Debunking Hayek’s Road to Serfdom: “Socialism Means Slavery” (Part 1)

An apt appraisal of Hayek’s mistake

Anti-Imperialism.org

Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3

Introduction

The purpose of this multi-part series is to debunk the thesis put forward in F.A. Hayek’s seminal work The Road to Serfdom; wherein, he suggests that Western Civilization had been moving towards socialism and that this was ultimately a road to destruction and servitude.

Much of what is said in regard to socialism today is merely a re-articulation of what Hayek said so many decades ago. This is why it is imperative, as a socialist, to completely dispel all the falsehoods he promotes so that we can make clear what the legacy and mission of socialism really is. Some might think this is a scholarly endeavor; revisiting works from the last century for the purpose of some aggrandizing intellectual adventure. Nothing could be farther from the truth. As my series will show, what Hayek has said continues to be the battle-cry against…

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About Eric Holder…

ON ERIC HOLDER’S LEGACY.
Robert J Dorn
Sept. 27, 2014
As Eric Holder announced stepping down from his post as the the first African American AG’s in US history. He faced enormous racist and other personal attacks during his tenure. He faced this with tact and at times fought back gloriously.
He, admittedly had many victories and made much progress on race issues, civil rights, and many other fields. He flew to Ferguson, MO, recently and personally supported and comforted the people and protestors there and has begun Federal cases in that obvious miscarriage of justice. And, acknowledge his civil rights record and other amazing (considering the current political climate), victories, e.g. refusing to prosecute DOMA.
On the other hand, his greatest criticisms, included will be his lack of Indicting any Major CEO’s of Bush’s era, Wall street, for the many criminals that brought us to the worst Economic downturn since the Great Depression, leading to millions losing their homes, savings, and in many ways, their lives. I, myself, lost over $25,000 of my own Teacher’s retirement during that area. He essentially has supported the concept that some financial institutions are TOO LARGE TO FAIL.
A Huffington Post article just today, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/26/eric-holder-legacy_n_5889730.html “This Is What Eric Holder’s Legacy Will Be” ,says,
“In striking contrast with these past prosecutions, not a single high-level executive has been successfully prosecuted in connection with the recent financial crisis, and given the fact that most of the relevant criminal provisions are governed by a five-year statute of limitations, it appears likely that none will be.”
Judge Jed Rakoff of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan wrote earlier this year in the New York Review of Books. “The lack of public evidence that Holder’s Justice Department thoroughly investigated crisis-era wrongdoing has contributed to the perception — one eagerly promoted by the defense bar — that perhaps few crimes were even committed in the run up to the financial crisis”, he continues, “…the failure to prosecute those responsible must be judged one of the more egregious failures of the criminal justice system in many years.”
Did he close Guantanamo Bay, or attempt to do it. Constitutionalists find his legacy troubling.
(CCRJustice.org, Public Citizen). He also, failed to get in front of the ‘torture’ that our government has been doing since 9/11 as the article says, “He released the so-called “torture memos,” but didn’t go after their authors “

But, as the article says, “He oversaw a crackdown on leaks and disappointed civil liberties advocates “ and 8 ‘government leakers’ prosecuted under the draconian Espionage Act of 1917 (Unconstitutional indeed). These included Eric Snowden, and Pvt. Chelsea Manning.
Recently just making a simple negative comment on Facebook, about Eric Holder, I guess I was being held as a ‘troll’ of sorts and accused of being some conservative, right-wing, radical, which was surprising, especially the vindictiveness of the attack. Be that as it may.

Thoughts?

PEOPLE’S CLIMATE CHANGE MARCH.. Sept. 21, 2014. My own story

MyclimateMarchStory(pdf)
(pdf, includes graphics)

BY BOB DORN,
OF KAUNEONGA LAKE, BETHEL, NY (9.24.14)

PEOPLE’S CLIMATE CHANGE MARCH.. Sept. 21, 2014.

The Peoples climate change march, on the MountainKeeper bus from Liberty NY to NYC and the .. Thanks to CatskillMountainkeeper.org.
climateblackboard

[One of the better display/signs in the march.]
It started at 7 am, on the bus from Liberty NY to NYC.. Took about 1 ½ hours to West 86th street where most of the buses in were parked. We walked from there to Central Park West, and 59th st, or Columbus Circle. Waited 2 hours in the march lineup as more and more people and groups came.
We were with the larger Anti FRACKING contingent, probably several hundred or more people and groups from all over , international.

