Montag, 30. Januar 2017
Freitag, 20. Januar 2017
Freitag, 16. März 2012
Please read the truth about the systematical war crimes of the USA military:
“The Lone Gunman” of Kandahar Province? "The Dehumanization of the Enemy" Engrained in the Behavior of US Soldiers...
by Andy Dilks
The official line for the atrocity carried out in Kandahar has now been clearly established: a US soldier went off base alone in the night and proceeded to kill 16 civilians in a nearby village before setting fire to the bodies. Condemned as “intentional murderers” by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the US government has announced the obligatory “rapid and thorough” investigation. Tensions were already inflamed over the burning of the Quran by American soldiers, and following on from the revelation of “kill teams” collecting body parts as “trophies” and the leaked footage of troops urinating on dead Afghans, there is much concern that the latest atrocity will escalate tensions and stretch even thinner an already fragile relationship between the occupying US Army and the local population.
The latest line from the US government on the killings has been to discuss at length the mental state of the gunman. Initially, he was described as being possibly “deranged” at the time of the shootings; then, it was stated that he had suffered a “mental breakdown”, yet another soldier from Fort Lewis-McChord (described by the military newspaper Stars and Stripes as “the most troubled base in the military”) to have buckled under the strain of warfare and gone on a killing spree (a considerably more common trait for US soldiers than their NATO allies).
It’s certainly plausible: on his fourth tour and allegedly undergoing marital problems, it doesn’t take a great stretch of the imagination to accept that this extreme outburst of violence may have been the result of insurmountable psychological pressures. Additional reports have since emerged pointing to a “traumatic brain injury”, although since this alleged injury he has had at least two health checks, including a mental health screening as part of his sniper training back in 2008, so the role this may have played in the killings is unclear.
So far, nothing seems out of the ordinary with this narrative – until you include the eyewitnesses.
According to PakTribune: “One Afghan father who said his children were killed in the shooting spree accused soldiers of later burning the bodies.” Reuters were told by witnesses that “a group of US soldiers” arrived at the village and were responsible for the killings. Resident Haji Samad said: “They (Americans) poured chemicals over their dead bodies and burned them … I saw that all 11 of my relatives were killed, including my children and grandchildren.” A neighbour, Agha Lala, added, “They were all drunk and shooting all over the place.”
The official response from the US came shortly after: “Based on the preliminary information we have this account is flatly wrong,’ the official said. ‘We believe one U.S. service member acted alone, not a group of U.S. soldiers.” No information has been provided to refute the testimony of the eyewitnesses, who also described shots being fired from several directions. As Afghan lawmaker Abdul Rahim Ayubi observed, “It is not possible for only one American soldier to come out of his base, kill a number of people far away, burn the bodies, go to another house and kill civilians there, then walk at least 2 kilometers and enter another house, kill civilians and burn them.” Local Panjwai councilman, Abdul Ghani, corroborated the unlikelihood of a single shooter, stating, “The villagers said they were hearing machine gun fire and pistol fire from different directions.”
But while objectively-speaking the evidence would point towards multiple shooters, once again the media has taken the pronouncements of unnamed “US officials” as gospel: the official line has been set in stone in print and on the news and the eyewitness accounts of drunken troops killing over a wider area, firing wildly and burning bodies has been expunged from the record. It is indicative of the culture of misinformation we live in that the US narrative is implicitly accepted as “the truth” despite the lack of corroborating evidence, their track record of deceptions and cover-ups and the obvious motivation to downplay the scale of the attacks in light of the other numerous atrocities carried out by US soldiers.
Despite the well-documented, deep-rooted culture of racism and violence within the US military towards the indigenous populations of the lands they occupy (as Iraq war veteran Kevin Baker has said, “When I was in the military, racism was a very vital tool for the military to encourage soldiers to hate the people that they’re occupying”), the PR machine continues its desperate drive to maintain the public image of the mission in Afghanistan as one of “nation building” and “winning hearts and minds”. Portraying these killings as an abberation – the acts of a single, disturbed soldier – is a crucial component of “damage limitation”.
