“Arrogant” UK public didn’t “buy in” enough secret expertise to understand TTIP?

posted by Harry J. Bentham

Pour savoir qui règne sur vous, tout simplement savoir qui vous n’êtes pas autorisé à critiquer.

To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.


One issue I would like to take the time to talk about more is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal. I already mentioned the TTIP in an earlier post in which I affirmed that I signed a 38 Degrees petition against the negotiations, but I would like to bring this subject up again.

Given the concerns about the privatisation of the NHS that have been raised by activists, I, like many other members of the public, believe the deal is far too important to be based on closed-doors decisions. Government secrecy or stifling of debate are inimical to democracy. Wherever a government has closed the doors, there is something not in the public interest.

My attention was drawn to this issue again by the outrageous remarks made by MPs towards 38 Degrees activists. MPs denounced the public itself as “arrogant” simply for distrusting the secret “expertise” that has been “bought in” by the government. The recording can be listened via my embedded tweet above, and I encourage all the support that can be mustered to help 38 Degrees expose and stop the TTIP before it creates more opportunities for private companies to inflict public harm. This issue isn’t even necessarily about the details in the TTIP deal, which I have not actually studied for myself. It’s about MPs who have lost the trust of the public, shouting their critics down in the name of secret privileges and “expertise” about the TTIP that haven’t been disclosed to the public. This sounds rather familiar to me – it’s the same “intelligence” and “secret evidence” fallacy that is used to justify criminal wars, repression, mass surveillance and violations of civil rights. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that this fallacy of secrecy is being recycled to call the public “arrogant” when we try to influence the decisions most affecting our very safety and security. Rather than presenting an argument to reassure the public, lawmakers and their apologists simply call the public “arrogant” or “naiive” and say we lack enough access to their secret information to criticise them. The fact these hooligans are making their decisions based on “secrets” is exactly why their decisions have no legitimacy. No-one should ever be impressed by secret “intelligence” or high-brow economic “expertise” on an issue that is going to hit society hard. Where the public is at risk, the public should be consulted before all other actors and its interests and concerns (even if they are unfounded) must be sacrosanct. The concerned public cannot be called “arrogant”; only the politicians can.

The outsourcing of work of great social responsibility, traditionally the domain of the state, to private entities, is a source of great public harm. Whether it is the outsourcing of what should be Jobcentre work to so-called work program providers, or the privatisation of the NHS , the outsourcing of any job of social significance to private entities – in whole or in part – harms vulnerable people. Giving the responsibility for helping vulnerable people to vulturous and evil profit-driven corporations drives people to despair, even suicide. A recent disallowance of incapacity benefit to a poor disabled woman by a private company tasked with assessing her case resulted in one such suicide, and it is my fear that more will come. Privatising any part of the NHS or even outsourcing a single NHS job will only worsen the potential for that kind of abuse and inevitable death. Such privatisation, like defunding the public services tasked with protecting vulnerable people, is murder.

Letting the NHS privatise, even to the extent that the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has outsourced certain tasks, would be a disaster. Private entities battle not for welfare but for profit only, and cannot be expected to adhere to the same ethics as public-owned entities. While civil servants are required to be nonpartisan and adhere to a strict code of ethics and respect for confidentiality, private employees are not civil servants, and do not operate under the kind of ethics expected of civil servants. Private employees can be blatantly politically partisan, unfeeling for the public, intrusive and dismissive of privacy, arrogant, and selfish, and they can get away with it. This is why so much abuse happens when any task about helping the public is outsourced to a private firm. All have no reason to protect the public, and every reason to protect themselves and take advantage of members of the public like parasites. These companies know who they are, without me naming them. They will even neglect or murder vulnerable people, to fulfill their contracts and get their money off the government.

I regret the lack of time to write a more thorough or analytical post here. However, I will soon have a larger analysis on some major international subject, such as the Ferguson unrest in the United States, on my column at Press TV, at the start of December.

I am also working on a new fiction story collection. It will belong to the Search Beyond series. Try searching those words at Amazon, for all the science-fiction titles belonging to the series.

By Harry J. Bentham HJB Signature and stamp

All regimes are illegitimate: the day after America’s End of History

posted by Harry J. Bentham

By sealing our work with our blood, we may see at least the bright dawn of universal happiness.

En scellant notre ouvrage de notre sang, nous puissions voir au moins briller l’aurore de la félicité universelle.

