Sunday, March 18, 2018

An invigorating meet-up with Greg Carlwood and friends

With Greg Carlwood (on the right when facing the picture) in San Diego, city lights of Encinitas in the background; 13 March 2018. 
Photograph by Mark Devlin.

Posting has been slow of late because I have been traveling all over California. 

This past week, while visiting San Diego, I had the opportunity to meet up with Greg Carlwood, creator of the outstanding podcast The Higherside Chats. I'd previously met Greg in my hometown of San Mateo, California some years ago while I was promoting my second book, The Undying Stars (2014), and Greg has been gracious enough to invite me over for a conversation on his show a couple times (see the podcast section of my website for those).

Of course, while doing all this traveling I had some time to catch up on recent podcasts, including episodes on The Higherside Chats as well as episodes from the Grimerica Show and others. I believe it is very important to tune in to independent media sources as much as possible, because it should now be patently obvious that the mass corporate media is blatently lying about certain critical events in order to control public opinion.

On one of the shows I listened to while traveling, Greg Carlwood of THC was interviewing John  W. Brisson of Fix Your Gut (dot com), and during the "plus" portion of the conversation, Greg and John delved into some very important subjects, including the co-optation and subversion of popular movements -- something which can be proven to have taken place in the past, through government programs exposed during the 1970s which deliberately targeted, subverted, and co-opted popular movements during the 1960s, including the antiwar movement, the civil rights movement, the American Indian Movement, and many others. Please look up the history of COINTELPRO if you are unfamiliar with this important subject (and see for instance some of the links in this previous post).

During that "plus" portion of the show, Greg Carlwood made this very insightful observation, beginning at approximately 2:23:10 in the full interview timeline:
I don't see left-leaning conspiracy media all that often. I used to be -- I grew up liberal, so I used to really think about that when I was getting into this material. Why does it always take you to the right?
There is much more to that part of the exchange, but I would recommend listening for yourself (I do recommend supporting shows such as THC and others by subscribing or donating, and in order to listen to that portion of the John Brisson interview on THC you must be a "plus" subscriber, although there is a "free preview" offer which you can use in order to check out the benefits of THC+).

Even with just the very abbreviated quotation cited above, however, you can get the point that Greg is driving towards with his observation, and it is a significant point. Today, a very high percentage of information outlets (including podcasts) willing to examine the extensive evidence of organized illegal activity by entities able to effectively operate "above the law" (in other words, what are dismissively labeled as "conspiracy theories" using a term which was deliberately employed during the 1970s in order to attempt to marginalize the growing number of researchers in the united states who saw that the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and others appeared to have been carried out by criminal elements able to operate "above the law" with impunity, and able to have the truth about those events completely covered up by the mainstream media for decades on end, continuing to this day) do so from a generally right-leaning perspective -- and especially from a libertarian or even anarchist perspective.

As Greg points out, this is extremely puzzling, especially (I would add) because it should be fairly obvious that the intended purpose (and outcome) of most of the so-called "conspiracies" of the past hundred years has been to move policy and public opinion towards what can be safely labeled "the right" -- including false-flag events such as the Gulf of Tonkin incident (used as an excuse to accelerate the massive deployment of united states military forces into Vietnam), or the numerous criminal bombings and other murders which were staged throughout Europe and blamed on socialists or communists during the 1970s and 1980s (see this video for example, among many others examining the incontrovertible evidence of this widespread and very deliberate campaign).