The reality is that such atrocities have become engrained in the behaviour of many US soldiers, a product of the dehumanization of the enemy from the moment they enter boot camp to institutionalized racism throughout the ranks following deployment. As Kevin Baker observes, “If you look at these situations, they are not single acts of isolation. The Afghan kill team that was done by the US military out of Fort Worth, this situation, the desecration of the Qu’ran, the kill teams in Iraq. These are not isolated incidents; they are organic in the way the US military fights and it’s organic in the nature of imperialism.”
(The article was published by: Global Research, March 14, 2012 - http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=29764 )
Mittwoch, 14. März 2012
STOP THE TERRORIST DEATH SQUADS HIRED, TRAINED AND ARMED BY USA, NATO, ISRAEL, SAUDIS AND QATAR, COMMITTING MASS MURDER OF SYRIAN PEOPLE!
I post the following petition as it appears at the web sites where you can sign it: http://www.peacelink.it and http://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/international-petition-to-stop-external-military-interference-in-syria-and-libya-eng-ita-esp-2/
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PETITION TO THE GOVERNMENTS OF THE WORLD AND TO THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS TO STOP EXTERNAL MILITARY INTERFERENCE IN SYRIA AND TO ACT FOR A MEDIATION.
we have to try to avoid another tragedy (Libya-like) in Syria. For this aim, one of the actions that Peacelink (www.peacelink.it) has been trying – to show people’s dissent - is an international petition to governments and to international organizations to stop foreign military interference in Syria and to act for a goodwill mediation, such as the one from the Alba countries, the same countries that acted against the Nato war in Libya since March, BUT nobody supported them. As you know, in the case of Libya a group of fake Ngos acted for war, sending a letter to Obama and Ban ki Moon. We will do the opposite, we ask for No War.
The petition in few days received 40 endorsements by Italian associations, including an important Trade Union (the Fiom). We need endorsements from associations from various countries, before approaching the Un H.Rights council, the Sec Council members, the Arab League (also involving Arab communities) and individual govenments.
We ask you to circulate it, and sign (if you are an association or group), and spread the messgae. We ask you to use the petition towards “your” governments.
PETITION TO THE GOVERNMENTS OF THE WORLD AND TO THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS TO STOP EXTERNAL MILITARY INTERFERENCE IN SYRIA AND TO ACT FOR A MEDIATION.
Syria NO WAR:Urgent Appeal to Stop Foreign Military Intervention in Syria and to restore human rights and respect for legality
We, the undersigned non-governmental, human rights, and humanitarian organizations, urge you to mobilize the United Nations and the international community to take immediate action to halt any foreign military intervention against Syria, and instead, to act in good faith for a true mediation. Time is of the essence. We ask to act in good faith in favor of a true and peaceful mediation.
Over the past few months we have observed a steadily increasing media campaign that presents a partial and unverified account of what is happening in Syria. The same thing occurred in the lead-up to foreign intervention in the case of Libya as well.
We know that there are violent clashes between government troops and the armed insurgents of the self-proclaimed “Syria Liberated Army” with bases in Turkey, near the Syrian border. And we know that such conflicts are provoking an enormous death toll among civilians as well. Innocent civilians are the first victims of every conflict. It therefore seems clear that in Syria both armed sides bear responsibilities.
But external military interference is absolutely not the way to protect civilians and human rights.
WE STRONGLY AFFIRM THAT:
1) the proposed so-called “humanitarian military intervention” in Syria is by far the worst option and can claim no legitimacy whatsoever; protection of human rights is not obtained through armed intervention;
2) indeed, recent history shows that the inevitable results of foreign armed intervention are massive human rights violations, as in Libya;
3) smuggling weapons into an area of conflict only fuels a “civil” war and must be stopped;
4) the Libyan scenario must not be allowed to take place in Syria, i.e. a “no-fly zone” which turns into direct military intervention followed by massacres and massive human rights violations.
