On the occasion of NATO opponents’ wrong criticism of the celebrations of NATO's sixty year anniversary, we published a leaflet criticizing their arguments. In response, we received the following letter.
The Norwegian parliament, which awards the world’s most important peace prize in memory of one of the biggest weapons manufacturers and war profiteers, has made a worthy choice, like always. Since a warlord who had just finished his job and made peace simply couldn’t be found, a different sort of benefactor of mankind has been honored: Mohammed Junus from Bangladesh, banker.
A small-scale cultural war has broken out in the feature pages of Europe’s newspapers. The authors are taken aback by the militant way in which America has begun to reorder the world. They are repulsed by the narrow-minded partisanship with which the majority of U.S. citizens support war and vent their hatred at the enemies and opponents of America’s wars. They are delighted by every critical voice emerging from the United States that has something — anything — to criticize about the “stupid white men” in charge.
Whenever the official delegates from around the world travel to the meetings of the World Trade Organization (WTO), International Monetary Fund (IMF) or World Bank, they are regularly accompanied by thousands of uninvited guests intent on disturbing the meetings of these world market agencies, or if possible preventing them from taking place. The reason: they hold these institutions responsible for the tremendous misery throughout what is truly, since the end of socialism, "one world." In the name of poverty and those afflicted with it, this anti-poverty movement protests — and is thereby proud of maintaining "no ideology" and of making no attempt to clarify its understanding within its own ranks. Its protagonists are of the opinion that any theoretical dispute over the correct explanation of the conditions they denounce would only jeopardize the breadth of the movement. Those affected by poverty ought to know best what they suffer from and what their needs are. However, anyone claiming to have no "ideology" but rather to be directly challenged by poverty and guided by the righteousness of the poor without any mediating thinking, is already following a logic, if only a false one — a real ideology so to speak.
The Russian nuclear-powered submarine Kursk sank during a maneuver in the Barents Sea. Only a few hours afterwards, actually before, the event became a case for the West and its free media: "Norwegian seismologists registered two explosions in short intervals, a smaller and a bigger one;" "American and British submarines were near the maneuver;" "NATO knows the whereabouts of the Russian submarine fleet at any moment." We scored first, of course, by reporting the disaster before the Russians did. Of course, we had to help as a natural matter of humanity: the Russians couldn't cope by themselves. A British submarine rescue vessel got into waiting position. "GET THEM OUT," a tabloid demanded as both advocate of the victims and in the name of the world's public. The Free World was with the Russians, and the disaster worth a special announcement every day. But, was it really a "disaster?"
Noam Chomsky is a rare bird indeed. On the one hand, he is an established intellectual, a member of the respected academic elite; on the other hand, he is a world-famous, radical leftist critic — especially of the U.S. On the one hand, he is a professed anarchist and socialist whose critical views lie far outside the mainstream, having nothing to do with the typically constructive proposals usually offered to business and the state. On the other hand, he insists that his anarchist and “libertarian socialist” views are anything but extreme, but rather merely express the natural desire of all mankind: the desire for freedom. Chomsky regards himself as part of an intellectual tradition that is as humanistic as Europe and as American as apple pie, a tradition that includes intellectual luminaries such as Humboldt, Schelling, Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Jefferson, J.J. Rousseau or Michael Bakunin. For Chomsky, regardless of the theoretical and practical disputes between these thinkers, as ardent advocates of freedom they agree on the most important point of all: “‘Man is in his essence a free, searching, self-perfecting being…’ [whose] true end [consists in] the full harmonious development of human potential in its richest diversity.”
In Mesopotamia, irregular militias have managed to become a regional power factor and proclaimed an “Islamic state.” They wage their war in order to consolidate their existence and extend their reach. In the West, the new power, which rules over parts of Syria and Iraq, is perceived exclusively by the bloodthirsty ways they enforce their rule: mass executions of overpowered enemies, soldiers and civilians alike; brutal expulsion of ethnic groups with the wrong beliefs or wrong loyalty; but especially by the demonstrative beheading of people the jihadists consider to be representatives of the West. The Islamic state and its objectives are fully subsumed under these barbaric practices — and because they admit no justification, no good reason for it, politicians and public opinion in the West deny the unwelcome upstart absolutely any political motive and purpose. President Obama grants “neither religion nor state!” to the ravages of these warriors. They are the pure evil that wants nothing more than the destruction of the good: violence for the sake of violence, murder for the sake of murder. The Islamic state is declared to be an enemy of mankind that must be destroyed in order to save civilization. All violence against it is legitimate and the help of all countries is due.
In December 2015, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan took the birth of their child, this moment of private happiness, as an occasion to publicly anounce their intention to donate 99 percent of their Facebook assets — just a measly 45 billion — to charity. In a letter to their baby girl, they professed that the birth moved them to reflect on the world in which she will grow up. And of course, the inventor of the platform for self-promotion on the world wide web decided not to keep the letter under wraps until his daughter could read it, but posted it for the whole world to read on Facebook. The Zuckerbergs have big plans: “Like all parents” they want only the best for their child, but unlike the vast majority of parents, this does not mean making sacrifices and saving money so that their child can go to school and have a better life than her parents. Given the enormous private power embodied by their wealth, the Zuckerbergs are more demanding: they wish to lay a whole “better world” at their little daughter’s feet.
The modern world needs oil. The way it does business with it shows how progressively and rationally the world is set up.