We waited in line at 86 (cross street), 81 to 79th. My friend Claude from NJ and some friends were going to meet up with me, or I with them, but I couldn’t really move out of the spot we were in ,being barricaded in on most sides and the crowds coming and going. I could hardly move.
Several attempts at texting my friend Claude, for the next hour or three, didn’t work. He misunderstood me, and vice versa. So , I just gave up on that. Stayed with the Mountain keeper, group from my country and we all got along. Mostly older (than 50 )crowd, a nice group of younger girls dressed to kill and stun. [ 🙂 ]

On the heels of this, or maybe because of this , the Rockefeller family foundation, like many more now is Divesting of all fossil fuel investments. In a Huffington Post article, it reads, “The fossil fuel divestment movement has gained many other high-profile supporters in recent months, including actor Mark Ruffalo.
“It’s a snowballing movement,” Stephen Heintz, president of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, told USA Today.According to the Washington Post, the Rockefeller s plan to first divest from coal and tar-sands mining”
[http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/21/rockefellers-fossil-fuels-climate-change_n_5859042.html]

The Lineup of the March, is available here

People's climate march NYC, lineup
People’s climate march NYC, lineup

(http://peoplesclimate.org/lineup/… which separated by march routes the major groups of the March from 86th St. down to 59th st and Central Park East.
Later the march was to go to 34th st, and disperse. Due to the size of the March (over 310,000)…we were asked to disperse early, and our group, the Anti Fracking contingent dispersed at West 42nd and then down to W. 22nd and our bus.
Maps are below. The Major Contingencies… and the others (including various groups and our Anti Fracking groups from all over but mainly NYS).

Contingencies:
Indigenous Peoples
Between 61st and 62nd St.
Environmental Justice Communities
Between 62nd and 63rd St.

Sandy and other climate-impacted communities
Between 63rd and 64th St.Contingent
Indigenous Peoples
Environmental Justice Communities
Sandy and other climate-impacted communities
Migrant Justice, Housing Justice, Farm workers, Domestic Workers

And then, the others..
It’s appropriate and deliberate for the Indigenous and Climate change ‘impacted’ groups to be first..Among the many speakers were actor Leonardo DiCaprio, Bill McKibben, of 350.org, (organizer of the event), and various experts, scientists, and others.
I, was marching with the Anti Fracking contingent, which included, filmmaker and upstate NY anti Fracking activists, Josh Fox of ‘Gasland’ and ‘Gasland II’, actor/activist Mark Ruffalo, who lives and has a farm in my own county of Sullivan in Calicoon, NY. I was lucky to meet Josh Fox in person, and saw, Zepher Teachout, Progressive Democratic challenger in the recent primary to Gov. Cuomo, who though only getting into the run in the past several months, won over 35 % of the Democratic vote against Cuomo.
Moving among the marchers a few hours later, I was able to see many of the groups, flying dirigibles, and other ‘flying’ things, as well as the diverse groups, including, ‘Veterans for Peace’, various Socialist groups, and some I couldn’t even identify.
I missed her, personally, but wish I had seen Amy Goodman, of DEMOCRACY NOW on FreespeechTV, who Sunday was, from my reckoning, the only Journalist to give a total 3 hour special on her program interviewing many of the speakers and politicians, activists, among whom were Bernie Sanders, Robert Kennedy Jr., Bill McKibben.
I have been in many marches and protests in my time, against war, for LGBT Civil rights, Occupy Wall street, at Zuccotti Park and beyond, but this is the biggest march I can remember since the 1960s, and I am glad to have been a part of it.
I write this to inform, and share my experience with those friends, family, and others who couldn’t be there, and to let people know, who only watch mainstream ‘corporate’ media that this was more than just , ‘another protest or march’.. but an opening salvo in a growing International movement (over 170 other cities had marches as well).. in the fight for our Lives, Home, and the Future.
The ‘debate’ about Climate change, human caused IS over. If you believe Science, and you believe in the scientific methods and that over 97 – 99 % of the worlds leading scientific groups and climate specialists support and WARN us, that we might just be past the ‘point of no return’ in this, and Change in the form of fast melting Ice sheets from Greenland to Antarctica, the Permafrost in Siberia to Alaska, and Rising sea levels , as well, the extreme climate changes in our own lives, in the past 30 years, witnessed by more and bigger and more destructive Hurricanes, Massive storms (recently on the East coast, Irene – 2011, Sandy 2012)…and much worse to come, EVEN if we can muster all nations now and especially at the 2016 Climate Summit.
The Warnings have been ongoing since before the 1960s, and now ARE our Reality.