In fact, most of the events which have come to light over the past seventy years which clearly reveal the deliberate, long-term, calculating use of criminal and violent "conspiracy" on a massive scale -- such as the assassination of President Kennedy, the deliberate and illegal targeting of unsuspecting citizens by the military and by intelligence agencies in operations such as MK Ultra and its multitudinous spin-offs and related programs beginning in the early 1950s, the absolutely despicable war crimes perpetrated on a massive scale over a period of many years under Operation Phoenix in Vietnam and Laos and many other parts of the world, the use of certain parts of the military and of intelligence organizations to transport and sell narcotics worldwide in order to fund the violent suppression of popular uprisings against tyrannical client regimes in under-developed nations (which was exposed by the late investigative journalist Gary Webb in the "Dark Alliance" series of articles in the San Jose Mercury News), the Iran-Contra scandal which should have awakened the world to the scope of what was going on but which was somehow contained and obfuscated by the sham investigations in congress and by the complicity of the controlled media, the events of 11 September 2001 which were used to launch a series of illegal military actions which have led to the deaths of literally millions of people around the world and which have also been used as an excuse to implement levels of domestic surveillance and intrusion that would never have been tolerated in previous decades, and many more examples of the same connected pattern -- are very obviously the product of hard-right elements and not "the left."

Lest any object to the terms "left" and "right" as being deemed too compromised and too easily applied to so many different agendas that they have effectively lost their usefulness, I would argue that one could instead use the somewhat unwieldy (but more precise) term "neoliberalism" to describe the agenda supported by the violent and criminal conspiracies listed above, if we use the definition of neoliberalism provided by economist and professor emeritus Michael Hudson in his numerous books, including in his indispensable book J is for Junk Economics, in which he defines neoliberalism as a form of "grabitization" which seeks "to privatize public infrastructure"(168). In contrast to classical liberals of previous centuries, Professor Hudson explains, "today's neoliberals want to deregulate monopoly income and free markets for rent seeking" (167).

The somewhat harmless-sounding term "neoliberalism" is not harmless at all, however, in that it really translates into what Professor Hudson calls in another book a virulent form of parasitic "super-imperialism" which will ultimately destroy everything it touches -- and which has numerous methods for violently suppressing any resistance to its progress (for previous posts on this topic, see also here, here, here, here, here and here).

One reason why so many listeners to independent media sources such as The Higherside Chats have become convinced that the "left-right paradigm" is a ruse consisting of "two puppets on the same hand" is that political discourse in the united states (and I suspect many other western countries) has now devolved down to two barely-differentiated versions of neoliberalism. I would argue that this fact may explain the lack of what Greg Carlwood in the quotation cited above describes as "left-leaning conspiracy media" -- because both sides are basically espousing one form of neoliberalism or another (sometimes it is neoliberalism with identity politics thrown in, and sometimes not), and their media outlets are therefore in many cases beholden to the very same forces which are working to suppress opposition to neoliberal doctrine.

In fact, sources of analysis which many mistakenly believe to be "left-leaning" (and which should in theory be opposed to neoliberalism, neocolonialism, and neo-imperialism) including seemingly-progressive media outlets as well as the vast majority of academia have pointedly refused to address any of the "conspiracies" listed above with meaningful analysis. University professors who publicly challenge the consensus view of the events of September 11, 2001 (for example) are extremely rare, and those who do may lose their job, even if tenured (as happened to Professor James Tracy in January 2016, as discussed here). Supposedly "liberal" media outlets including National Public Radio [neoliberal public radio] or even Democracy Now! [democracy not-so-fast] likewise publish nothing that would get them fired if they were part of neoliberal academia.

Unfortunately, the (somewhat understandable) response by many in the "truth movement" to the predictable refusal of those in any of the two main neoliberal camps to address the obvious criminal activities which are designed to support the spread of crushing neoliberalism around the globe and to suppress (by violence if necessary) any opposition to neoliberal "grabitization" has been to embrace various forms of libertarianism, often extreme libertarianism or outright anarchism.

I believe that very often this retreat to libertarianism is well-intended -- in fact, I myself have in the past been sympathetic to such views (see several previous posts from years ago regarding the philosophy of Lysander Spooner, for example, whose arguments can probably be accurately described as anarchist in many respects).

