Mar 292014
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

Ad Pic INAA at Humber, May 2014

Late Spring Period, May of 2014

Symposia Period: Monday 12th to Monday 26th of May

Institutional Partner: Humber College

Venue: Humber Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning, Lakeshore Campus 

City: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

————————————————————————–

Creating Characters, Inventing Lives: The Art of the Self (CCIL)

Symposium: 1st

Research Program: Aesthetic Lives, Artistic Selves

Dates: Tuesday 20th to Thursday 22nd of May, 2014

(Abstract Deadline: Monday 21st of April, Paper Due: Monday 5th of May)

General Break: Friday 23rd of May, 2014

* Full information below

————————————————————————–

1st International Symposium: Creating Characters, Inventing Lives: The Art of the Self

Part of the Research Program on: Aesthetic Lives, Artistic Selves

International Network for Alternative Academia – Extends a general invitation to participate

Enquiries: acc@alternative-academia.net

Tuesday 20th to Thursday 22nd of May, 2014

Institutional Partner: Humber ITAL

Venue: Humber Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning

Lakeshore Campus (Building: Lakeshore Commons)

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Call for Papers

(Abstract Submission Period Opened: Monday 14th of October, 2013)

(Abstract Deadline: Monday 21st of April, 2014)

This trans-disciplinary research project is interested in exploring the lessons we can derive from the creative process and identify how productive it is beyond the boundaries of the work and creation itself.

Regardless of our awareness, our understanding of our selves, we have always been the product of creation – the result of the playful and subversive blurring of the boundaries between fiction and life, between self and other, between fantasy and reality. Who we are – how we tell the story of our lives – has always traversed the divides between artistic invention, personal reflection and historic fact; being as much the product of the creative process as the characters depicted by artists in their works. Yet, we have been resistant to this notion holding fast to the idea that the bonds between us are intransigent, that the self is impermeable to transformation, clinging to the idea of authenticity. New models of the self are necessitated — models that emphasize the creative and transformative process by which the self is created. This project locates this search at the intersection of artistic invention and theoretical reflection. What can we learn from the creation of characters about our sense of the real, the construction of self and our bonds with others? In what ways do these processes overlap? How do they diverge?

We invite colleagues from all disciplines and professions interested in exploring and explaining these issues in a collective, deliberative and dialogical environment to send presentation proposals that address these general questions or the following themes:

1. Boundary Playfulness (or Playing with Boundaries): Fiction and The Real

- Why do we create: to become, to be, to reveal, to conceive of our lives differently, to compensate what we do not have but want dearly, to conceal our flaws, to work through our weaknesses, to rediscover and, perhaps even, reinvent our selves and the bonds we have with others, to live a life we do not have and will never have?

- How do boundaries of life, context, intimacy and identity change in the act of creating and the emergence of a creation?

- Should we care about boundary modifications and movements between fiction and the real? Does it matter if one dimension seeps into the other?

- Where do the boundaries between fiction and reality stand? Do these still hold and how can one conceive, today, of these boundaries?

- How are notions of the real affected by the creation of characters, by the creation of other realities or the mimicry of the real, by the multiplication of what becomes fiction and reality?

- What is left of the identity of the creator after the process of creation? Is there a transference of both meaning and the site of recognition from the person to the creative work? How is identity modified and transformed?

- Is fiction (sometimes) more real than what we call reality? How does that happen and what can we learn from those unique experiences?

2. Life and Biography: Always Present

- Do I create because in the act of creating I would love or hope to become? Is it the fear of nothingness that moves me to create?

- Can we create without letting self and biography seep in or bluntly take over? Is this really a problem?

- How does the act of creating characters become an act of reflecting self and biography? Can this be different?

- Does the self become exposed, explored, consolidated and enhanced in and with the act of creating?

- Is creating therapeutically legitimate or a hoax for psychological therapy?

- What is autobiography? What is autobiographical creation? Is it the transference of identity from body to creation or the act of creating a new self? How does an author and artist relate to his/her autobiography or autobiographical work?

- How does the creative work itself constitute an experience of estrangement from the author and artist? Does the work become a haven offering protection from the world? Does it estrange the creator once it becomes independent, dislocated from the author or artist?

3. Authorship, Authenticity and Authority

- Don’t we all borrow from each other, from the long and deep traditions, from the canonical, from the new and yet to be acknowledged?

- Should we abandon tropes of the authentic and authenticity? Should we redefine what we mean today by authenticity? What meaning might it carry currently for the process of creation and in the creative work?

- How do power relations play into the notion of the authentic and authorship?

- Do creators and artists really know what effect their work will have? Should we call this pursuit off?

- Why do we still believe that the author, creator, artist has to have the last word on the meaning of their work, of their creation? Is there any legitimacy in this idea or claim?

- Is not meaning born by way and through the dialogue that happens with an audience, reader, listener, observer, interpreter, consumer of the creative piece and work?

- Can we live with a world of meaning unhinged from the author’s intention and actions?

- How is the new media altering, in significant ways, the creative process? How is it redefining the meaning of “creator”? How are the boundaries between the creator and the created being redefined?

- What effects does new media have over the creative bond between writer and reader, playwright and audience, painter and gallery visitor, filmmaker and cinema or video audience, music composer and listener, creator and consumer?

- How has electronic media transformed notions of the authentic and unique?

4. Success and Failure: A History of Recognition?

- In the world of historic value, why is death the best event for recognition? How can we reverse the set of principles that go into recognizing the greatness of authors and creators once they cannot speak, they cannot talk back?

- Is there any virtue in changing or reversing that logic: recognition in life?

- How are links made between recognition and success?

- What are the measures of success and how do these relate to recognition? Are these measures good for the recognition of creators and creative work; for fostering creators?

- How does the artist, the author, the creator understand perfection? What are the perversions of ideas and myths linked to perfection?

- Is there a perfect creation? Is there perfection in the creative process?

- What is the place of failure and the fear of failure in today’s creative process?

- What is an author prepared to do in order to achieve success? Would these be the same in order to obtain recognition?

- How much does recognition and success impact the creative process? Has this changed over time and through history?

- Is it possible to argue that both recognition and success are and have always been substantive parts and endless motivators for the creative process? What about failure and the fear of failure?

5.  Myths of Creation

- How has inspiration survived the pass of time and history? How much do we still believe or hold on to notions of inspiration? What are the current ideas that circulate and inhabit creators’ minds and lives?

-Is there a place for inspiration today? What kind of definition would it have? What kind of re-tooling would it require in order to have acceptance and legitimacy?

- Does inspiration require legitimation?

- What or who is a muse or a nymph? Where do they live and what territories to they inhabit? Why do they decide to hide from the naked eye?

- What is the current place of old and new mythologies in the creative process?

- How do “Narcissus” and “Pygmalion” make their presence known in creations and creative processes?

- What about other mythological figures that have found current embodiments?

- How do authors, creators and artists contribute to the reproduction of mythologies?

- Are mythologies eternal and substantial to creation itself and to the system of belief that foster creative, critical and artistic work?

If you are interested in participating in this Annual Symposium, submit a 400 to 500 word abstract as soon as possible and no later than Monday 21st of April, 2014. (For justifiable cases, we do uphold a tolerance period of fifteen days.)

Please use the following template for your submission:

First: Author(s);

Second: Affiliation, if any;

Third: Email Address;

Fourth: Title of Abstract and Proposal;

Fifth: The 400 to 500 Word Abstract.

To submit an abstract online follow these steps:

1) Go to our webpage: www.alternative-academia.net

2) Select your Symposium of choice within the list of annual events (listed by period and city)

3) Go to LOG IN at the top of the page

4) Create a User Name and Password for our system and log in

5) Click on the Call for Papers for the Symposium

6) Go to the end of the Call for Papers page and click on the First Step of Submission Process button

7) Follow the instructions provided for completing the abstract submission process

For every abstract proposal submitted, we acknowledge receipt. If you do not receive a reply from us within three days, you should assume the submission process was not completed successfully. Please try again or contact our technical support for clarifications.

All presentation and paper proposals that address these questions and issues will be fully considered and evaluated. Evaluation of abstract submissions will be ongoing, from the opening date of Monday 14th of October, 2013. All Prospective Delegates can expect a reply time to their submission of three weeks.

Accepted abstracts will require a full draft paper by Monday 5th of May, 2014. Papers are for a 20 minute presentation, 8 to 10 pages long, double spaced, Times New Roman 12. All papers presented at the symposium are eligible for publication as part of a digital or paperback book.

We invite colleagues and people interested in participating to disseminate this call for papers. Thank you for sharing and cross-listing where and whenever appropriate.

Hope to meet you in Toronto!

Symposium Coordinators:

Wendy O’Brien

Professor of Social and Political Theory

School of Liberal Studies

Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Email: Wendy.OBrien@humber.ca

Oana Strugaru

Faculty of Letters and Communication Sciences

Stefan cel Mare University

Suceava, Romania

Email: oana_andriese@yahoo.com

Alejandro Cervantes-Carson

General Coordinator

International Network for Alternative Academia

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Email: acc@alternative-academia.net

*****

Informational Note:

Alternative Academia is an international network of intellectuals, academics, independent scholars and practitioners committed to creating spaces, both within and beyond traditional academe, for creative, trans-disciplinary and critical thinking on current debates and key themes. We offer annual and biannual symposiums at sites around the world, providing forums that foster the development of new frames of reference and innovative structures for the production and expansion of knowledge. Dialogue, discussion and deliberation define both the methods employed and the values upheld by this network.

