Ruling Class using Facebook Hearing to Maintain Power.

http://www.plp.org/challenge/2018/4/6/facebook-aids-opposition-main-wing-bosses-crack-fascist-whip.html

 

This article out of the Progressive Labor Party organ “Challenge” is pretty effective in casting the Zuckerberg testimony in clear class terms.  In the United States, we too often forget that class war is an actual thing that carries on regardless of whether or not we choose to pay attention to it.  The Zuckerberg congressional hearing, when viewed through a class dynamic lens, is a clear instance of one section of the ruling elite trying to bring another in line.  Even other Marxists occasionally lose sight of the importance of observing these shifts within the ranks of the ruling class. One faction of our rulers is attempting to check the power of another faction growing in influence.

 

There are so many lessons wrapped up in the historical phenomenon of Facebook it is difficult to know where to begin.  Here’s one. We see how Mark Zuckerberg, along with his little advertising empire (which is what Facebook, at the bottom of it all, really is) has been taken to task by the ruling elite by means of its bureaucratic political servants.  We see Zuckerberg, only concerned about this turn of events continuing to enable him to be filthy rich, promising his fellow capitalists that he will do a better job of monitoring and controlling the content viewed by Facebook users as they continue to gorge themselves on voyeurism, narcissism, and consumerist slop.

 

Don’t worry everyone, Facebook is safe.

 

https://theintercept.com/2018/04/14/andrew-cuomo-sees-whats-coming-he-doesnt-know-whether-to-run-join-it-or-destroy-it/

 

Cynthia Nixon of Sex and the City, through challenging Andrew Cuomo, exposed another Democratic politician to be a piece of garbage.  This is to the general surprise of no one in particular. She’s shooting for the democratic ticket. I have to say that while I personally agree with the politics of individual progressives in many ways.  However, they do irritate the piss out of me. They lend our violent system a cheap veneer of acceptability. They’re token. I really do wish progressive politicians would stop trying, throw compromise to the wind, and build communism.  Is that so much to ask?

 

Anywho, Nixon’s activity is again giving rise to a distinction that the Left needs to abandon.  “Establishment Democrat” v. “Progressive Democrat.” Bernie Sanders’ favorability to Hillary Clinton is making us forget about his historical support of Israel, his voting record on American foreign military interventions.  Or how about the fact that he is the only “socialist” in Congress? The American working class does not have the time to negotiate with the rotten sons of bitches that run this country. Progressive Democrats traffic in false hopes and wasted time.  I don’t ever want to grant a single step more to the ruling class in this county. There is nothing about that class or its members and servants that warrants the least bit of consideration. We don’t have time for Cynthia Nixon.

 

And there is, of course, the fact that she is a member of the wealthy elite.  She has money. A lot of it. I don’t trust her sympathies. Neither should workers.  We need to be pulling leadership out of our own ranks.

 

https://theintercept.com/2018/04/14/syria-rania-abouzeid-alia-malek/

 

Yeah but was Syria ever the possession of the Syrians?  This national question is perennial wherever you’re from.  For example, the United States has never “belonged” to the American people.  It is the possession and tool of the wealthy, it is the province of the privileged.  Everyday American have very little control, regardless of the propagandistic fuckfest we hold every four years.  If you’re an American and see the vote as an expression of popular will, you are more trapped than the American who views with vote with the cynicism it warrants and elects to carry out an alternative form of political activity.

 

So this idea that Syrians are currently being deprived of a nation-state that was at some point their possession is asinine.  Now—I can see how bourgeois Syrians feel deprived if they are of the opposition or have lost everything over the course of the conflict.  Actually, there we go. Refugees, everyday Syrians that have lost their homes or loved ones or lives. They are deprived. But I don’t know that anyone’s weeping over something they’ve lost.

 

My point is that the above article is clearly sympathetic to secular opposition forces but this doesn’t necessarily mean that it is politically aligned with the interests of the laboring mass of Syrians who are suffering the brunt of this conflict.  I am sensitive to this issue because if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s the crocodile tears of the wealthy and privileged trying to use the suffering of the struggling masses as propaganda for bourgeois democracy. Which is what this article seems to be to me.  But then I haven’t read the two books…

 

https://www.democracynow.org/2018/4/17/deadliest_us_prison_riot_in_25

 

And here we have prisoners erupting in violence.  Now, I’m going to go ahead and assume that the reader is more intelligent than a South Carolina Governor, and forego the explanation of how an eruption of violence does not have to be about anything that appears to be the clear problem being hashed out by warring inmates.  The concern, as explained by the historian in the above, is that people act out when they are treated with inhumanity. No one with any passing familiarity with our system of mass incarceration can say that we treat prisoners with humanity.

 

And I also have to put a plug in here for the fact that while the racial disparity among prisoners is certainly indicative of racism, the only more conspicuous number is that of prisoners across racial lines that come from a certain socio-economic class.  Thank about that.

 

Oh!  And the only people that should be in prison are the rich.  That is all.

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“Perfect” Airstrikes are Good for Business.