WE THEREFORE URGE THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO FAVOR:
1) a ceasefire on both sides and neutral mediation between the parties: we remind that a proposal made by some Latin American countries from the Alba group seems to be welcomed also by the non-armed opposition
2) action to stop foreign military and political interference in Syria aimed at destabilizing the country (and possibly the entire region);
3) reinstatement of Syria into the Regional Block;
3) a halt to current sanctions which are harming civilians;
4) an international investigative mission by neutral countries and organizations to ascertain the truth about the conditions of life in Syria;
5) an investigation by neutral international observers into the accusations and news reports coming out of Syria and which at present it has not been possible to verify.
Dienstag, 27. Dezember 2011
I place here the following little precious jewel from Joyce’s “Dubliners” as my New Year present to all friends of behaviorist socialism not only because it (being “happy end”-ed) makes a nice New Year’s story, but first and foremost because it clearly demonstrates that the forces which shape us as social animals are based exclusively on operant reinforcement (both positive and negative).
Joyce’s talent shows us clearly that all hopes and fears of his characters are nothing but the expectations of their counterparties’ actions and other social sanctions, and their behavior is shaped by its expected consequences. This short story depicts interpersonal relations and social life in general as a sort of chess game where no figure has overwhelming power and, moreover, sheer weakness and vulnerability can in skillful hands become a source of influence and power.
The world of Joyce’s “Dubliners” of the beginning of 20th century is very different from ours: “Dublin is such a small city: everyone knows everyone else’s business”, as one character laments. But exactly its parochial tightly-knit social fabric makes his characters humane and their everyday life filled with meaning, in contrast to the alienating modern world of the global tyranny of utterly criminal and anti-human capitalist mega-corporations where human beings are powerless and irrelevant. Capitalist mass-society is on its way to degenerate into the new Dark Age of computerised billionaires’ absolutism where human beings will have no more democratic liberties than chickens in some large-scale poultry factory.
And here is what the behaviorist-socialist alternative promises to give back to everyone who decides to join it: the dignity and social significance of a common “little” human being in his / her everyday life. And that is why grass-roots democracy should be parochial to be genuine, having no chances to be large-scale: this new world of behaviorist socialism should necessarily be small enough to allow every, even the weakest voice to be heard by the rest of us. This world should be quite different from the centralized “Brave New World” of total manipulation and surveillance the global empire of Western capitalism imposes upon us. It should be NOT the global concentration camp Uncle Sam builds for us, but a cozy home we build for ourselves.
Wishing a Happy New Year to all
but to the bunch of global thieves of the City of London and Wall Street, N.Y. and the pack of their hired global terrorists and mass-killers of Langley and Pentagon, VA.
And now “complete and unabridged”
THE BOARDING HOUSE
by James Joyce
Mrs Mooney was a butcher’s daughter. She was a woman who was quite able to keep things to herself: a determined woman. She had married her father’s foreman and opened a butcher’s shop near Spring Gardens. But as soon as his father-in-law was dead Mr Mooney began to go to the devil. He drunk, plundered the till, ran headlong into debt. It was no use making him take the pledge: he was sure to break out again a few days after. By fighting his wife in the presence of customers and by buying bad meat he ruined his business. One night he went for his wife with the cleaver and she had to sleep in a neighbour’s house.
After that they lived apart. She went to the priest and got a separation from him with care of the children. She would give him neither money nor food nor house-room; and so he was obliged to enlist himself as a sheriff’s man. He was a shabby stooped little drunkard with a white face and a white moustache and white eyebrows, pencilled above his little eyes, which were pink-veined and raw; and all day long he sat in the bailiff’s room, waiting to be put on job. Mrs Mooney, who had taken what remained of her money out of the butcher business and set up a boarding house in Hardwicke Street, was a big imposing woman. Her house had a floating population made up of tourists from Liverpool and the Isle of Man and, occasionally, artistes from the music halls. Its resident population was made up of clerks from the city. She governed the house cunningly and firmly, knew when to give credit, when to be stern and when to let things pass. All the resident young men spoke of her as The Madam.