Visit our website at: www.alternative-academia.net

Mar 282014
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

Ad Pic INAA at Humber, May 2014

Late Spring Period, May of 2014

Symposia Period: Monday 12th to Monday 26th of May

Institutional Partner: Humber College

Venue: Humber Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning, Lakeshore Campus 

City: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

————————————————————————–

Hope, Betrayal and Trust (HBT)

Symposium: 1st

Research Program: Lost Virtues, Found Vices

Dates: Friday 16th to Sunday 18th of May, 2014

(Abstract Deadline: Friday 18th of April, Paper Due: Friday 2nd of May)

General Break: Monday 19th of May, 2014

* Full information below

————————————————————————–

1st International Symposium: Hope, Betrayal and Trust (HBT)

Part of the Research Program on: Lost Virtues, Found Vices

International Network for Alternative Academia – Extends a general invitation to participate

Enquiries: acc@alternative-academia.net

Friday 16th to Sunday 18th of May, 2014

Institutional Partner: Humber ITAL

Venue: Humber Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning

Lakeshore Campus (Building: Lakeshore Commons)

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Call for Papers

(Abstract Submission Period Opened: Monday 14th of October, 2013)

(Abstract Deadline: Friday 18th of April, 2014)

This trans-disciplinary research project is interested in exploring the complex and fluid relationships between hope and trust, and how might betrayal play a productive role in this bond.

As concepts, ideas or simple notions, hope and trust seem to have simultaneously lost contemporary currency while being ever more necessary in our every day lives. We seem resigned to a kind of hopelessness, seem unwilling to trust others and are ready and willing to betray whomever we might need to in order to advance our own careers or personal agendas. Yet new technologies require us to place personal information online, to communicate with strangers, and to hold onto the promise of happiness. How are our maintenance of hope, our need to trust and our willingness to betray intertwined? How are these concepts evolving? In shifting our notions of the possible, challenging our understanding of the bonds between us, and framing our need to remember and to forget, how are these new conceptions redefining our notions of the moral self and of ethical beings?

We invite colleagues from all disciplines and professions interested in exploring and explaining these issues in a collective, deliberative and dialogical environment to send presentation proposals that address these general questions or the following themes:

1. On Hope: Fluidity and Substance

- What is hope: an act, a sensation, a cluster of expectations, a feeling, a desire, an orientation?

- What place does hope have in our lives? Why do we hold on to the idea of hope?

- Is hope a characteristic and quality of certain societies and cultures? Is it a consequence of certain historical circumstances?

- How is hope constructed culturally and how does it translate into the experience and lives of groups and individuals?

- Does hope have social currency or value today?

- Are there lessons from the past or from cultures foreign to us that require our attention and critical understanding?

- How does hope relate to myths and superstitions? And how might it relate to a sense of reality and to forms of identity?

- Is hope a form of belonging?

- How does hope relate to faith and religion?

- What kind of principles and symbols inhabit definitions of hope and how are these accepted and shared among members of groups and communities?

- How do we perceive, conceive and evaluate hope in others?

2. The Possible and The Impossible

- What are the conditions for the possibility of hope?

- What discursive role does hope have in our lives?

- How does hope relate to time, temporality and chronology?

- How might hope relate to the past, present and future?

- Is hope always oriented to the future or to a general sense of the future? And if so, what does it require from the past and from the present?

- How does hope relate to the possible, the feasible and the realizable?

- What is the relationship between desire and hope? How do they shape and inform each other?

- What about desiring the impossible?

- Should hope have limits?

- Must hope be grounded in the possible? Can we hope for the impossible?

3. On Trust and Trusting

- What is the history of trust and how is trust established?

- How are new technologies and changes in social relations affecting our understanding of trust? How are they changing our definitions of trust and our experiences of trusting?

- How do we navigate in a world in which we are forced to trust more people at greater distances from us geographically, politically, socially?

- How has our understanding of the meaning and the requisites for trust evolved?

- What is the relationship between security and trust?

- Can one trust oneself?

4. Betrayal and Trust: A History of Politics? 

- Can trust exist without the potential for betrayal? Is trust always a risk?

- What are the relationships between betrayal, trust, loyalty and love?

- How are these concepts related on a personal level? How are they enacted in politics?

- How do trust and betrayal relate to power and privilege?

- What are the conditions for the possibility of trust?

- What arguments and explanations do we deploy for trusting and betraying? Are they fundamentally the same for trust than for betrayal or do they belong to different domains and logics?

- What is the importance of intersubjectivity for trust? To what degree is betrayal intersubjective?

- What is the logic of betrayal? How is it related to the logic of the promise?

- Why is there a willingness for us to betray and a hesitation to believe we have been betrayed?

- What are the limits of loyalty?

- How do acts of remembering and of forgetting inform betrayal?

- Is betrayal avoidable?

5. The Bonds Between Us

- What is the nature of the bond in hope, betrayal and trust?

- Which binds us more tightly to others – trust or doubt?

- Regardless of feasibility, does hope require trust? Does trust require hope?

- Are the conditions for the possibility of trust, also necessary for hope?

- Does hope entail responsibility? What is the relationship between these two concepts?

- Can hope exist without the basic agreements that enable trust and also make possible betrayal?

- To what degree and in what way does hope depend on betrayal or the existence of the motivation to betray?

- What are the bonds created between the betrayer and the betrayed?

- Does betrayal, in any of its forms, renovate the need for hope, as it does for trust?

- Defending and upholding agreements generate the continuation of trust; is there something similar that happens in the domain of hope?

-Whether formal or informal, betrayal cannot exist before agreements; is there an equivalent with hope?

- Are disturbances in communication and understanding good territories for betrayal, for feeling betrayed, for perceiving betrayal in that action of others?

- Is trust and hope possible in a context of communicative disturbances?

6. Hopelessness? 

- What are the conditions for the possibility of hopelessness?

- How would we live a life structured by constant threats of betrayal?

- Does hope have a place within strategic thinking and instrumental reason? How would we describe this place?

- How do hope and hopelessness relate to social, cultural and economic privilege? And how do they relate to disempowerment, destitution, marginalization and extreme poverty?

- How are hope and justice linked? What are the effects of each on the other?

- What are the problems with living a life devoid of hope or driven by hopelessness?

- Do we have or can we conceive of a space for the possibility of deciding to live embracing hopelessness?

- How would we understand an unrestricted and unconstrained personal choice to abandon hope altogether? Could we empathically respect this decision?

- Are there “false” hopes? Are all hopes “true”?

- What is the relationship between hopelessness, cynicism and despair?

If you are interested in participating in this Annual Symposium, submit a 400 to 500 word abstract as soon as possible and no later than Friday 18th of April, 2014. (For justifiable cases, we do uphold a tolerance period of fifteen days.)

Please use the following template for your submission:

First: Author(s);

Second: Affiliation, if any;

Third: Email Address;

Fourth: Title of Abstract and Proposal;

Fifth: The 400 to 500 Word Abstract.

To submit an abstract online follow these steps:

1) Go to our webpage:  HYPERLINK “http://www.alternative-academia.net” www.alternative-academia.net

2) Select your Symposium of choice within the list of annual events (listed by period and city)

3) Go to LOG IN at the top of the page

4) Create a User Name and Password for our system and log in

5) Click on the Call for Papers for the Symposium

6) Go to the end of the Call for Papers page and click on the First Step of Submission Process button

7) Follow the instructions provided for completing the abstract submission process

For every abstract proposal submitted, we acknowledge receipt. If you do not receive a reply from us within three days, you should assume the submission process was not completed successfully. Please try again or contact our technical support for clarifications.

All presentation and paper proposals that address these questions and issues will be fully considered and evaluated. Evaluation of abstract submissions will be ongoing, from the opening date of Monday 14th of October, 2013. All Prospective Delegates can expect a reply time to their submission of three weeks.

Accepted abstracts will require a full draft paper by Friday 2nd of May, 2014. Papers are for a 20 minute presentation, 8 to 10 pages long, double spaced, Times New Roman 12. All papers presented at the symposium are eligible for publication as part of a digital or paperback book.

We invite colleagues and people interested in participating to disseminate this call for papers. Thank you for sharing and cross-listing where and whenever appropriate.

Hope to meet you in Toronto!

Symposium Coordinators:

Wendy O’Brien

Professor of Social and Political Theory

School of Liberal Studies

Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Email: Wendy.OBrien@humber.ca

Marina Kaneti

PhD Candidate, Politics

New School for Social Research

New York, New York

Email: kanem368@newschool.edu

Alejandro Cervantes-Carson

General Coordinator

International Network for Alternative Academia

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Email: acc@alternative-academia.net

*****

Informational Note:

Alternative Academia is an international network of intellectuals, academics, independent scholars and practitioners committed to creating spaces, both within and beyond traditional academe, for creative, trans-disciplinary and critical thinking on current debates and key themes. We offer annual and biannual symposiums at sites around the world, providing forums that foster the development of new frames of reference and innovative structures for the production and expansion of knowledge. Dialogue, discussion and deliberation define both the methods employed and the values upheld by this network.