So Donald Trump launched strikes on Syria.   According to Trump, “perfect,” airstrikes took place on 4.14.18.  This response to reports (I say reports because the international Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had not yet had a chance to investigate when Trump, May, and Macron had decided it was time to blow shit up) of a chemical attack in Douma, Syria carried out by the Assad regime.  Dozens were reportedly killed.

 

The corporate media has been beating the war drum for a while now regarding this issue.  Why? Because in every armed conflict there’s a lot of money to be made. And this is the only concern of the ruling elite in the United States.

 

The crux of the problem is that when Trump had decided to launch the strike neither he nor the media were certain that the attack had even occurred as reported.  And for those second-amendment loving constitution fanatics out there, his order wasn’t even constitutional. So where’s there outrage? But that’s an aside, really.

 

The same companies that have profited off of armed conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan are going to profit off of war in/with Syria.  This needs to stop. There is nothing to be gained from more imperialist expansion in the Middle East. We need to stop pretending that this isn’t the government (which could be of and for the people but isn’t) carrying out the dirty work of companies to line the pockets of the rich.  We know that the Syrian American Medical Society are the one’s reporting on this chemical attack in Douma. We know that they are staffed by Islamist opposition to Assad AND that a huge portion of its funding come from USAID. So the US State Department is giving itself the pretext to wage more war.  Props to Max Blumenthal for investigating this. (https://grayzoneproject.com/2018/04/12/al-qaedas-mash-unit-how-the-syrian-american-medical-society-is-selling-regime-change-and-driving-the-us-to-war/)

 

We are, again, being taken in.  This is not a government that gives a shit about the sacrifice, financial or in terms of human life, of the toiling masses.  We struggle, we pay taxes, we create profit without labor, our family goes to war and dies, we certainly don’t benefit, and it only exacerbates terrorism.  It’s our sacrifice, not theirs. It has to end. We can put a stop to it if we fight it.

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Mr. Zuckerburg Goes to Washington

This should all be prefaced with me making perfectly clear that I do not take congressional testimonies seriously as an indication of the intentions or work of lawmakers representing the will of the communities they are supposed to be serving.  This has never happened in this country. Bunch of disingenuous bastards…

 

Mark Zuckerberg outlined Facebook’s plans to use AI and a small army of what will likely be very tired content moderators (20,000, Zuckerberg anticipates) to regulate the content to stop terrorist propaganda and terminate the influence of fake news.  Obviously there is going to be some hand-wringing over the loss of first amendment rights of Americans who could be unfairly censored. Coupled with the termination of net neutrality, companies like Facebook regulating information that is exchanged on their social media is certainly some pretty dark prospects.  I mean, if you consider the sheer number of people that get their news, memes, etc. from social media, the power of giants like Facebook to manipulate the public is significant.

 

We know that republican lawmakers are concerned about some sort of “anti-conservative” bias.  Without looking much into that story, nobody cares. Or at least, nobody should care. Because the perspective of the peddlers of conservative garbage ideology want to be able to spew their nonsense onto the internet through Facebook and other ways without any context.  The act of speaking does not give someone’s message worth. We need to be able to filter things that aren’t true from serious political debate. I mean, Christ, before Facebook we were already having a hard time having serious political discussion in this country. So nobody cares about your token Black commentators Ted Cruz, sit the fuck down.  Especially when we know that they weren’t actually “censored” to begin with. It’s just conservatives trying to make themselves victims again.

 

This is a pretty good sign that Americans need to get smarter.  I mean, this Facebook-free speech issue is sort of eliminated if, as mass consumers of information, we do a better job of interrogating our sources and even the quality of our baseline assumptions.  I can grant that “fake news” makes being an informed citizen more difficult, but maybe we need to stop asking politicians and companies to do our thinking for us. The information is available with a free and democratically accessible internet.  If we protect that, we can honestly say “fuck Facebook” and move on to taking control of our lives. Because we all know that Facebook is a force of darkness anyways. People massaging their own narcissism while participating in a marketing feedback loop that only serves to increase our dependence on definitions of self-worth authored by our corporate masters.

 

But I don’t want to get caught up on explaining to the reader the reasons Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. should be trashed.  Let’s think about other things we learned from the congressional hearings that could be worthwhile.

 

We watched Zuckerberg get grilled by a congressperson that is actively pushing to increase the regulation of companies like Facebook so that they can distract the public from 1) their own participation in the destruction of net neutrality and 2) how they are trying to advocate for the service providers that have profited from the destruction of net neutrality who lined their pockets with contributions.  It’s a shell game. “Look over here at how we’re taking Zuckerberg to task and ignore how AT&T is bribing me to throw you all under the bus!” Because that’s what the campaign contributions of industries are, bribes.

 

These lawmakers that are affecting outrage over the privacy of users of Facebook are only advocating for their true constituents, the companies that pay them to legislate against the people of this country.  (https://thinkprogress.org/republicans-love-deregulating-big-tech-facebook-hearings-30590f171f27/)

 

For Truthout.org, Mike Ludwig singled out Marsha Blackburn, who not only introduced legislation to repeal FCC privacy rules, but continues to disingenuously pretend to be opposed companies commodifying user privacy while simultaneously pushing legislation that favors her own corporate telecom backers.  (http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/44142-zuckerberg-grilled-by-same-lawmakers-who-repealed-online-privacy-protections)

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