However, as Professor Hudson explains in his numerous books and lectures, including in J is for Junk Economics, rejecting neoliberalism and replacing it with some form of libertarianism actually accelerates all the negative aspects of neoliberalism, which at its heart seeks to privatize that which properly belongs to the public (including things like water, natural resources, public infrastructure and other public assets), and which seeks to remove all obstacles to rent-seeking. Professor Hudson's J is for Junk Economics defines libertarianism as advocating:
deregulation to disable the public ability to tax and govern finance, real estate and other rent-seeking. The effect is to centralize planning in the hands of the financial sector -- Wall Street and its satellites in the City of London, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank (ECB). The aim of libertarian planning is privatization, leading to economic polarization, oligarchy, debt peonage and neofeudalism.
What the libertarian (that is, financialization) argument leaves out of account is that taxing land rent and other unearned rentier income requires a strong enough government to rein in the vested interests. Opposing government has the effect of blocking such public power. Libertarianism thus serves as a handmaiden to oligarchy as opposed to democracy. 142.
In other words, we might say that "libertarianism (and its more extreme cousin, anarchism) is neoliberalism's poodle." If the majority of those who recognize the true extent of the institutionalized criminality that is going on outside of any mention by the controlled media, and outside of any accountability from the legislative and judicial branches of the government, can be safely herded into the dead-end sheep-pens of libertarianism and anarchism (which pose little or no threat to neoliberalism and super-imperialism), then the perpetrators of these crimes against humanity probably have little to fear.

As Michael Hudson explains in the definition above, the only thing strong enough to put a stop to such crimes is a government strong enough to do something about it (ideally, a truly democratic government which is entirely accountable to the people, from whom alone it derives its right to govern).

Fortunately, however, Greg Carlwood's observation above is not entirely correct, in that there is in fact a long tradition of exposing conspiracies which is opposed to neoliberalism and which can probably be safely described as left-leaning (unlike NPR, which came up in the above-quoted exchange on THC, and which is completely neoliberal in its perspective and which is not at all left-leaning in the true sense of the word).

For example, the late Mae Brussell was a fearless pioneer of this field of analysis and one of the first to regularly broadcast a weekly conspiracy analysis show (beginning with Dialogue: Conspiracy in 1971). Some of those shows can be heard online at this website, where you can also order discs containing her enormous body of work.

Likewise, researcher and radio broadcaster David Emory often collaborated with Mae Brussell during the 1970s and 1980s, and is still broadcasting regularly today, with a body of work spanning nearly 40 years. His entire archive of shows can be found online at this website.

Additionally, the website of Professor Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research (dot ca, because based in Canada), publishes a host of articles every day many of which are not afraid to investigate the evidence of conspiracy.

And there are others which the interested reader or researcher can find with a little looking.

I would strongly recommend donating to all of the above-named sites, if at all possible, in order to help support their research and help maintain their independence. All of them have a "donate" button on their home page which you can easily locate and use to make a contribution if you are moved to do so.

During the same above-mentioned visit with Greg Carlwood, I also had the opportunity to meet up with Mark Devlin, author of Musical Truth (2016) and the newly-released Musical Truth 2, and host of the Good Vibrations podcast as well as the Musical Truth blog here. Mark's area of research explores the evidence that the musical cultures of the 1960s and decades following have been shaped as part of a deliberate agenda, in ways which (in my opinion) clearly may fit in with some of the themes of the active and ongoing suppression of meaningful organized opposition to war, imperialism, and neoliberalism discussed in the other examples given above.

I believe we should all do what we can to support the work of those who are trying to expose the truth, including those who do research, those who host podcasts which can help that research reach a wider audience, those who make documentaries and videos, and others. This support includes telling others about them, and would ideally also include supporting with donations or subscriptions if at all possible.

Meeting up in person with others who are investigating these topics is also extremely important (and invigorating), and can help stimulate new insights and courses of action.

I am convinced that these subjects are of the utmost importance, and are perhaps more important now than ever, because so many possible turns in the road have already been missed.