Visit our website at: www.alternative-academia.net

Mar 272014
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

Ad Pic INAA at Humber, May 2014

Late Spring Period, May of 2014

Symposia Period: Monday 12th to Monday 26th of May

Institutional Partner: Humber College

Venue: Humber Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning, Lakeshore Campus 

City: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

————————————————————————–

Reinventing Citizenship (RC)

Symposium: 7th

Research Program: Protest, Justice and Deliberative Power

Dates: Monday 12th to Wednesday 14th of May, 2014

(Abstract Deadline: Monday 14th of April, Paper Due: Monday 29th of April)

General Break: Thursday 15th of May, 2014

* Full information below

————————————————————————–

7th International Symposium: Reinventing Citizenship

Part of the Research Program on: Protest, Justice and Deliberative Power

International Network for Alternative Academia – Extends a general invitation to participate 

Enquiries: acc@alternative-academia.net

Monday 12th to Wednesday 14th of May, 2014

Institutional Partner: Humber ITAL

Venue: Humber Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning

Lakeshore Campus (Building: Lakeshore Commons)

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Call for Papers

(Abstract Submission Period Opened: Monday 14th of October, 2013)

(Abstract Deadline: Monday 14th of April, 2014)

This trans-disciplinary research project is interested in exploring the current relevance and value of citizenship in democracies across the world. We seek to identify central problems of the experience of being a citizen today and evaluate to what degree is citizenship a good vehicle for democratic agency in contemporary societies.

For almost half a century, political regimes across the world have struggled with citizen participation and the legitimacy problems this creates for the political process. As a result politics has increasingly been seen as a highly formal, specialized and separate domain from the everyday life and needs of citizens. Perhaps nowhere has the gulf that has formed become more evident than with regard to our understanding of the concept of citizenship itself. While boundaries between nations and the composition of resident populations have become increasingly more fluid and diverse, citizenship and the legal frames that sustain national politics have shown a shocking resilience to change, short capacity to increase inclusion and a rather rigid response to decades of massive migration and global change. Many now have dual or multiple citizenships and are connected to more than one body politic and legal framework. Simultaneously, the numbers of permanent residents of countries that refuse to grant them citizenship and formal access to politics continues to increase. How are old models of citizenship evolving? With what effects? Can these changes be initiated within existing political systems? Do social movements that advocate sidestepping states and formal politics altogether, movements that seek to generate their own forms of political representation and membership point the way towards the future of citizenship?

We invite colleagues from all disciplines and professions interested in exploring and explaining these issues in a collective, deliberative and dialogical environment to send presentation proposals (based on theoretical and/or empirical projects) which address these general questions or the following themes:

1. Visualizing: Rethinking Citizenship

- Has the ideal of citizen lost its meaning in 21st century? Has it lost its relevance? Should we abandon the concept all together or take on the task of its re-conceptualization?

- What are the routes we should take for reinventing a conception of citizenship that responds to the current transnational trends of world mobility and life?

- Is it possible to unhinge citizenship from the nation-state? How would this be done in conceptual, political and practical terms?

- Is there a way of thinking of citizenship devoid of loyalty to a nation or even multiple nations, but rather anchored in a different set of principles, responsibilities, obligations and cosmopolitan civic commitments?

- Why does citizenship need national anchoring? Is it possible to move the link up to an international level and down to a local one, in order to re-shape both rights and responsibilities?

- How can we conceive of a new definition of citizenship that is global, transnational, multiple and multifaceted? How can we move the definition of citizenship away from the notion and practices of exclusion and closer to that of inclusion?

- Might the rethinking of citizenship entail abandoning the idea all together and seeking for a different form of political relationship?

2. Zooming In: What Is Lost? What Is Broken?

- What accounts of citizenship are offered to us from across history? What are the relative strengths and weaknesses of their adoption in addressing 21st century social, cultural and political life?

- What is the relationship between citizenship and allegiance, loyalty and trust? Should not democracy itself and democratic relationships be what defines allegiance, loyalty and trust?

- What is the current place of political accountability to citizens? Are political democratic systems accountable to citizens? Is accountability being strengthened by politics and democratic practice? How so and what are the links and processes of this relationship?

- How can citizens expand their participation in decision-making processes? How can citizens ensure that democratic politics is exercised, not only their name but in their benefit? How can citizens regain their power over political systems?

- How are the lines between citizen, worker, resident and consumer being redrawn?

- Who is included and who is excluded from the ranks of citizen through the introduction of citizenship tests? What are these tests seeking to affirm?

- How should we think of the relationship between citizenship and security? Is it legitimate to redefine citizenship based on ideas of security? How so and what are the limits? Are these limits justified by democratic rights and responsibilities?

- Are we not giving up rights and responsibilities by accepting principles of national security?

3. Second Take: Current Experiences of Alternative Citizenship 

- What is the relationship between residency and citizenship? Is there any way we can embody denizen ship with legal rights and a constitutional persona? Would this be a way of inserting new significance to citizenship?

- Can we conceive of local community political relationships that are good examples for new models citizenship? What lessons can we derive from these experiences and how can we use them for the renovation of the roots of citizenship?

- How do these local experiences relate to established and legal definitions of citizenship? What might be there contributions to the formal and informal ways of rethinking citizenship?

- What are the relative merits and demerits of dual and multi-national citizenship? Aside from facilitating travel and residency for global travelers and residents, are there additional considerations we can extend to single citizenship status?

- What happens when allegiances conflict? Is there a prior citizenship right? How is it to be established, from an international legal perspective?

- What happens with local, regional and transnational experiences that contest the nation state’s legitimacy and decide to side step them to exercise their conceptions of citizenship? Are their virtues in these practices? What lessons can we derive from them both for citizenship and democracy?

- Are there new models and political relationships emerging from local, regional and international experiences that speak to new forms of democratic political life? Are these just revamping old ideas of democratic citizenship or creating new conceptions with their practices?

4. Artistic Scene: Aestheticizing Citizenship 

- In what ways is art being employed as a means for redefining and reconfiguring political identity at both the personal and societal level? How much do these aesthetic experiences seep into the fabric of social life?

- How can we explore the productive effect of art on forms conceptions of citizenship?

- How is art and art expression responding to the need to redefine citizenship? How might art serve as a model in the creation of new ways of experiencing politics, political participation and citizenship?

- How can we participate and foster processes of critical and creative aesthetic innovation for citizenship perception and political agency?

- Can art insert playfulness and joy, pleasure and fun in conceptions of politics and the exercise of citizenship?

- Can the aesthetization of protest and contestation contribute to a de-formalization of citizenship and bring about a more joyful exercise of political rights and duties? Is there other ways for regaining the joy in political participation?

- How can citizenship and political participation be seen as a festival or a social festivity? Would this have an impact over political participation? Would this have an effect over how citizens relate to politics? Would this suggest new ways definitions of the exercise of rights and duties?

5. Stand Still: Normative Renewal and Building New Citizenship 

- What are the current conditions for the possibility of citizenship? How are these conditions being reconfigured by new technologies and globalization?

- Can we even think of the possibilities of international citizenship? How so and what would it require? Is this a productive route to pursue for the renewal of citizenship?

- What is the impact of international organizations on conceptions of national citizenship? How have basic ideas been reformulated?

- How are norms of citizenship being modified and changed within nations? How are international normative formulations being contested and challenged?

- How is trans-nationalism challenging traditional conceptions of the rights of participation in political processes?

- What is the future of passports, visas and citizenship cards? Should we continue to identify citizenship belonging in this way? How can/how will citizenship be identified?

- How are normative frameworks of democratic citizenship holding up to contestation and challenge within national borders and from transnational social and political movements?

If you are interested in participating in this Annual Symposium, submit a 400 to 500 word abstract as soon as possible and no later than Monday 14th of April, 2014. (For justifiable cases, we do uphold a tolerance period of fifteen days.)

Please use the following template for your submission:

First: Author(s);

Second: Affiliation, if any;

Third: Email Address;

Fourth: Title of Abstract and Proposal;

Fifth: The 400 to 500 Word Abstract.

To submit an abstract online follow these steps:

1) Go to our webpage:  HYPERLINK “http://www.alternative-academia.net” www.alternative-academia.net

2) Select your Symposium of choice within the list of annual events (listed by period and city)

3) Go to LOG IN at the top of the page

4) Create a User Name and Password for our system and log in

5) Click on the Call for Papers for the Symposium

6) Go to the end of the Call for Papers page and click on the First Step of Submission Process button

7) Follow the instructions provided for completing the abstract submission process

For every abstract proposal submitted, we acknowledge receipt. If you do not receive a reply from us within three days, you should assume the submission process was not completed successfully. Please try again or contact our technical support for clarifications.

All presentation and paper proposals that address these questions and issues will be fully considered and evaluated. Evaluation of abstract submissions will be ongoing, from the opening date of Monday 14th of October, 2013. All Prospective Delegates can expect a reply time to their submission of three weeks.

Accepted abstracts will require a full draft paper by Monday 29th of April, 2014. Papers are for a 20 minute presentation, 8 to 10 pages long, double spaced, Times New Roman 12. All papers presented at the symposium are eligible for publication as part of a digital or paperback book.

We invite colleagues and people interested in participating to disseminate this call for papers. Thank you for sharing and cross-listing where and whenever appropriate.

Hope to meet you in Toronto!

Symposium Coordinators:

Marina Kaneti

PhD Candidate, Politics

New School for Social Research

New York, New York

Email: kanem368@newschool.edu

Alejandro Cervantes-Carson

General Coordinator

International Network for Alternative Academia

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Email: acc@alternative-academia.net

*****

Informational Note:

Alternative Academia is an international network of intellectuals, academics, independent scholars and practitioners committed to creating spaces, both within and beyond traditional academe, for creative, trans-disciplinary and critical thinking on current debates and key themes. We offer annual and biannual symposiums at sites around the world, providing forums that foster the development of new frames of reference and innovative structures for the production and expansion of knowledge. Dialogue, discussion and deliberation define both the methods employed and the values upheld by this network.

