dead drops to hacking: Moscow spies on world stage – France 24

Come on…..a beautiful redhead…..make me write bad checks….

Does Syria Have A Future?

Note:  I have a massive amount of “drafts” in waiting…..as we start a new year I need to drop some on you guys and clean out the file….hopefully these will give my readers something to consider…….there is so much about to happen that I need the space…..please bear with me.

Now moving on to the rest of the day……

Most Americans are aware of the situation in Syria…but not all.  The destruction of the country is of little concern of us but it is paramount to anyone living in Syria or that has family in the war torn country.

There is a ceasefire….well a partial ceasefire…..

There are some that like to look at a way to solve any further complications once this civil war is over…..I have written a couple of posts about a possible future….

https://lobotero.com/2016/08/09/syria-a-balkanizing-future/

https://lobotero.com/2016/08/30/the-partition-of-syria/

 

As you can see most of the “solutions” have little to do with saving Syria but rather dividing it up that will cause even more problems down the road…

Our new president has offered up a plan…..well sort of a plan…..

Donald Trump’s “Thank You” tour rolled into Hershey, Pa., Thursday night, where he promised to do something to end suffering in Syria. “When I look at what’s going on in Syria, it’s so sad,” he said, per the New York Times. “It’s so sad, and we’re going to help people.” He promised to “build and help build safe zones in Syria, so people will have a chance,” and said Gulf states would help pay for the move. Analysts have warned that such a move could set up a confrontation with Russia, and the Times notes that this is the first time Trump has repeated his “safe zones” promise since he started receiving security briefings.

Just where would these so-called “safe zones” be located?  Or how would the “safety” be guaranteed?

These are more campaign promises than an actual plan.