Maximilien Robespierre

Much of my attention this week has been on the unfolding civil rights calamity in the United States resulting from the Ferguson, Missouri decision not to prosecute police officer Darren Wilson. The popular will in America’s streets to stand up against this injustice has been a shining example of resistance to be emulated in other countries.

I have no grudge with Officer Wilson. Of greater significance, the popular unrest that occurred in response to the decision drew attention to the widely criticized use of grand juries, which are seen as a “rubber stamp” and have only ever served whatever purpose was decided already by the government.

Ironically, the failure to prosecute Wilson only further discredits the police and weakens their ability to do their job, as well as worsening their relations with the community. This leads me to the analysis of why the police are in a state of enmity with the public in locations such as Ferguson: illegitimacy.

The unrest has drawn attention to the total illegitimacy of police and security forces in many parts of the United States: something the US government can only be expected to ignore and dismiss repeatedly in the decades to come, maybe until its back is to the wall and it can’t even enforce the personal safety of regime officials in their own homes. If the law repeatedly fails to coincide with the wishes of the people, the law is illegitimate and the people are not at fault. This might make me sound like a bloodthirsty Jacobin, and that’s exactly why it is a basic tenet of modern liberal democracy: liberal democracy is Jacobin. The United States cannot expect to be perceived as a liberal democracy, and yet refuse to be governed by the will of the people and insist on unpopular manifestations of law enforcement.

One exercise that is useful is to compare the way the police and security forces react to civil unrest in the United States with the way they react in so-called autocratic states, namely countries like Ukraine (before the military dictatorship… I mean democracy… rode to power on the back of a tank) or Baathist-ruled Syria. In the latter, the state is greatly offended by even the mildest forms of protest. Negative depictions of the regime by journalists and bloggers result in persecution or detention, even torture. Acts of protest and civil disobedience are met with physical attacks by security forces almost immediately. In the United States, the regime uses a softer approach, but it is no less illegitimate and even worse for the overall survival chances of the regime. Theirs is a strategy of denial and withdrawal.

A city is struck by riots – as happened in Detroit in 1967 – or a natural disaster – as happened in New Orleans in 2005 – and the US government responds quite forcefully, but its forcefulness is limited. In the long term, the US government will not try to re-establish the respect that the authorities have lost from the public, or attempt to reconstruct community cohesion. Instead, they will withdraw or attempt to shirk responsibility, claiming that it is the responsibility of the more local state authorities. Less government spending will occur in the region affected, and there will also be flight of capital from the region (largely due to the damage to businesses in the rioting itself). Policing will continue, but in an increasingly adversarial fashion, treating impoverished and disaffected communities almost as if they are a foreign threat rather than a disenfranchised social stratum of American society itself.

We can predict that such a strategy of denial and withdrawal will take place in Missouri to a greater extent now, as the US government bitterly avoids picking up the pieces left by the disturbance. In shame, they will avoid confronting the hard truths of injustice and bad governance exposed by such rioting, fearful that trying to restore ordinary life would only pull out further threads from the fabric of the great America that so few are able to maintain faith in.

I would like to take a moment to clarify why I say the things I say, and to show that my critical view of the US regime and other so-called democracies is not hypocritical in view of more repressive states, but constructive for the cause of advancing both democracy and civilization itself. Because I don’t live under the jurisdiction of the Russian, Chinese or Iranian governments, I have no interest in changing their regime and no interest in undermining them. It is of no interest to me, one way or another, whether those regimes survive or not. That’s why I don’t bother to criticise them, and instead focus all my criticism on the United States.

The regime whose jurisdiction we live under in Britain is not our own, but the US regime. The US regime might not rule the whole world as it claims, but it does rule Britain. We can tell this by how effectively the US is able to leverage Britain’s (and Sweden’s) institutions to persecute its critics like Julian Assange, who is forced into exile at the Ecuadorian embassy here simply because the humiliated US leaders couldn’t stand the disclosures of diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks.