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Mar 262014
 

By James Petras, 99GetSmart

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Introduction

Protest, dissent and the destructive terror of war are obviously very distinct forms of expressing opposition and bringing about change.  The Obama-Kerry regime support the opposition in Venezuela as a ‘protest movement’ composed of   ‘peaceful democratic opponents’ expressing their discontent with economic conditions, while they denounce the democratically-elected Maduro Administration as an ‘authoritarian regime’ violently repressing legitimate dissent.  Washington disingenuously claims to have played no part in the actions of the Venezuelan opposition and that its pronouncements are merely directed at promoting democratic freedoms.

The overwhelming evidence show that the Venezuelan opposition has engaged in prolonged and extensive violence, including terrorist acts, assassinations, arson, and destruction of public property.  Most recently this includes the murder of military officers and civilian supporters of the government.  Widely circulated photographs, even in Washington-controlled media outlets, show opposition activists throwing Molotov cocktails at police and counter-demonstrators and building barricades for bloody street confrontations.

The Obama-Kerry Administration denies any involvement in the ongoing violence while unconditionally defending the opposition gangs of thugs.  At the same time it demonizes every legitimate government action to defend its citizens, uphold the Constitution and enforce internationally recognized norms of law and order.  The Obama-Kerry regime’s political intervention and its escalating rhetoric is designed to incite the opposition to further violent activity in order to destabilize the country for ‘regime change’.

US Secretary of State John Kerry’s vitriolic rhetoric is timed to counter the recent ebb of opposition activity, assuring the opposition that Washington supports its campaign of ‘warfare in the streets’.   President Obama’s propaganda, the regime’s economic sanctions and the channeling of financial and military resources to the violent opposition groups is designed to reinvigorate the campaign of terror and sabotage against the Venezuelan government.  The Kerry- Obama sanctions and their war of words provide external support for violent terrorists operating inside Venezuela.

Kerry-Obama Rely on the Big Lie

Secretary of State Kerry’s accusation that the Venezuelan government is conducting a ‘campaign of terror’ against the peaceful opposition is a naked lie:  The Bolivarian government, which had been the target of two months of street violence sabotage, is itself accused of the crimes committed by the US-backed proxy opposition.  This is a favorite ploy of the empire in preparing the ground for ‘regime change’.    Washington is intent on the violent overthrow of a democratic government and the establishment of another satellite regime in Latin America.

Washington’s proxy terrorist power grab is evident everywhere.  The opposition is openly authoritarian in its demands.  It raises economic and social issues as pretexts to undermine of the democratic, constitutional government by force and violence.  They seek to weaken the government and have no interest in negotiations or signing any agreement on specific sets of issues.  Government offers to meet and establish dialog have been rejected outright.  Each government concession has been exploited as a sign of weakness.  When the government released dozens of thugs arrested for throwing Molotov fire-bombs, they returned to the streets to burn more property and attack the police.

The opposition has been given every chance to win over Venezuela’s voters in dozens of Presidential, state and local elections.  Refusing to accept the will of the majority in lawful elections, they have launched their violent assaults to undermine the people’s rule.  Opposition mayors have worked with street thugs who block normal commerce while assaulting individual supporters of the national government.

The opposition has accumulated vast stores of arms and munitions in preparation for an armed uprising.  It has trained snipers to assassinate military and police officers upholding the rule of law and have attacked municipal workers and citizen volunteers engaged in clearing streets of debris.

In terms of means, goals and ideology the opposition fits the description of an imperial-financed terrorist minority organized to seize power, destroy majority rule and impose an autocratic dictatorship which would serve as a proxy for US imperial power.

Democratic Politics or Terrorist Putsch ?

In the 8 weeks up to March 15, 2014, the terrorist opposition committed 500 violent actions throughout the country.  At least 68 members of the Venezuelan National Guard have been injured, shot, or killed by Secretary Kerry’s “democratic protestors”.  On May 13, government officials were attacked with high powered rifle fire and seven snipers were arrested with arms and explosives.  Paramilitary terrorists have been openly trained and housed at two or more elite universities (Carabobo University and UCV in Caracas). Phony claims of “autonomy” have been used to shield the fact that these privileged campuses are used to stockpile weapons, set up training bases and shelter for paramilitary gangs and snipers.

The economic impact is immense: Business revenues, salaries and wage losses run in the tens of millions.  Sniper fire has prevented civil servants, pro-government workers and ordinary citizens from shopping, going to work and participating in pro-government counter demonstrations.  The terrorists have sown fear and insecurity, primarily in middle class neighborhoods where they mostly operate – not daring to enter the militant poor and working class barrios.

The government is seen by the masses as extraordinarily tolerant (or excessively conciliatory) in their dealings with these violent opposition gangs, considering the scope and depth of mayhem: As of March 15, only 105 street thugs out the 1,529 violent demonstrators arrested remain in jail facing charges.

Many concerned Venezuelan and international democrats and experts on terrorism believe the Maduro government’s restraint has given the terrorists plenty of time and opportunity to arm, recruit and distribute US funds channeled through phony NGO’s, in preparation for even bigger and more destructive acts of terror, such as bombing bridges, power stations and clinics, as well as assassinating top civilian and military officials.  Their assessment of the Maduro government’s security policy is that it is too narrowly focused on the ‘lowest level’ of activists – those caught with Molotov cocktails or engaged in other acts of violence – rather than the political and financial networks which extend deep into the major opposition political parties and business elite who provide funding, political cover and ideological justifications for the growing war of terror against ordinary Venezuelan citizens.  Moreover, the ‘revolving door’ judicial system simply emboldens the thugs and saboteurs — since a day in jail is a very small price for having blown up a community health center or engulfed a National Guardsman in flames.

The government, in its efforts to secure agreements with a section of the opposition, appears to have tied the hands of its security forces:  small groups of National Guardsmen have become especially vulnerable to acts of terror from thugs protected by highly-placed opposition political leaders.

Conclusion

In the past two months over a thousand public buildings have been destroyed or damaged, mostly fire-bombed by what US Secretary of State John Kerry has called the “democratic and peaceful opposition”.  Most of the arson is directed at buildings closely associated with the government’s popular and effective social welfare programs.  These include neighborhood centers for adult education and training; free public medical and dental clinics; public banks providing low interest loans for micro-economic projects; primary and secondary public schools in poor neighborhoods; publicly-owned food-stores  providing subsidized food and groceries as well as the trucks carrying subsidized food and essential goods to working-class neighborhoods; public transportation, municipal sanitary workers, community radio stations, pro-government media centers and local Socialist Party headquarters.

Recently large scale caches of arms, including automatic rifles and mortars were discovered in the underground parking lot owned by an opposition-controlled municipality.   Another cache of 2,000 mortars and other weapons were found in the opposition stronghold, Táchira State, which borders Colombia, across which arms, drugs and mercenaries enter freely.  Many of the National Guardsmen injured were shot by opposition snipers.  On March 16, a National Guard captain was assassinated by a sniper shooting from a high rise apartment.  The assassin was captured and turned out to be a Chinese mercenary hired by the opposition and part of a para-military hit team

Kerry-Obama’s claim that the protestors are mostly peaceful students is refuted by the fact that nearly two-thirds (971) of the total arrestees (1,529) are not  students; many are self-styled street fighters receiving outside material support and funds.

Kerry’s claim that the US is ‘not involved’ and the State Department’s ludicrous effort to portray Venezuela’s charges of US intervention as “paranoia” have been refuted by official US documents showing a continuous annual flow of tens of millions of dollars to opposition organizations linked to the terror networks, including $15 million disbursed during the first two months of this year.  The even greater extent of ‘covert’ material aid, including weapons, is unknown.

Top security experts knowledgeable about the subject of external funding for destabilization and terrorism, have reviewed the scope and depth of the ongoing damage and casualties in Venezuela.  They have urged the Maduro government to allow the loyal Venezuelan armed forces to participate in quelling the violence.  Their recommendations include a declaration of martial law and  military sweeps into opposition strongholds to round-up and disarm the violent street thugs and terrorists; unlimited detention, pending trials, for suspected snipers and arsonists and military trials for those suspected of murdering soldiers, police and guardsmen.  Opposition mayors, governors and university officials who have provided sanctuaries, training bases, funds and arms to the mercenaries should no longer be immune from prosecution.  In recognition of the recent huge demonstrations by ordinary citizens and soldiers supporting a greater role for the Venezuelan Armed Forces and demanding firmer measures to end terror, President Maduro issued an ultimatum to the opposition to end their violence or face the full force of the state.

In addressing the Kerry-Obama regime, President Maduro, once again, demanded it stop aiding the violent opposition and denounced Washington’s threats to further undermine the Venezuelan economy with trade sanctions.   He has called on Washington to join a tri-partite commission, including top representatives from the US, Venezuela and the Union of South American states (UNASUR), to discuss peace and sovereignty.  While UNASUR is willing to support Maduro’s proposal for dialogue and his peace initiative, US Secretary of State Kerry is moving ahead with economic sanctions against Caracas in support of the US terror war by proxy.