Mrs Mooney’s young men paid fifteen shillings a week for board and lodgings (beer or stout at dinner excluded). They shared in common tastes and occupations and for this reason they were very chummy with one another. They discussed with one another the chances of favourites and outsiders. Jack Mooney, the Madam’s son, who was clerk to a commission agent in Fleet Street, had the reputation of being a hard case. He was fond of using soldiers’ obscenities: usually he came home in the small hours. When he met his friends he had always a good one to tell them and he was always sure to be on to a good thing - that is to say, a likely horse or a likely artiste. He was also handy with the mits and sang comic songs. On Sunday nights there would often be a reunion in Mrs Mooney’s front drawing-room. The misic-hall artistes would oblige; and Sheridan played waltzes and polkas and vamped accompaniments. Polly Mooney, the Madam’s daughter, would also sing. She sang:
“I’m a...naughty girl.
You needn’t sham:
You know I am.”
Polly was a slim girl of nineteen; she had light soft hair and a small full mouth. Her eyes, which were grey with a shade of green through them, had a habit of glancing upwards when she spoke with anyone, which made her look like a little perverse madonna. Mrs Mooney had first sent her daughter to be a typist in a corn-factor’s office but, as a disreputable sheriff’s man used to come every other day to the office, asking to be allowed to say a word to his daughter, she had taken her daughter home again and set her to do housework. As Polly was very lively the intention was to give her the run of the young men. Besides, young men like to feel that there is a young woman not very far away. Polly, of course, flirted with the young men but Mrs Mooney, who was a shrewd judge, knew that the young men were only passing the time away: none of them meant business. Things went on so for a long time and Mrs Mooney began to think of sending Polly back to typewriting when she noticed that something was going on between Polly and one of the young men. She watched the pair and kept her own counsel.
Polly knew that she was being watched, but still her mother’s persistent silence could not be misunderstood. There had been no open complicity between mother and daughter, no open understanding but, though people in the house began to talk of the affair, still Mrs Mooney did not intervene. Polly began to grow a little strange in her manner and the young man was evidently perturbed. At last, when she judged it to be the right moment, Mrs Mooney intervened. She dealt with moral problems as a cleaver deals with meat: and in this case she had made up her mind. It was a bright Sunday morning of early summer, promising heat, but with a fresh breeze blowing. All the windows of the boarding house were open and the lace curtains ballooned gently towards the street beneath the raised sashes. The belfry of George’s Church sent out constant peals and worshippers, singly or in groups, traversed the little circus before the church, revealing their purpose by their self-contained demeanour no less than by the little volumes in their gloved hands. Breakfast was over in the boarding house and the table of the breakfast-room was covered with plates on which lay yellow streaks of eggs with morsels of bacon-fat and bacon-rind. Mrs Mooney sat in the straw arm-chair and watched the servant Mary remove the breakfast things. She made Mary collect the crusts and pieces of broken bread to help to make Tuesday’s bread-pudding. When the table was cleared, the broken bread collected, the sugar and butter safe under lock and key, she began to reconstruct the interview which she had had the night before with Polly. Things were as she had suspected: she had been frank in her questions and Polly had been frank in her answers. Both had been somewhat awkward, of course. She had been made awkward by her not wishing to receive the news in too cavalier a fashion or to seem to have connived and Polly had been made awkward not merely because allusions of that kind always made her awkward but also because she did not wish it to be thought that in her wise innocence she had divined the intention behind her mother’s tolerance.
Mrs Mooney glanced instinctively at the little gilt clock on the mantelpiece as soon as she had become aware through her revery that the bells of George’s Church had stopped ringing. It was seventeen minutes past eleven: she would have lots of time to have the matter out with Mr Doran and then catch short twelve at Marlborough Street. She was sure she would win. To begin with she had all the weight of social opinion on her side: she was an outraged mother. She had allowed him to live beneath her roof, assuming that he was a man of honour, and he had simply abused her hospitality. He was thirty-four or thirty-five years of age, so that his youth could not be pleaded as his excuse; nor could ignorance be his excuse since he was a man who had seen something of the world. He had simply taken advantage of Polly’s youth and inexperience; that was evident. The question was: What reparation would he make?