From, an article, ‘The Climate Misinformation Nation’ , 5/16/2012, in The Berkeley Blog”,
“Clouding the air
Why then does the climate change “debate” continue?  There seem to be a few factors at play:
The intense polarization of our political parties, with environmentalism tagged as a Democratic issue, even when a healthy number of Republicans support clean energy;
Mainstream media’s bias towards the debate format, which lends disproportionate air time to climate change deniers.
Lack of clear information and reporting on the scientific consensus that climate change is real and that humans are a major contributor.
Prioritization of economic issues over environmental issues and the public perception that environmental regulation hurts job growth.
In the digital age, easy access to authorship, strong trends towards personalization in media consumption, and instantaneous dissemination of information – whether accurate or not.
These factors – among others – have contributed to our current state: The public is simply not aware of, or not convinced by, the degree of scientific agreement on anthropogenic climate change.  The challenge, therefore, is how to cut through the haze and effectively communicate this scientific consensus.” (http://blogs.berkeley.edu/2012/05/16/the-climate-misinformation-nation/).

For those who wish ‘reliable’ data and information about the Truth about our dire situation, and some possible remedies, including Green power, some Web sites and groups are listed below
350.ORG, SIERRA CLUB (Sierra), CLIMATE CHANGE FACTS -from the EPA (http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/basics/facts.html), EPA – “Climate Change Facts: Answers to Common Questions” (http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/basics/facts.html), ECOWatch.org, ClimateProgress at “Thinkprogress.org’, and so many more….

If you want to follow, be in on the Next steps in this, one good place to go is NEXTGEN CLIMATE, at
‘Nextgenclimate.org’.

Bob's Avatar
Bob’s Avatar

The Economics of Revolution

Excellent analysis by David DeGraw, early co founder of Occupy Wall Street

The Acronym Journal

“Corruption, greed and economic inequality have reached a peak tipping point,” writes David Degraw. “Due to the consolidation of wealth, the majority of the population cannot generate enough income to keep up with the cost of living.  In the present economy, under current government policy, 70% of the population is now sentenced to an impoverished existence.”

In this special 3rd anniversary of Occupy Wall St. edition of Acronym TV,David DeGraw sits down with Dennis Trainor, Jr.

David’s new book, The Economics of Revolution, is now available from DavidDeGraw.org.

DeGraw, who is advocating for a guaranteed income for all US residents, states: “If people could just wrap their head around the fact that we have over $94 Trillion in wealth in the United States, I think we would have a revolution overnight. It has gotten to the point where it would only take 0.5% of the…

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Sullivan County Legislature Beefs Up the “Family Violence Response Team”

A local effort against Domestic violence

The Catskill Chronicle

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY (September 17, 2014)– At the September 16, 2014 Public Safety and Law Enforcement Legislative Committee meeting at the Sullivan County Government Center, District Attorney James Farrell thanked the County Legislature for approving a new investigative position in May 2014 for The Family Violence Response Team (FVRT). The purpose of the multi-disciplinary team is to investigate reported incidences of suspected child abuse and neglect.

Since the Legislature approved two additional positions in the Family Violence Response Team in May 2014, the full team now comprises four Child Protective Case workers, a new Managing Attorney position, the investigator from the DA’s office and an investigator from the New York State Police. With the increase in dedicated staff, the Family Violence Response Team has been able to take on more cases. There have been fifty petitions of child abuse filed in the last five months between May and August…

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The Lost Logic of ‘Perpetual War’

A wonderful summation of our continuous stream of war in our nation.
http://consortiumnews.com/2014/09/16/the-lost-logic-of-perpetual-war/”

The Lost Logic of ‘Perpetual War’

September 16, 2014

President Obama’s plan to bomb Islamic State targets inside Syria amounts to an expansion of America’s “perpetual war” without either a clear legal basis or a likely expectation of success, as Nat Parry explains.

By Nat Parry

Officials in Washington are inadvertently providing some insight into the strange logic of their nebulous war against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL, in contradictory and puerile statements about whether the military action should be called a war, or perhaps something else.

Backtracking on an earlier statement that the action against ISIS is simply a “counterterrorism operation,” Secretary of State John Kerry clarified in an interview on Sunday that it is, in fact, a “war.”

President Barack Obama meets with his national security advisors in the Situation Room of the White House, Aug. 7, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

“In terms of al-Qaeda, which we have used the word ‘war’ with, yeah, we are at war with al-Qaeda and its affiliates,” Kerry said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“And in the same context if you want to use it, yes, we are at war with ISIL in that sense. But I think it’s a waste of time to focus on that,” Kerry said, adding that there’s “kind of tortured debate going on about terminology.”

On one hand, Kerry may be right that these semantic arguments are something of a distraction, since the debate should be more properly focused on whether the policies of airstrikes are effective, legal, moral and justified, not whether they are called a “war” or a “counterterrorism operation.”

On the other hand, the very fact that we are having this public dispute about which of our military actions qualify as “wars,” which ones are “counterterrorism operations,” and which ones are just run-of-the-mill bombing campaigns should sound the alarm that our political culture of perpetual war is out of control, having reached a bizarre and perilous point about which Americans are increasingly confused and the Constitution is ill-equipped to handle.