The time for political conciliation is running out:  the Venezuelan Armed Forces  may finally be given their chance to end this imperial war by proxy.

Post-Script

Hopefully, the arm-chair revolutionaries and chattering classes in North America and Europe, who have been so quick to criticize the Venezuelan government, will set aside their ‘reservations’ and organize a solidarity movement to protest the Kerry- Obama imperial war by proxy against Venezuelan democracy.  To date they have spent too much time in internet chatter and not enough time in the streets.

Mar 252014
 

Posted by SnakeArbusto and greydogg, 99GetSmart

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Written by Turkish political analyst / blogger, Gürkan Özturan:

Erdoğan held his long-awaited Istanbul rally on Sunday, for which about a million people were bussed from other cities and districts of Istanbul. It was notable to see how public transport buses were used in organizing an AKP rally and how attendees at the event were well taken care of using public funds.

During his speech Erdoğan talked of the recent Twitter ban and gave signals of a new and more comprehensive ban on all social media, denying all allegations of corruption, election fraud, and breaches of international criminal law:

“No matter who might be, I am not listening! These companies called Twitter, YouTube, Facebook have destroyed families and family values. They have made up material, all kinds of lies. I can not understand how any sane person can defend these social media.

Twitter is not applying our court orders. Excuse my attitude but we are not a third-world country. All of them, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube will respect the laws of the Republic of Turkey. Just like they do to in the USA, China, Russia and England…

The media have started their attacks against us now. They call this intolerance… No matter who might it be; even if the world stood up against us, if there is something threatening my country I must take action. They talk of inexistent things like they have happened. Should I have let them go? Would you not take action? Is it not the reason why you have given us permission?

They [foreign powers] will stir up our country. You have seen what they have done in Gezi Park. You know what happened on December 17 [corruption probe]. So what? Should we stop?

They say, not everyone must think like Tayyip Erdoğan. But I don’t have to think like anyone else either. There is a will behind our government, we do as it sees fit. Telecommunications is under occupation in Turkey. All kinds of tricks happen. Courts do not close down those accounts.

Twitter is blocked because some brother went out tweeting disgusting information there about a sister. That person applied to courts, and they gave the decision to delete such content that has insults. TIB goes to Twitter to tell of this incident but they don’t listen. So we must take our precautions ourselves.

Twitter applies national law when it comes to England, Russia, Germany, China, India, but when it comes to Ukraine, Egypt and Turkey they call themselves ‘liberty.’

They insult Ataturk, swear at our holy values. Should we call this liberty and let it happen? Children get molested, there is racism; should we allow that? We will do all it takes, if not we will block them all! Turkey is not a banana republic.

Those who cry ‘but liberties are perishing,’ sorry… But we will fight against those who tapped our phones till the end. No one can infiltrate our privacy under the cover of liberty. They listen to everyone… These are criminals, they montage tapes, they dub conversations, they make up lies. No one can prosecute the Prime Minister like this! I can not even talk freely at home any more.

I don’t get what Twitter and such are […] If they will act honestly we will give all kinds of support. If they give up their immoralities we will support them. Otherwise, if they continue corrupting family values, they will have Turkey to deal with!”

More stories by Gürkan Özturan @ http://theradicaldemocrat.wordpress.com

More stories about Turkey @ http://99getsmart.com/category/turkey/

Mar 242014
 

By James Petras, 99GetSmart

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Introduction

Captain Jose Guillen Araque,  of the Venezuelan National Guard, recently gave President Maduro a book on the rise of Nazism, warning that “fascism has to be defeated before it’s too late”!  In retaliation for his prophetic warning, the patriotic young captain was shot by a US-backed assassin on the streets of Marcay in the state of Aragua on March 16, 2014.  This raised the number of Venezuelan soldiers and police killed since the fascist uprising to 29.  The killing of a prominent, patriotic officer on a major street in a provincial capital is one more indication that the Venezuelan fascists are on the move, confident of their support from Washington and from a broad swath of the Venezuelan upper and middle class.  They constitute a minority of the electorate and they have no illusions about taking power via constitutional and democratic means.

Captain Guillen Araque had stepped forward to remind President Maduro that the road to power for Nazi and fascist totalitarian groups has been littered with the corpses of well-meaning democrats and social democrats throughout contemporary history because of their failure to use their constitutional powers to crush the enemies of democracy.

The History of the rise of Fascism under Democracies

The term “fascist” in Venezuela is appropriately applied to the organized violent political groups currently engaged in mass terror in a campaign to destabilize and overthrow the democratically-elected Bolivarian government.  Academic purist might argue that the Venezuelan fascists lack the racist and nationalist ideology of their German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese predecessors.   While true, it is also irrelevant.  The Venezuelan brand of fascism is highly dependent on, and acts as a proxy for, US imperialism and their Colombian warlord allies.  In one sense however, Venezuelan fascism’s racism is directed against its multiracial African-Amerindian Venezuelan working and peasant classes – as demonstrated by their vitriolic racism against the deceased President Hugo Chavez.  The essential connection with earlier fascist movements is found in its (1) profound class hostility to the popular majority; (2) its visceral hatred of the Chavista Socialist Party, winner of 18 of the last 19 elections; (3) its resort to the armed seizure of power by a minority acting on behalf of the domestic and US imperial ruling classes; (4) its intention to destroy the very democratic institutions and procedures which it exploits in order to gain political space; (5) its targeting of working class institutions – communal councils, neighborhood associations, public health and dental clinics, public schools, transport, subsidized food stores, political meeting places, public credit unions, trade union organizations and peasant co-operatives; (6)  and its support of capitalist banks, huge commercial landed  estates and manufacturing firms.

In Germany, Italy, Spain, France and Chile, fascist movements also began as small terrorist groups, who gained the financial backing of the capitalist elite because of their violence against working class organizations and democratic institutions and recruited primarily among middle class university students, elite professionals (especially doctors) and active and retired higher military officers – united in their hostility to the democratic order.

Tragically and all too often, democratic leaders, operating within a constitutional government, tended to regard fascists as “just another party”, refusing or unwilling to crush the armed thugs, who combined terror in the streets with elections to gain state power.  Constitutionalist democrats have failed or were unwilling to see the political, civilian arm of the Nazis as part and parcel of one organic totalitarian enemy; so they negotiated and debated endlessly with elite fascists who meanwhile destroyed the economy while terrorists pounded away at the political and social foundations of the democratic state.  The democrats refused to send out their multi-million mass supporters to face the fascist hordes.  Worse, they even prided themselves on jailing their own supporters, police and soldiers, who had been accused of using ‘excessive force’ in their confrontation with fascist street thugs.  Thus the fascists easily moved from the streets to state power.  The elected democrats were so concerned about criticism from the international and capitalist media, elite critics and self-appointed ‘human rights’ organizations, that they facilitated the takeover by fascists.  The people’s right to the armed defense of their democracy had been subordinated to the pretext of upholding ‘democratic norms’ - norms that any bourgeois state under assault would have rejected!  Constitutional democrats failed to recognize how drastically politics had changed.  They were no longer dealing with a parliamentary opposition preparing for the next election; they were confronted with armed terrorists and saboteurs committed to armed struggle and the seizure of political power by any means – including violent coups-d’états.

In the lexicon of fascism, democratic conciliation is a weakness, a vulnerability and an open invitation to escalate violence; ‘peace and love’ and ‘human rights’ slogans are to be exploited;  calls for ‘negotiations’ are preambles for surrender; and ‘agreements’ preludes to capitulation.

To the terrorists, the democratic politicians who warn about a “threat of fascism” while acting as if they were engaged in ‘parliamentary skirmishes’, become an open target for violent attack.

This is how the fascists came to power, in Germany, Italy and Chile, while the constitutionalist democrats, to the last, refused to arm the millions of organized workers who could have throttled the fascists and saved democracy and preserved their own lives.

Fascism in Venezuela: A Mortal Threat Today

The martyred hero, Captain Guillen Araque’s warning of an imminent fascist danger in Venezuela has a powerful substantive basis.  While the overt terrorist violence ebbs and flows, the underlying structural basis of fascism in the economy and society remains intact.  The subterranean organizations, financing and organizing the flow of arms to fascists-in-waiting remain in place.

The political leaders of the opposition are playing a duplicitous game, constantly moving from legal forms of protest to sub-rosa complicity with the armed terrorists.  There is no doubt that in any fascist putsch, the political oligarchs will emerge as the real rulers – and will share power with the leaders of the fascist organizations.  In the meantime, their ‘respectability’ provides political cover; their ‘human rights’ campaigns to free incarcerated street thugs and arsonists earn ‘international media support’ while serving as ‘intermediaries’ between the open US funding agencies,  and the clandestine terrorist underground.

In measuring the scope and depth of the fascist danger, it is a mistake to simply count the number of bombers, arsonists and snipers, without including the logistical, back-up and peripheral support groups and institutional backers who sustain the overt actors,

To ‘defeat fascism before it is too late’, the government must realistically assess the resources, organization and operational code of the fascist command and reject the overly sanguine and ‘upbeat’ pronouncements emanating from some ministers, advisers and legislators.

First, the fascists are not simply a small band confined to pounding on pots and attacking municipal workers in the upper-middle class neighborhoods of Caracas for the benefit of the international and corporate media.  The fascists are organized on a national basis; their members are active throughout the country.

They target vital institutions and infrastructure in numerous strategic locations.

Their strategy is centrally-controlled,  their operations are decentralized.