There must be reparation made in such case. It is all very well for the man: he can go his ways as if nothing had happened, having had his moment of pleasure, but the girl has to bear the brunt. Some mothers would be content to patch up such an affair for a sum of money; she had known cases of it. But she would not do so. For her only one reparation could make up for the loss of her daughter’s honour: marriage.
She counted all her cards again before sending Mary up to Mr Doran’s room to say that she wished to speak with him. She felt sure she would win. He was a serious young man, not rakish or loud-voiced like the others. If it had been Mr Sheridan or Mr Meade or Bantam Lyons her task would have been much harder. She did not think he would face publicity. All the lodgers in the house knew something of the affair; details had been invented by some. Besides, he had been employed for thirteen years in a great Catholic wine-merchant’s office and publicity would mean for him, perhaps, the loss of his job. Whereas if he agreed all might be well. She knew he had a good screw for one thing and she suspected he had a bit of stuff put by.
Nearly the half-hour! She stood up and surveyed herself in the pier-glass. The decisive expression of her great florid face satisfied her and she thought of some mothers she knew who could not get their daughters off their hands.
Mr Doran was very anxious indeed this Sunday morning. He had made two attempts to shave but his hand had been so unsteady that he had been obliged to desist. Three days’ reddish beard fringed his jaws and every two or three minutes a mist gathered on his glasses so that he had to take them off and polish them with his pocket-handkerchief. The recollection of his confession of the night before was a cause of acute pain to him; the priest had drawn out every ridiculous detail of the affair and in the end had so magnified his sin that he was almost thankful at being afforded a loophole of reparation. The harm was done. What could he do now but marry her or run away? He could not brazen it out. The affair would be sure to be talked of and his employer would be certain to hear of it. Dublin is such a small city: everyone knows everyone else’s business. He felt his heart leap warmly in his throat as he heard in his excited imagination old Mr Leonard calling out in his rasping voice: “Send Mr Doran here, please.”
All his long years of service gone for nothing! All his industry and diligence thrown away! As a young man he had sown his wild oats, of course; he had boasted of his free-thinking and denied the existence of God to his companions in public-houses. But that was all passed and done with ... nearly. He still bought a copy of Reynolds’s newspaper every week but he attended to his religious duties and for nine-tenths of the year lived a regular life. He had money enough to settle down on; it was not that. But the family would look down on her. First of all there was her disreputable father and then her mother’s boarding house was beginning to get a certain fame. He had a notion that he was being had. He could imagine his friends talking of the affair and laughing. She was a little vulgar; sometimes she said “I seen” and “If I had’ve known.” But what would grammar matter if he really loved her? He could not make up his mind whether to like her or despise her for what she had done. Of course he had done it too. His instinct urged him to remain free, not to marry. Once you are married you are done for, it said.
While he was sitting helplessly on the side of the bed in shirt and trousers she tapped lightly at his door and entered. She told him all, that she had made a clean breast of it to her mother and that her mother would speak with him that morning. She cried and threw her arms round his neck, saying:
“O Bob! Bob! What am I to do? What am I to do at all?”
She would put an end to herself, she said.
He comforted her feebly, telling her not to cry, that it would be all right, never fear. He felt against his shirt the agitation of her bosom.
It was not altogether his fault that it had happened. He remembered well, with the curious patient memory of the celibate, the first casual caresses her dress, her breath, her fingers had given him. Then late one night as he was undressing for bed she had tapped at his door, timidly. She wanted to relight her candle at his for hers had been blown out by a gust. It was her bath night. She wore a loose open combing-jacket of printed flannel. Her white instep shone in the opening of her furry slippers and the blood glowed warmly behind her perfumed skin. From her hands and wrists too as she lit and steaded her candle a faint perfume arose.
On nights when he came in very late it was she who warmed up his dinner. He scarcely knew what he was eating feeling her beside him alone, at night, in the sleeping house. And her thoughtfulness! If the night was anyway cold or wet or windy there was sure to be a little tumbler of punch ready for him. Perhaps they could be happy together...
They used to go upstairs together on tiptoe, each with a candle, and on the third landing exchange reluctant good-nights. They used to kiss. He remembered well her eyes, the touch of her hand and his delirium...