All regimes are illegitimate. I encourage everyone to undermine the regimes under which they live, and attempt to hold them to account. No regime should be above the judgment of the people, and regimes that pretend to rule by popular mandate are only all the more offensive to humanity than open dictatorships. No event would be more conducive to civilization than for the United States government’s institutions to fail and the regime to collapse completely, paving the way for ultimate freedom and anarchy. Such a transition to statelessness must be developed in the US before it occurs in any other state, for where else can Rome fall if not in Rome? It is my understanding that s0-called sociocultural evolution  in the United States filters through to Britain and Western Europe, so all alternative regimes and triumphs of peaceful statelessness must take their accelerated forms and manifest first in the United States. This is true whether we are talking about transcending the state through something as grand as Jacque Fresco’s Venus Project (pursued by the Zeitgeist Movement) or the Zero State’s VDP State, or simply the libertarian and anarchist visions of minimal or abolished state – all of whose values are carried among we, MONT bloggers.

The key to that turn of events is no single act of rioting or destruction in the US – no silver bullet. Instead, rioting and civil disobedience must be legitimized in the US, to forever expand the spaces that cannot be effectively governed in the United States and decrease the maneuvering room of the central government. Such steps pave the way for the eventual total collapse of all present norms of state in the world in favor of united and stateless order – something that is of maximum value to humanity if it first happens in the United States.

If it takes two more decades or three, evolution has selected America’s fate and the costs of that can now only be mitigated. The prices of withdrawal and ignorance in the face of injustice and lost social cohesion will be final destabilization and regime collapse, and we should welcome this change as part of our sociocultural development.

For more of my popular political commentary, I have collections of some rather more radical essays that can be easily downloaded and rated.

By Harry J. Bentham HJB Signature and stamp

NATO: casting a nuclear shadow over humanity, subverting peace in our time

posted by Harry J. Bentham

La politique, quand elle est un art et un service, non point une exploitation, c’est une action pour un idéal à travers des réalités.

Politics, when it is an art and a service, not an exploitation, is about acting for an ideal through realities.

Charles de Gaulle

At a time in history when there is said to be a “new” Cold War, it is not surprising that many people in Europe feel a need to side with Ukraine – portrayed as the victim of Russian aggression in every US and British mainstream media source from the center-left rightward.

Animated map: Note how NATO continued to expand after its raison d’etre, the Soviet Union, was gone. Reasons for this continued presence were flimsy, ranging from hypothetical missile threats in Iran to, now, “Russian aggression” in Ukraine.

The reason it has come to this restoration of the Cold War is the result of one organization: NATO. Even if everything they say about Russia’s aggression is true (all substantive evidence for this has been absent, over and over again) it does nothing to vindicate NATO’s responsibility for the current crisis and the reversion to cold hostility between east and west. NATO’s very raison d’etre is based on that hostility. NATO is based upon systematic, organized aggression and wars of conquest against regimes it considers to be “rogue”. This arrogance affects every one of us, and is reducing the chances of survival for civilization itself. It is pushing the world to the brink of nuclear war, knocking at the doors of sovereign states firmly outside the region this alliance was originally devised to protect.

Let’s consider this: If the Soviet Union hadn’t collapsed, how do you think they would have reacted to NATO expanding eastward to include western Germany and the Baltics? Worse, how would the USSR have reacted to NATO asserting claims to Crimea as an integral part of its own security area? Such madness would have provoked a nuclear war. None of us would be here to reflect on it. Even the craziest warmongers in the United States would not have disputed this outcome. Sadly, those hypothetical events really have taken place – only gradually. They may have happened over the course of years, but for Russia’s security concerns they might as well have happened in days.

In the year 2014, we have found NATO entrenching itself in territories it was never conceived to defend, even threatening the world with nuclear war over territories inessential to its own security like Lithuania and Latvia. It has become a reckless blackmailer intent on world conquest, pushing the “red lines” and bellicose security commitments deep into regions it should never have had any designs on. With every withdrawal of the Soviet nuclear threat in Europe, it appears that the NATO nuclear shadow has grown, leaving all of Europe at the mercy of the most brutal and relentless war machine ever to menace the international community.

I wish I was exaggerating, but I’m not. It would be false for me to say the United States wants the whole world join NATO, even if NATO is an apparatus for world conquest. In many ways, the NATO expansion and collision with Russia is a geopolitical accident. Less to do with encircling Russia, the true reason for the expansion was to recruit new NATO armies in eastern Europe to participate in American-led wars. This is a point that has been made quite resolutely by US social scientist Immanuel Wallerstein in a recent commentary, in which he lays the blame  for NATO expansion on the US disenchantment with its traditional allies in France and Germany. The US saw eastern European countries as more reliable recruits for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and so it tried to add these other countries to NATO.