The fascists are an organized force; their financing, arming and actions are planned.  Their demonstrations are not ‘spontaneous’, locally-organized actions, responding to government ‘repression’ as depicted in the bourgeois and imperial media.

The fascists bring together different cross currents of violent groups, frequently combining ideologically-driven right-wing professionals, large-scale smuggling gangs and drug traffickers (especially in border regions), paramilitary groups, mercenaries and known felons.  These are the ‘frontline fascists’, financed by major currency speculators, protected by elected local officials, offered ‘sanctuary’ by real estate investors and high-level university bureaucrats.

The fascists are both ‘nationals’ and internationals:  They include locally paid thugs and students from upper-middle class families;  paramilitary Colombian soldiers, professional mercenaries of all sorts, ‘contract killers’ from US ‘security’ outfits and clandestine US Special Forces Operatives; and fascist ‘internationalists’ recruited from Miami, Central America, Latin America and Europe.

The organized terrorists have two strategic sanctuaries for launching their violent operations – Bogota and Miami, where prominent political leaders, like ex-President Alvaro Uribe and US Congressional leaders provide political support.

The convergence of highly lucrative criminal economic activity  and political terrorism presents a formidable double threat to the stability of the Venezuelan economy and the security of the state . . .  Criminals and terrorists find a common home under the US political tent, designed to overthrow Venezuela’s democratic government and crush the Bolivarian revolution of the Venezuelan people.

The backward and forward inter-linkages between criminals and terrorists inside and outside the country, between  Washington senior policymakers, street drug pushers and contraband ‘camels’, provides the international elite mouthpieces and the  muscle for street fighters and snipers.

Terrorist targets are not chosen at ‘random’; they are not products of an enraged citizenry protesting social and economic inequities.  The carefully chosen targets of terrorism are the strategic programs which sustain the democratic administration; first and foremost the mass social institutions forming the base of the government.  This explains why terrorists bomb health clinics for the poor, public schools and centers for adult education in the barrios, the state subsidized food stores and the public transport system.  These are part of the vast, popular welfare system set up by the Bolivarian government. They are key building blocks in securing massive voter support in 18 out of the last 19 elections and popular power in the streets and communities.  By destroying the social welfare infrastructure, the terrorists hope to break the social bonds between people and government.

Terrorists target the legitimate national security system: Namely, the police, National Guard, judges, public prosecutors and other authorities in charge of safeguarding citizens.  The assassinations, violent attacks and threats against public officials, the  fire-bombing of public buildings and public transport are designed to create a climate of fear and to demonstrate that the state is weak and incapable of protecting the everyday life of its citizens.  The terrorists want to project an image of ‘dual power’ by seizing public spaces and blocking normal commerce… and by ‘governing the streets through the gun’.  Above all the terrorists want to demobilize and curtail popular counter-demonstrations by blocking streets and sniping at activists engaged in political activity in contested neighborhoods.  The terrorists know they can count on their ‘legal’ political opposition allies to provide them with a mass base via public demonstrations, which can serve as a shield for violent assaults and a pretext for greater sabotage.

Conclusion

Fascism, namely armed terrorism directed at violently overthrowing a democratic government, is a real and immediate threat in Venezuela.  The day-to-day, ups and downs of street fighting and arson are not an adequate measure of the threat.  As we have noted, the in-depth structural and organizational supports underlying the rise and growth of fascism are far more important.  The challenge in Venezuela is to cut-off the economic and political basis of fascism.  Unfortunately, up until recently the government has been overly sensitive to hostile criticism from overseas and domestic elites who rush to defend fascists – in the name of “democratic freedom”.  The government of Venezuela has enormous resources at its disposal to root out the fascist threat.  Even if firm action causes an outcry from overseas liberal friends, most pro-democracy advocates believe it is incumbent upon the government to act against those opposition officials who continue to incite armed rebellion.

Most recently, there have been clear signs that the Venezuelan government, with its powerful democratic and constitutional mandate, is moving with awareness of the fascist danger and will act with determination to stamp it out in the streets and in the suites.

The National Assembly has voted to strip Congresswoman Corina Machado of her immunity as a deputy in the National Assembly so she can be prosecuted for inciting violence.  The President of the National Assembly Diosdado Cabello has presented detailed documentary evidence of her role in organizing and promoting armed rebellion.  Several opposition mayors, actively involved in promoting and protecting snipers, street thugs and arsonists, have been charged and arrested.

The majority of Venezuelans confronted by the rising tide of fascist violence  support the punishment of these high officials engaged in or supporting sabotage.  Without firm action, Venezuelan intelligence agencies as well as the average citizen agree that these ‘opposition’ politicos will continue to promote violence and provide sanctuary for paramilitary assassins.

The government has realized that they are engaged in a real war, planned by a centralized leadership and executed by decentralized operatives.  Legislative leaders are coming to grips with the political psychology of fascism, which interprets Presidential offers of political conciliation and judicial leniency as weakness to be exploited by further violence.

The most significant advance toward stopping the fascist threat lies in the government’s recognition of the links between the parliamentary and business elite and the fascist terrorists:  financial speculators, smugglers and big-time hoarders of food and other essential commodities are all part and parcel of the same fascist drive for power together with the terrorists who bomb public food markets and attack the trucks transporting food to the poor neighborhoods.  One revolutionary worker said to me after a street skirmish: “Por la razon y la fuerza no pasaran!”(Through reason and force they will be defeated)…

Mar 232014
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

* SPAIN ‘MARCHES FOR DIGNITY’: MASSIVE MARCH AGAINST AUSTERITY

Source: CommonDreams

Massive crowds gather during a protest against the Government in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, March 22, 2014. Hundreds of thousands from different parts of Spain marched towards the Capital to join a large anti-austerity demonstration, demanding the resignation of the Government and to express their anger at government financial cuts, its housing rights policies, and the high unemployment rates. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Massive crowds gather during a protest against the Government in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, March 22, 2014. Hundreds of thousands from different parts of Spain marched towards the Capital to join a large anti-austerity demonstration, demanding the resignation of the Government and to express their anger at government financial cuts, its housing rights policies, and the high unemployment rates. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Hundreds of thousands of people have trekked across Spain to protest austerity they claim is destroying their country. Under the banner of “No More Cuts!” the protesters are calling for an end to the Spanish government’s “empty promises.”

Six columns of protesters, some walking; others in trains, cars and buses — each from a different region of Spain — arrived at the outskirts of the city early Saturday before heading for Colon square, carrying banners bearing the slogan M22 or ‘‘Marches for Dignity.’’

By late Saturday afternoon, Madrid’s main boulevard, Paseo del Prado, was completely packed with loud chants against austerity policies and cuts to social programs. […]

READ @ http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/03/22-1

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* GREEK PRESIDENCY OF THE EU: THE REALITY BEHIND THE PROMO VIDEO

Source ZIN TV.org

VIDEO @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNRelmEXYT8&feature=player_embedded

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* NEOLIBERALISM AS SOCIAL NECROPHILIA: THE CASE OF GREECE

By Panayota Gounari, AthenianVoice

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[…]Greece is the most recent and historically unprecedented neoliberal experiment on a global scale. The neoliberal offensive is moving head on in the country and, if Chile “was the laboratory for the early phases, Greece has become the laboratory for an even more fierce implementation.” What we have in place right now in Greece can be best described as the “downsizing of a country” that brings profound changes in its social and economic fabric. Greece’s economy has shrunk by nearly one-third since 2007, and the debt has become unmanageable. Through cut-throat austerity measures, massive privatizations and cuts in the most sensitive sectors of public education and public health, the constant process of de-industrialization and the loss of sovereignty, it looks like “Greece will emerge as a poorer country, with a diminished productive base, with reduced sovereignty, [and] with a political class accustomed to almost neo-colonial forms of supervision.”

I glance through snapshots in the news: grim faces, desperate eyes, angry gazes, frustration, and, most of all, fear. The city of Athens is slowly turning into a cemetery for the living. The transformation of the city, both as a physical and as a symbolic space, is shocking to the eye; as a public space and a habitat for its people, it now gets fragmented into deserted stores “for rent,” broken façades and abandonment apartment windows and balcony doors tightly locked behind iron bars for “extra safety,” carton beds and, along them, homeless people’s possessions: an old dirty blanket, oversized worn out sneakers, plastic flowers, empty water bottles, stale bread. Different parts of the city palpably illustrate a degenerating social fabric, as more Greeks are now joining the ranks of what Zygmunt Bauman has called “human waste”: unemployed, working poor, immigrants, all the outcasts, victims of “economic progress,” preys of rampant neoliberal policies, “casualties,” real victims to what the Greek prime minister has recently called a “success story” on the road to privatization and the wholesale of Greece’s national assets and sovereignty.