But delirium passes. He echoed her phrase, applying it to himself: “What am I to do?” The instinct of the celibate warned him to hold back. But the sin was there; even his sense of honour told him that reparation must be made for such a sin.
While he was sitting with her on the side of the bed Mary came to the door and said the missus wanted to see him in the parlour. He stood up to put on his coat and waistcoat, more helpless than ever. When he was dressed he went over to her to comfort her. It would be all right, never fear. He left her crying on the bed and moaning softly: “O my God!”
Going down the stairs his glasses became so dimmed with moisture that he had to take them off and polish them. He longed to ascend through the roof and fly away to another country where he would never hear again of his trouble, and yet a force pushed him downstairs step by step. The implacable faces of his employer and of the Madam stared upon his discomfiture. On the last flight of stairs he passed Jack Mooney who was coming up from the pantry nursing two bottles of Bass. They saluted coldly; and the lover’s eyes rested for a second or two on a thick bulldog face and a pair of thick short arms. When he reached the foot of the staircase he glanced up and saw Jack regarding him from the door of the return-room.
Suddenly he remembered the night when one of the music-hall artistes, a little blond Londoner, had made a rather free allusion to Polly. The reunion had been almost broken up on account of Jack’s violence. Everyone tried to quiet him. The music-hall artiste, a little paler than usual, kept smiling and saying that there was no harm meant; but Jack kept shouting at him that if any fellow tried that sort of a game on with his sister he’d bloody well put his teeth down his throat, so he would.
Polly sat for a little time on the side of the bed, crying. Then she dried her eyes and went over to the looking-glass. She dipped the end of the towel in the water-jug and refreshed her eyes with the cool water. She looked at herself in profile and readjusted a hairpin above her ear. Then she went back to the bed again and sat at the foot. She regarded the pillows for a long time and the sight of them awakened in her mind secret, amiable memories. She rested the nape of her neck against the cool iron bed-rail and fell into a revery. There was no longer any perturbation visible on her face.
She waited on patiently, almost cheerfully, without alarm, her memories gradually giving place to hopes and visions of the future. Her hopes and visions were so intricate that she no longer saw the white pillows on which her gaze was fixed or remembered that she was waiting for anything.
At last she heard her mother calling. She started to her feet and ran to the banisters.
“Come down, dear. Mr Doran wants to speak to you.”
Then she remembered what she had been waiting for.
Freitag, 18. November 2011
I have some points to make and would greatly appreciate your comments. Therefore I do it with an open letter, not an e-mail which could be lost in the deluge of spam. I really “have no secrets” (Bob Dylan) and anyway our “best friends” in the CIA can read all e-mails they wish to.
First, I do enjoy translating into Russian and posting at my blog http://correodelorinoco-ru.blogspot.com the articles of my choice from the „Correo del Orinoco International“. Thank you very much for your consent and approval. I do this translation work in a professional way, so that phrases which were botched in the English
(e.g.: „Here we are, 40 years later in the eye of the hurricane, in the middle of a peaceful and democratic revolution in which you aspiring cadets will have a very important role“ in the recently published article „A jogging Chavez advances towards 2012 reelection, reminisces“)
remain botched in a similar way in my translation into Russian.
Now, here is my request: please publish in the COI more translations into English of authentic Chavez speaking to the people, say, after audio files posted at the RNV site. I enjoy listening to his plain way of speaking - for example, his recent speech about his intention to launch the new Mission „Madres del Barrio“ containing the pun: „A socialist dare not be a machist, a socialist must be a feminist“. It is really good and Russians should get his authentic words. But it is far too much for me alone to try to make a transcript of some low-quality audio record in Spanish (where sometimes I cannot tell the words) and then to translate it into Russian.
The next point is political. You know that the West and USA in particular are growing more and more shameless, brutal and criminal in waging wars of aggression against independent states (the last example being the rape of Libya). Now the same gang of fascist thugs (USA-Israel-NATO) threatens Syria and Iran. I have no doubt that the same „humanitarian“ massacre is also being planned against Venezuela.
