Response to “Occupy the NYTimes”

This is a response to “Occupy the NYTimes”, an article written by one Josh Mitteldorf.

Response by Simin Royanian:

Unfortunately there is nothing new or interesting in Mitteldorf’s piece. It is the same hodgepodge that the “occupy” people talk about.

Not one word about class or imperialism, talking as if history began on 9/11. Saying Americans are not stupid, and that everybody is just “brainwashed”.

As if the American ruling class has not lied and then been exposed so many times. He does not even talk about lies during the Vietnam war, let alone going back in history to the beginning of this nation.

Also, his position is the same “liberal” propaganda. He claims he looks for “truth”, but he gives the examples of what the Americans should emulate as Prague and Tienanmen square, both anti-socialist protests.

The Prague was an anti-communist movement for “decentralization” of the economy to overthrow communism and move towards a “western style” capitalist government.
It is interesting that this Prague protest happened in 1968 when the American student movement led by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) protested all over the US against the US anti-communist war in Vietnam, and specifically in New York city, Columbia students took over the University (that was a real “occupy”) with specific demands that forced the university administration to negotiation with the students. So Mitteldorf does not suggest that Americans follow their own glorious history of resistance, but rather to follow US government support for anti-socialist “protests” in socialist countries. He does not refer to the civil rights movement and the sit-ins by African Americans and their white supporters against Jim Crow laws and so on. There are so many examples of glorious American labor struggles with specific demands and strategy, even the suffragist movement, and he claims he knows the truth or something (I wonder if he has studied the history of the American people’s struggles at all).

The New York Times reported the Prague protests with the usual anticommunist, anti-Soviet propaganda while not being so kind to the students all across the US who were protesting racism in the US and the Vietnam war….

The Tienanmen protests were even more meaningless. They happened at the beginning of the transformation of China from socialism to capitalism. While the capitalist supporters had won the struggle within the Chinese communist party and were planning the transition to capitalism, another pro-capitalist and pro-US faction was rising in their struggle to become the new capitalist bosses. There were no people-oriented, progressive goals or organizations in the Tienanmen protests.

These examples, which were anti-socialist, pro-capitalist actions can not be examples for the American resistance. The United States is already a capitalist country, so the only examples that American people have to follow are their own successful labor, civil-rights, and women’s-rights movements, which have been successful in curbing the excesses of unchecked capitalism, movements with clear and disciplined organizations, strategy and goals, patience and long term commitment to hard struggle.

So, while the American media have become more corporate-owned since the 1960’s, they have always been representing the ruling class, supporting anti-socialist propaganda.
This person, instead of saying the people cannot trust corporate owned media, should read between the lines, learn to distinguish facts from opinion, and suggest they read news and history from the anticapitalist view as well, and maybe at least read Howard Zinn’s People’s History. He claims only that if NYT would wake up and tell the “truth” somehow, everything will be fine.

There is so much partial truth and so many facts about the atrocities of US imperialism every day in the NYT itself if the reader is not lazy and reads through long articles and learns to distinguish between mere data and propaganda. NY Times tells you about the crimes against prisoners in the US, the war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, rape in the military, torture in Abu Ghraib prison…. they even published the Julian Assange and Manning stuff….

This guy is another confused and anticommunist American ‘liberal”.

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Mueller Report and Anti-Democratic US Politics

According to secondary reporting, the infamous Mueller report alleging Russian “meddling” in the 2016 US presidential election, states that the GRU, an organ of the Russian government, “stole” e-mails from the self-proclaimed “Democratic” National Committee (“D”NC) with the intention of publishing those e-mails. Use your logic. What would be the point of publishing these e-mails unless they had public interest? None. And why did they have public interest? You and I know that the reason that these e-mails would draw public interest is that these e-mails showed that the “D”NC was conspiring with the Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) campaign to cheat the supporters of Senator Sanders out of the political power in the “Democratic” primary elections that those supporters deserved on account of their numbers. Even if this “theft” of e-mails was technically illegal, the larger ethical consideration should see that stealing from people who are thieves in the first place might be a good thing in the net. In this case, the “D”NC stole from a subset of the rank and file of their party, their rightful political power. The significance that Americans should take from these events is that something about the system of government and elections in the US is very anti-democratic in terms of the power it hands to certain supposed party officials to steal the elections from the public at large and from the working class. And speaking of class, what class may think it will benefit from a drumbeat of propaganda against Russia? That would be the 1% of the 1%, who want a war, either a low-level war or a hot war. I call on all Americans to separate this tiny minority from power whose interests conflict with your own interest in survival. And in doing so, you can cite the Mueller report as an indirect indictment of what is happening in the US that prevents the working class form their rightful political power as justified by their numbers.

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UN Rights Panel Called for Assange Release in 2016

From the New York Times:

A United Nations rights panel said in January 2016 that Britain and Sweden had arbitrarily detained Mr. Assange, should restore his freedom of movement and should compensate him. The panel said that Swedish prosecutors had not pressed charges and had never shown Mr. Assange evidence against him or given him a chance to respond. …

link into NYT

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New York Times 2019-02-25 on Venezuela

On page A4, they picture the “Venezuelan protesters” and the caption says “Protesters preparing Molotov cocktails on Sunday along the Venezuela-Colombia border.”

This is valuable in debating the issue with people who are brainwashed by the media to believe the Venezuelan government is using violence against peaceful protesters, especially since it is from NYT, which supports US intervention in Venezuela.

In response to Molotov cocktails by a group of people attacking the Venezuelan border from another country (not an internal protest), NYT and NPR report that the Venezuelan army used tear gas. Tear gas, which the American police always use against peaceful American protesters here at home.

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“We”, “We”, “We”, All The Way Home

Dear American who stands for peace and justice: As a matter of effective rhetoric for promoting our common cause, please consider my suggestion to use language that would distance yourself personally from the behavior that you and I disapprove of. Say things like “US officials ruined Libya” or “US officials imposed sanctions on Venezuela” or “the 1% wants to attack Russia” rather than including yourself with torturers and war criminals in “we” language, if you were not personally involved in the crimes or atrocities you refer to.

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Utilitarianism vs. Majoritarianism

Advocates for voting reform seem to fall by and large into two camps, the Majoritarians and the Utilitarians. The difference is well illustrated by the example of “Everybody Loves Raymond”.

Let’s say the election for Governor of Virginia has three candidates, Raymond, Charles, and Sally. Say 49% of the voters would on a scale of 0 to 10 rate Sally a 10, Raymond a 9, and Sally zero. Say the remaining 51% of the voters rate Charles a 10, Raymond a 9, and Sally zero. Utilitarians would say that the best voting systems would be those that would elect Raymond in this scenario, because if you sum up the level of disappointment across all the voters, the Charles outcome is more disappointing overall. On the other hand, Majoratarians argue that majority should rule at all costs, which results in Charles being elected.

I did not come up with this example, but for now, I can’t remember who did.

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In Favor of Enforcing Immigration Laws

The citizens need a system of laws that will protect all workers from abuse. So, no human trafficking, no slavery. All people physically present must enjoy the protection of the laws. Winking at illegal immigration creates a class of people who do not receive that protection because those exploiting and abusing them can always threaten to have them deported. Moreover, such illegally present persons tend to fear the police and other officials, so in effect cannot complain about crimes perpetrated against them.

Those who think the current immigration laws ought not be enforced should propose changes in those laws.

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