Greece is radically and violently transformed into the land field of “wasted lives” in the giant trashcan of global capitalism. Witnessing as I do this novel form of social necrophilia that eats alive every inch of human life, workspace and public space, I cringe at the sound of the words “sacrifice,” “rescue” and making Greece, according to the claims of Greek PM Antonis Samaras, a “success story.” Whose sacrifice and whose rescue? Who succeeds and who loses? Numbers are telling. […]

READ @ http://athenianvoice.wordpress.com/category/articles-in-english/

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* TURKEY SET TO BLOCK YOUTUBE MOMENTARILY, AFTER GOOGLE REFUSES TO YANK CLIPS EXPOSING PRIME MINISTER

Source: zerohedge

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As was reported earlier, the Turkish premier, embroiled in what increasingly appears a career terminating corruption and embezzlement scandal (it is not exactly clear yet just how involved the CIA is in this particular upcoming government overthrow), blocked Turkey’s access to Twitter last night, hours after vowing to “destroy twitter.” The idiocy of this escalation against dissemination of information in the internet age needs no comment. Well maybe one. This is what we said in our post from this morning:

“since Turkey will certainly not stop at just Twitter, here is what is coming next: “Last week, Erdogan said the country could also block Facebook and YouTube.” It now appears that at least half of this threat is about to materialize because moments ago Google just announced that it would not remove a previously uploaded video, one in which Erdogan tells his son to hide money from investigators (one which can be seen here), and which Erdogan demanded be pulled from Google (seemingly unaware that by doing so he simply made sure that everyone saw it). This means that within days, if not hours, Turkey will likely block Google-owned YouTube, if not Google itself.

From the WSJ:

Google Inc. has declined Turkish government requests to remove YouTube videos alleging government corruption, people familiar with the matter said, the latest sign of resistance to a crackdown against social media led by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkish authorities have in recent weeks asked Google to block the videos from YouTube’s Turkish website, the people familiar with the matter said. But amid a national scandal over corruption allegations, Google refused to comply because it believes the requests to be legally invalid, the people added.

Google’s refusal to remove videos raises the specter that Turkey could move to block access to YouTube within the country, after blocking the microblogging service Twitter Inc. late Thursday night. Both sites have been central conduits for allegations of corruption against Mr. Erdogan’s government and faced public threats of a blackout by Mr. Erdogan. 

Some people within Google had feared a YouTube blackout could be imminent, after the Twitter takedown, the people familiar with the matter said. “We feel an immediate threat,” one of the people said.

Sadly in Erodgan’s berserk regime, this is not only possible but very probable. […]

READ @ http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-21/turkey-set-block-youtube-momentarily-following-google-refusal-yank-clips-exposing-pr

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* THE NEW COLD WAR “SHIELD”

By Manlio Dinucci, Voltaire

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Washington is making hay of its defeat in Ukraine: it is getting the Europeans to cut themselves off economically from Russia and is already imposing on them the expansion of its missile coverage. While the Western media focus on NATO’s narrative of events (the so-called “military annexation” of Crimea), the Alliance is noiselessly deploying its imperial apparatus.

Vice President Joe Biden’s flash visit to Poland and Estonia to ensure that, in the face of “Russia’s shameless incursion” in Ukraine – a country determined to build “a government for the people” (guaranteed by the neo-Nazis [1] brought to power by the “new Gladio” coup [2] ) – the United States reiterates its unwavering commitment to comply with Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty on “collective defense.” As Ukraine is now a de facto, but not official, member of NATO, there is always “non-Article 5,” urging members to “execute evolving missions not described under Article 5,” which was promoted by the Italian government of Massimo D’Alema during the NATO war on Yugoslavia in 1999, and later also applied to the wars on Afghanistan, Libya and Syria.

To help “NATO emerge from this crisis stronger … than ‘ever’,” the United States repledged its commitment to the “missile defense” of Europe. However, by correlating the “missile defense” to the Ukrainian crisis, Joe Biden gave his game away. Washington had persistently maintained that the U.S. “shield” in Europe is not directed against Russia, but against the threat of Iranian missiles. In Moscow, on the contrary, this was always perceived as an attempt to gain a decisive strategic advantage over Russia: the U.S. could hold it under the threat of a nuclear first strike, relying on the ability of the “shield” to neutralize the retaliation effects [3] The new plan launched by President Obama, compared with the previous one, provides for a larger number of missiles lined up on Russia’s doorstep. Since they are under U.S. control, no one can find out whether they are interceptors or nuclear missiles. […]

READ @ http://www.voltairenet.org/article182862.html

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* FROM IRAQ TO UKRAINE: A PATTERN OF DISASTER

By Justin Raimondo, AntiWar.com

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[…] In Iraq we used “hard power” to install a regime that is not only tyrannical but also hostile to the US. Today in Ukraine we are deploying “soft power” to ensconce a government that will not only be a financial burden for as far as they eye can see, but which may also turn out not to be as “pro-American” as their effusive neocon cheerleaders would have us believe.

The Svoboda party claims to represent all Ukrainians in the region, and openly talks about a “Greater Ukraine” extending into parts of neighboring countries which may indeed have pockets of Ukrainians. The national-ethnic conflicts that have periodically transformed the map of south-central Europe go back a long way. Once this can of worms is opened there is no putting it back.

Quite aside from that, however, I thought I would never live to see the day when the US State Department whitewashed the neo-Nazi views and heritage of a gang of thugs who had seized power in a violent coup d’etat.

In Iraq, Libya, and Syria, US policymakers empowered radical Islamists of one sort or another. That was bad enough. Today, however, in Ukraine they are empowering the heirs of Adolf Hitler.

How is this not a scandal? […]

READ @ http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2014/03/16/from-iraq-to-ukraine-a-pattern-of-disaster/

Mar 212014
 

Posted by SnakeArbusto and greydogg, 99GetSmart

twitler

Written by Turkish political analyst / blogger, Gürkan Özturan:

Erdoğan threatened to “eradicate Twitter and their kind and end this breach of privacy and defamation” just hours before Twitter was banned in Turkey. An urgent court decision has been passed within the framework of several laws, one of which is an anti-terror law. The Telecommunications Institute has announced that the ban is directed against defamation, violation of privacy, and misinformation.

Since the Gezi Park protests of June 2013, there have been many court actions by the Turkish state against Twitter to force it to take down content, block access, and share information on users with the Turkish authorities. Twitter, unlike – according to Turkish authorities – other social media platforms (including Facebook), did not open an office in Turkey and complied with the Turkish court rulings.

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In the last few months Turkey had strengthened censorship and surveillance laws and infrastructure and Erdoğan had already said that right after the elections all social media platforms would be banned completely. Moreover he had accused Twitter of collaborating in a coup against his rule in Turkey with the participation of a “robot lobby.”

Only minutes after the ban went into effect, a campaign started, calling people out on streets to protest against AKP. However it seemed very suspicious, since when one analyses the Twitter accounts of the people who write with the hashtag, it is mostly people who previously tweeted for the AKP and actually seem to be bot accounts owed by the party. As there have already been declarations that Erdoğan will do anything in order not to leave office, people had been warned that there would be provocations by the government to force people to take to the streets and turn violent, thus leading up to a situation when elections could be cancelled.

Already, Erdoğan has defied all kinds of election restrictions against his party, AKP, aimed at creating a more egalitarian atmosphere by not allowing any kind of exploitation of national symbols such as the flag or national anthem, or any kind of religious symbols which might lead to unequal terms before elections.

The most recent troublesome issues on social media in Turkey have been: an informant from Erdoğan’s close circle leaking secret information on how the government is corrupt and is going to try to rig the votes, former allies (especially Gülen’s Hizmet movement) declaring open criticism of the government on social-media platforms, leaked alleged phone conversations of government officials, ministers, the Prime Minister, and his family regarding corruption, insult to religious values, bribes, international arms trade to warring nations, violating sanctions on Iran, drug trafficking, etc., rumors regarding an upcoming sex tape of some government officials or another possible leak about death/killing of a nationalist political leader some years ago.

Erdoğan at his party’s rally today in Bursa:

“We now have a court order. We’ll eradicate Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic”

More stories by Gürkan Özturan @ http://theradicaldemocrat.wordpress.com

More stories about Turkey @ http://99getsmart.com/category/turkey/

Mar 202014
 

Posted by SnakeArbusto and greydogg, 99GetSmart

Written by Turkish political analyst / blogger, Gürkan Özturan:

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The recent corruption allegations have been gathered and made into a mass statement consisting of 300 pages revealing all kinds of corruption of the government, from illegal arms transfers and billions of euros worth of bribes to trafficking in women. The opposition parties wanted these allegations to be brought to the parliament floor to be discussed officially before the elections, but the ruling AKP party refused this request. Later on, opposition members of the parliament demanded an urgent meeting to discuss corruption allegations, which AKP members had to participate in but rejected open discussion – which means an actual broadcast ban!

Melda Onur, an opposition deputy from the main opposition party, CHP, circumvented this ban through her social media account. She started a livestream of the banned discussion. Obviously, in this day and age, there cannot be a functioning ban of any sort when it comes to freedom of information and the right to acquire knowledge. When one of her Twitter followers asked what would happen if she gets subjected to a parliamentary investigation regarding her circumvention of the broadcast ban, she simply responded “I bite such an investigation :)

Unfortunately, with the dominant presence of AKP members in the parliament, the entire united opposition cannot pass any motion or even keep discussions from being postponed to a later date or time.

More stories by Gürkan Özturan @ http://theradicaldemocrat.wordpress.com

More stories about Turkey @ http://99getsmart.com/category/turkey/

Mar 192014
 

By James Petras, 99GetSmart

FARC members in Columbia

FARC members in Columbia

Introduction

The two paths to 21st century empire-building-via-proxies are illustrated through the violent seizure of power in the Ukraine by a US-backed junta and the electoral gains of the US-backed Colombian war lord, Alvaro Uribe.  We will  describe the ‘mechanics’ of US intervention in the domestic politics of these two countries and their profound external effects – that is how they enhance imperial power on a continent-wide basis.