What I think could help to stop this imperialist state terrorism is mobilizing decent people of the World in a global grass-roots campaign „Yankee go home“ - the way the protesters against Vietnam war did it in the 1970-ies, when these words were adorning walls and fences all around the world. The same clear demand everywhere: „Yankee+NATO go home“, to counteract mass-media lies. It would be great if this proposal appears in COI.
And at last, the most important point: it concerns the things Marxists call „ideology“. For me (being a behaviorist-socialist) „ideology“ is nothing but empty talk, therefore I address here not „ideology“ but the behavior of people and the technology of modifying it (social engineering). I hope you could kindly put the following to the attention of Mr. Chavez:
I.m.h.o., his approach to dealing with the capitalists and all other enemies of socialism is more like that of late Mr. Allende of Chile than that of Mr. Castro of Cuba. This tolerant approach in emergency needs a lot of active and efficient support of his government by the people, as the horrible fate of the Unidad Popular and personally Mr. Allende demonstrated quite clearly.
I am afraid that such support is not secured by the present one-way relation between the Chavista government and the people which is somehow akin to the relation between Santa and kids. Certainly, oil revenues make it possible, but is the welfare state the same as the socialist society? I hate to tell you that it is not. As it was quite correctly expressed in the „Venceremos“:
„Sembraremos las tierras de gloria,
socialista sera el porvenir,
todos juntos seremos la historia:
a cumplir, a cumplir, a cumplir...“,
viable socialist society is everyone’s active participation, working and giving in/for/to the common new way of life, and this behavior should be actively reinforced (in the behaviorist meaning of this word) by the government.
Contrary to socialism, the welfare state means for the people to be passive recipients of dole and gifts distributed by the bureacracy. As it seems to me, it is what unfortunately happens in Venezuela now: poor individuals get handouts from Good Santa Chavez, go shopping and then crawl into the solitude of his/her cabin to munch arepas. And obviously it will be the same with the „Madres del Barrio“ benefits. OK, you can give poor single mothers money - but don’t forget that some of them are drunkards... and the money given will do no good to their kids.
Money benefits should be used only as a conditional reinforcer, as an incentive and reward for active socialist work for the good of the community (barrio) and the country as a whole. Socialist work should not be considered as „wage employment“ simply because its fruits go largely to those working! There can be a lot of useful community projects where socialist work can be applied, instead of hiring business contractors. Everyone can propose plenty of them, but nothing is being done because wage earning make people unwilling to work „for free“, so that there should be (at least initially) some extra incentive which can later be thinned out (this procedure of variable-rate reinforcement was studied in detail by Prof. B.F.Skinner).
This is the only way the operant framework of socialist society can be built. Behavior research established without any doubt that non-conditional reinforcement (i.e. handouts with no strings attached) is the most dangerous misunderstanding of socialism. It makes people passive, idle and expecting to get more - for nothing. It is the behavior science that proved that the „self-help“ view of socialism developed by Proudhon and Owen is practicable, whereas the Marxist blind faith in „class consciousness“ leads to utter failure and inevitable dead-end, as the Soviet experience has demonstrated.
You know, there is one thing kids need very much which we had in the Soviet Union. Namely, we had „Palaces of Young Pioneers“ (in big cities) and „Houses of Young Pioneers“ (local). It was the Soviet version of „Scouts“. You could go there every day after school and do all sorts of things - sports, mechanical and electric engineering, DX-radio, car driving, robotics, music, chemistry, biology (gardening, pets etc.), etc. under the tutelage of professionals who were paid a small salary. For us, kids, it was totally free.
It was many years ago and we had no computers, but now kids can (instead of playing moronic computer games) use them for many fascinating activities: searching through „Wikipedia“, making pen-friendships via e-mail with kids all around the world... certainly, under the guidance of knowledgeable instructors. I do not like the antieducationalist rhetorics of Ivan Illich, but he was right saying that kids need the opportunity and encouragement to explore the world, not the compulsory school „education“. This is what I believe should be done for all kids in Venezuela, and especially for the kids from poor families (certainly, after making sure that they are not hungry).
That’s all for today.
Yours very sincerely,