The Baltics don’t have any reason to feel secure by joining NATO. NATO would never force the US to defend the Baltics against Russian “aggression” (which will never come), but it will force the Baltics to send human shields to bolster the US military in any further pointless wars in the Middle East.

The success of the Novorossiya rebellion in Eastern Ukraine isn’t just essential to Russia obtaining a buffer zone against NATO aggression and strategic nuclear realignments in Ukraine, but to the security of Europe itself. Peace is non-alignment, and the forces for peace in Ukraine are the forces for peace in Europe. Our very lives may depend on their ability to deter the regime patched together by Doctor Frankenstein and others from the US State Department in Kiev.

Get some of my best commentaries on world affairs in The Global Tyrant: Collected Foreign Policy Commentaries (2014), and, as always, look out for more of my analysis of international relations in the press.

By Harry J. Bentham HJB Signature and stamp

Amplifying your voice as a blogger: practical guidance

posted by Harry J. Bentham

L’accent est l’âme du discours.

Accent is the soul of language.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

I am constantly looking for new ways to enhance the voices of fellow bloggers and make the web an even more anarchic and democratic place than it already is. With that in mind, I’d like to direct you to some of my recent work.

A significant part of my efforts has revolved around the construction of my own websites and blogs, to continue what others have so kindly enabled me to do. As well as this very blog, L’Ordre, hosted at Beliefnet, I have operated two newsletters called ClubOfINFO and Maquis Books. The former has been used to circulate politics, business, and technology news and analysis, and the latter has been used to circulate fiction stories and book promotions.

Recently, I have expanded the spectrum of newsletters I am operating to include, in recent days, CISpiritual, and, just today, CI Breaking. It may seem ambitious for me to endeavor to run all of these different newsletters, but it doesn’t require all that much effort. The platforms used are extremely quick and easy, and they consume only one day of my week to fill them with rich content.

To obtain the secrets of my personal online publishing success and apply them yourself, I have an incredibly useful Kindle booklet that won’t hurt your pocket to download. The booklet is short, succinct, substantive, and guaranteed to work for everyone from the humblest to the most ambitious bloggers. I encourage everyone to possess it as a manual. Evaluate it for yourself, and don’t forget to leave me your star rating on Amazon to direct other customers to its secrets.

Make Your Own Headlines (2014) via Amazon. For all my books, visit the full list here.

By Harry J. Bentham HJB Signature and stamp

Previous Posts

Mont as a humble club of voices, based on collective support
Nous sommes tous montagnards, vive la montagne! We are all Montagnards, vive La Montagne! Slogan used in an address to the Jacobin Club, 1793 Just a small update, the Mont Order Club has recently added a new member to our small community of writers, as we dedicate efforts to help one

posted 11:00:41pm Dec. 13, 2014 | read full post »

United States of Asphyxiation: exceptional torture, or torturous exceptionalism?
Vous dites que vous êtes mon juge, avisez-vous bien de ce que vous faites, car en vérité, je suis envoyée de par Dieu et vous vous mettez en grand danger. You say that you are my judge. I do not know if you are! But I tell you that you must take good care not to judge me wrongly, because you wi

posted 11:00:44pm Dec. 12, 2014 | read full post »

Snowden's actions put 007 at risk. Also, who cares?
Le Mal est dans la chose même et le remède est violent. Il faut porter la cognée à la racine. The solution to evil is violent. We must take the hatchet to the root. Jean-Paul Marat The heads of the National Security Agency, NSA, and our somewhat derivative equivalent in Britain, Gene

posted 11:00:16pm Dec. 06, 2014 | read full post »

Welfare is the sum of all political and economic health
Toutes les lois seront arrêtées par le peuple, après avoir pris le temps de voir ce qui est en jeu All laws should be decided by the people, after taking the time to see what is at stake Jean-Paul Marat My next opinion piece at my Press TV column will be focused on refuting the so-ca

posted 11:00:57pm Dec. 05, 2014 | read full post »

"Arrogant" UK public didn't "buy in" enough secret expertise to understand TTIP?
Pour savoir qui règne sur vous, tout simplement savoir qui vous n'êtes pas autorisé à critiquer. To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize. Voltaire One issue I would like to take the time to talk about more is the Transatlantic Trade and Invest

posted 11:00:48pm Nov. 29, 2014 | read full post »

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