Political Intervention and Proxy Regimes:  Ukraine

The conversion of the Ukraine into a US-EU vassal state has been a prolonged process which involved large scale, long term financing, indoctrination and recruitment of cadres, organization and training of politicos and street fighters and, above all, a capacity to combine direct action with electoral politics.

Seizing power is a high stakes game for empire:  (1) Ukraine, in the hands of clients, provides a NATO with a military springboard into the heart of the Russian Federation; (2) Ukraine’s industrial and agricultural resources provide a source of enormous wealth for Western investors and (3) Ukraine is a strategic region for penetrating the Caucuses and beyond.

Washington invested over $5 billion dollars in client-building, mostly in ‘Western Ukraine’, especially in and around Kiev, focusing on ‘civil society groups’ and malleable political parties and leaders.  By 2004, the initial US political ‘investment’ in regime change culminated in the so-called ‘Orange Revolution’ which installed a short-lived pro-US-EU regime.  This, however, quickly degenerated amidst major corruption scandals, mismanagement and oligarchical pillage of the national treasury and public resources leading to the conviction of the former-Vice President and the demise of the regime.  New elections produced a new regime, which attempted to secure ties with both the EU and Russia via economic agreements, while retaining many of the odious features (gross endemic corruption) of the previous regime.  The US and EU, having lost thru democratic elections, relaunched their ‘direct action organizations’ with a new radical agenda.  Neo-fascists seized power and established a dictatorial junta through violent demonstrations, vandalism, armed assaults and mob action.  The composition of the new post-coup junta reflected two sides of the US-backed political organizations: (1) neo-liberal politicos for managing economic policy and forging closer ties with NATO, (2) and neo-fascists/violent nationalists to impose order by force and fist, and crush pro-Russian Crimean ‘autonomists’ and ethnic Russians and other minorities, especially in the industrialized south and east.

Whatever else may ensue, the coup and the resultant junta is fully subordinated to and dependent on the will of Washington:  claims of Ukrainian ‘independence’ notwithstanding.  The junta proceeded to purge the elected and appointed government officials affiliated with the political parties of the previous democratic regime and to persecute its supporters.  Their purpose is to ensure that subsequent managed elections will provide a pretense of legitimacy, and elections will be limited to two sets of imperial clients:  the neo-liberals, (self-styled “moderates”) and the neo-fascists dubbed as “nationalists”.

Ukraine’s road to imperialist power via a collaborator regime illustrates the various instruments of empire building: (1) the use of imperial state funds, channeled through NGOs, to political front groups and the build-up of a ‘mass base’ in civil society;  (2) the financing of mass direct action leading to a coup (‘regime change’); (3) the imposition of neo-liberal policies by the client regime; (4) imperial financing of the re-organization and regroupment of mass direct action groups after the demise of the first client regime; (5) the transition from protest to violent direct action as the major backdrop to the extremist sectors (neo-fascists) organizing the seizure of power and purge of the opposition; (6)  organizing an ‘international media campaign’ to prop up the new junta while demonizing domestic  and international opposition (Russia) and (7)  political power centralized in the hands of the junta, convoking “managed elections” limited to the victory of one or the other pro-imperial pro-junta candidates.

In summary, empire-builders operate on several/levels: violent and electoral; social and political; and with selected incumbents and rivals committed to one strategic aim:  the seizure of state power and the conversion of the ruling elite into willing vassals of empire.

Columbia’s Deathsquad Democracy: Centerpiece of the Imperial Advance in Latin America

In the face of a continent-wide decline of US influence in Latin America, Colombia stands out as a constant bulwark of US imperial interests:  (1) Colombia signed a free trade agreement with the US; (2) provided seven military bases and invited thousands of US counter-insurgency operatives; and (3) collaborated in building large-scale paramilitary death squads prepared for cross border raids against Washington’s arch enemy Venezuela.

Colombia’s ruling oligarchy and military have been able to resist the wave of massive democratic, national and popular social upheavals and electoral victories that gave rise to the post-neo-liberal states in Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay.

While Latin America has moved toward ‘regional organizations’  excluding the US, Colombia strengthened its ties to the US through bilateral agreements.  While Latin America reduced its dependence on US markets, Colombia expanded its commercial ties.  While Latin America reduced their military ties to the Pentagon, Colombia tightened them.  While Latin America moved toward greater social inclusion by increasing taxes on foreign multinational corporations, Colombia lowered corporate taxes.  While Latin America expanded land settlements for its landless rural populations, Colombia displaced over 4 million peasants as part of the US-designed ‘scorched earth’ counter-insurgency policy.

Colombia’s “exceptional” unwavering submission to US imperial interests is rooted in several large-scale, long-term programs developed in Washington.  In 2000, President ‘Bill’ Clinton committed the US to a $6 billion dollar counter-insurgency program (Plan Colombia) which greatly increased the brutal repressive capacity of the Colombian elite to confront the popular grass roots movements of peasants and workers.  Along with arms and training, US Special Forces and ideologues entered Colombia to develop military and paramilitary terror operations – aimed primarily at penetrating and decimating political opposition and civil society social movements and assassinating activists and leaders.  The US-backed Alvaro Uribe, notorious narco-trafficker and the very personification of a ruthless imperial vassal, became president over a ‘Death-Squad Democracy’.

President Uribe further militarized Colombian society, savaged civil society movements and crushed any possibility of a popular democratic revival, such as were occurring throughout the rest of Latin America.  Thousands of activists, trade unionists, human rights workers and peasants were murdered, tortured and jailed.

The ‘Colombian System’ combined the systematic use of para-militarism (death squads) to smash local and regional trade union and peasant opposition and the technification and massification of the military (over 300,000 soldiers) in fighting the popular insurgency and ‘emptying the countryside’ of rebel sympathizers.  Large-scale multi-billion dollar drug trafficking and money laundering formed the ‘financial glue’ to cement a tight relationship among oligarchs, politicos, bankers and US counter-insurgency advisers – creating a terrifying high-tech police state bordering Venezuela, Ecuador and Brazil – countries with substantial popular mass movements.

The same state terror machinery, which decimated the pro-democracy social movements, has protected, promoted and participated in ‘stage-managed elections’, the hallmark of Colombia as a “death squad democracy”.

Elections are held under a vast overlapping network of military bases, where death squads and drug traffickers occupied towns and villages intimidating, terrorizing and ‘corrupting’ the electorate.  The only ‘safe’ protest in this repressive atmosphere has been voter abstention. Electoral outcomes are pre-ordained: oligarchs never lose in deathsquad democracies, they are the empire’s most trusted vassals.

The cumulative effects of the decade and a half-long bloody purge of Colombian civil society by Presidents Uribe and his successor, Santos, have been to eliminate any consequential electoral opposition.  Washington has achieved its ideal:  a stable vassal state; a large-scale and obedient military; an oligarchy tied to US corporate elites; and a tightly-controlled ‘electoral’ system that never permits the election of a genuine opponent.

The March 2014 Colombian elections brilliantly illustrate the success of US strategic intervention in collaboration with the oligarchy:  The vast majority of the electorate, over two-thirds, abstained, demonstrating the absence of any real legitimacy among the eligible voters.  Among those who ‘voted’, ten percent submitted ‘spoiled’ or blank ballots.  Voter abstention and ballot-spoilage was especially high in the rural regions and working class areas which had been subject to state terror.

Given the intense state repression, the mass of voters decided that no authentic pro-democracy party would have any chance and so refused to legitimize the process.  The 30% who actually voted were largely urban middle and upper class Colombians and residents in some rural areas completely controlled by narco-terrorists and the military  where ‘voting’ may have been ‘compulsory’.  Of a total of 32 million eligible voters in Colombia, 18 million abstained and another 2.3 million submitted spoiled ballots.  The two dominant oligarchical coalitions led by President Santos and ex-President Uribe received only 2.2 million and 2.05 million  votes respectively, a fraction of the number who abstained  (14 million).  In this widely scorned electoral farce, the center-left and left parties made a miserable showing.  Colombia’s electoral system puts a propaganda veneer on dangerous, highly-militarized vassal state primed to play a strategic role in US plans to “reconquer” Latin America.

Two decades of systematic terror, financed by a six-billion dollar militarization program, has guaranteed that Washington will not encounter any substantial opposition in the legislature or presidential palace in Bogota.  This is the ‘acrid, gunpowder-tinged smell of success’ for US policymakers:  violence is the midwife of the vassal state.  Colombia has been turned into the springboard for developing an US-centered trade bloc and a military alliance to undermine Venezuela’s Bolivarian regional alliances, such as ALBA and Petro Caribe as well as Venezuela’s national security.  Bogota will try to influence neighboring right and center-left regimes pushing them to embrace of the US Empire against Venezuela.

Conclusion

Large-scale, long-term subversion and organization in Ukraine and Colombia, as well as the funding of paramilitary and civil society organizations (NGO) has enabled Washington to: (1) construct strategic allies, (2) build ties to oligarchs, malleable politicians and paramilitary thugs and (3) apply political terrorism for their seizure of state power.  The imperial planners have thus created “model states” – devoid of consequential opponents and ‘open’ to sham elections among rival vassal politicians.

Coups and juntas, orchestrated by longstanding political proxies, and highly militarized states run by ‘Death Squad Executives’ are all legitimized by electoral systems designed to expand and strengthen imperial power.

By rendering democratic processes and peaceful popular reforms impossible and by overthrowing independent, democratically elected governments, Washington is making wars and violent upheavals inevitable.