Indicative of this strange new normal was a poll released Sept. 4 revealing that few Americans actually know which countries the U.S. is currently bombing. Only about one-third of Americans, according to the YouGov survey, knew that the U.S. has not yet conducted strikes in Syria, while 30 percent thought that it has, and the remainder admitted they were unsure. At the same time, just a quarter of Americans knew that the U.S. military has carried out strikes in Somalia and Pakistan during the past six months, and only 16 percent were aware of strikes in Yemen.

It’s hard to imagine another country on earth in which the citizens could be so confused about which countries were currently being bombed by their government, but then again, no other country on earth is bombing so many other countries so regularly.

When it comes to the strikes targeting ISIS, when administration officials are not arguing about what to call the operation, they seem to be crafting flimsy legal foundations for the strikes by dusting off the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force.

These rationales have not been terribly convincing, with the New York Times pointing out that the 2001 law applied specifically to the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks and al-Qaeda more broadly, but since ISIS is not affiliated with al-Qaeda, the law clearly doesn’t apply to the current situation.

“The fact that al-Qaeda has disavowed ISIS, deeming it too radical, does not seem to prevent the administration from ignoring the logic of the law,” the Times noted.

Meanwhile, the U.S. government has not even bothered to provide a justification for the strikes under international law. It has instead asserted without elaboration that borders present no constraints to U.S. military action.

“We are lifting the restrictions on our air campaigns,” a senior administration official told reporters during a recent background briefing. “We are dealing with an organization that operates freely across a border, and we will not be constrained by that border.”

Under international law, however, borders most certainly do pose constraints. The sanctity of borders is enshrined in the UN Charter in fact, which states, “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

One reason for the administration’s silence regarding the international legal basis for the possible use of force against ISIS in Syria is that none exists, since the Bashar al-Assad regime has not consented to the use of force in its territory.

As John Bellinger writes at Lawfare, “This will leave the administration to cobble together a variety of international legal rationales.” Some of these might include the argument that ISIS is part of al-Qaeda and therefore part of the U.S. armed conflict, or perhaps some sort of co-belligerency theory, or perhaps collective self-defense.

“Ultimately,” Bellinger speculates, “the administration may choose not to articulate an international legal basis at all, and instead to cite a variety of factual ‘factors’ that ‘justify’ the use of force, as the Clinton administration did for the Kosovo war.  But it would be much preferable for the administration to provide legal reasons.”

This is especially true considering the fact that the administration has recently been waving around “international law” as a rallying cry to confront and isolate Russia over its alleged meddling in eastern Ukraine in recent months. As Secretary of State John Kerry said following the Russian annexation of Crimea last spring, “What has already happened is a brazen act of aggression, in violation of international law and violation of the UN Charter.”

President Obama touted principles of international law in a speech last May at West Point at which he emphasized the importance of the U.S. setting the standard for upholding legal principles and international norms. “American influence is always stronger when we lead by example,” he said. “We cannot exempt ourselves from the rules that apply to everyone else.”

Now that international law is being cast aside by the United States, it is Russia who is emerging as one of the strongest critics of the threatened actions against the territorial integrity of Syria. Moscow said Thursday that air strikes against militants in Syria without a UN Security Council mandate would be an act of aggression.

“The U.S. president has spoken directly about the possibility of strikes by the U.S. armed forces against [ISIS] positions in Syria without the consent of the legitimate government,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.“This step, in the absence of a UN Security Council decision, would be an act of aggression, a gross violation of international law.”

Then there is the fundamental issue of whether the war – or counterterrorism operation – would even achieve its stated goals of degrading ISIS and eliminating the threat that it allegedly poses to U.S. security. The morning after President Obama made his case to the American people as to why the nation’s security depends on decisive military action against ISIS, the New York Times again called into question the administration’s strange logic with a front-page story announcing that “American intelligence agencies have concluded that [ISIS] poses no immediate threat to the United States,” but that attacking the group could lead to substantial blowback.

“Some American officials,” according to the Times, “warn of the potential danger of a prolonged military campaign in the Middle East, led by the United States, and say there are risks that escalating airstrikes could do the opposite of what they are intended to do and fan the threat of terrorism on American soil.”

As Andrew Liepman, a former deputy director at the National Counterterrorism Center who is now a senior policy analyst at the RAND Corporation, explained: “It’s pretty clear that upping our involvement in Iraq and Syria makes it more likely that we will be targeted by the people we are attacking.”

So, on just about every front, the case for war seems to defy all logic. But at the same time, so too does the entire premise of perpetual war. Perhaps that is what the administration hopes we forget as we debate the proper terminology for this particular operation.

Nat Parry is the co-author of Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush. [This article originally appeared at Essential Opinion.]