THE ABSENT

THE ABSENT
THE ABSENT - out now!

CRIPPLED HEARTS

CRIPPLED HEARTS
Out Now - For sale on Amazon and other onlne book sellers

SOLIDARITY WITH THE FLESH EATING MOSAIC AND OTHER POEMS by Raj Dronamraju

SOLIDARITY WITH THE FLESH EATING MOSAIC AND OTHER POEMS by Raj Dronamraju
Out Now

THE RETURN OF THE MAGNIFICENT NINNY AND OTHER POEMS by Raj Dronamraju

THE RETURN OF THE MAGNIFICENT NINNY AND OTHER POEMS by Raj Dronamraju
My first book of poetry available through Amazon and other online booksellers www.rajbooks.com

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

WHAT I TAKE FROM MARX PART TWO


One of my favorite parts of reading Karl Marx is when he ditches the stilted doctrinaire language filled with the converter’s zeal and the off-putting language of the self-identified visionary and discusses the negative influence of Capitalism on the family, the community, the society.

 “The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his 'natural superiors,' and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, callous 'cash payment.' It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervor, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom—Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.

The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honored and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage laborers.

The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation.” 

From The COMMUNIST MANIFESTO

In particular, the last paragraph which is the end result of the capitalist society – how people relate to each other.  I grew up in America and I’ve seen brothers sue each other for a share of the family business, parents steal from children and vice versa.  The last couple years I lived in the US, I owned a condominium in Southern California.  From time to time, we would receive rudely written letters announcing mandatory meetings of the ownership association (The word mandatory in black lettering all caps).  These meetings were to vote on various rules to do with guest parking, fees etc.  The meetings themselves were silly as the owners who rented out their properties always had enough votes to narrowly push through whatever they wanted to.  They would communicate their votes ahead of time through proxies (not bothering to show up for the “mandatory” meetings like us peons).  These meetings quickly devolved into personal attacks, like rats fighting over their own tiny stinky rotten pieces of cheese.  “Buy a fucking house” one person would say to the other as an argument against doing something in the complex....A new level of ownership or slavery.

The love of money, the love of material possessions, and those who worship these things are disgusting.  They put commerce above all else and this is a sickness.  It also alienates one from his humanity and bonding with other people.

By reducing people to monetary units, we cheapen humanity.  We lose all sense of morality.  Everything becomes a transaction and well become whores to some degree.  

At the heart of Marxist theory is this understanding and how it undermines all other relationships and in doing so undermines the idea of a just and fair society.    


WHAT I TAKE FROM MARX PART ONE


(This is the first of two posts on Karl Marx.  The first will talk about the political, the second about the personal)

I wouldn’t call myself a Marxist a for two reasons 1.) By nature, I am not an ideological person.  I look at each issue that affects life and come to a view based just on that issue.  Of course, patterns will emerge but I don’t apply said patterns to unrelated issues (Something a member of a political party or a follower of a doctrine/ideology would do) 2.) Even though it’s a blanket description of many competing theories, Marxim itself demands a certain slavish devotion of doctrine that would contradict my first reason -  Like religion in that regard.

However, I do think Karl Marx got a number of things right and I also think there is a necessity for a healthy and just society to apply to apply at least a few of his principles to governance.  I describe two Marx influenced ideas at the end of the post.

Marxism correctly identifies the conflict between the wealthiest members of society who are always looking to maximize profit and those who work for them  whose wages and benefits are continually under assault as a result of this.  Obviously, a completely profit driven society that was first world in its legal protections for workers and in its taxation and infrastructure relationship would eventually relocate its business to somewhere with less regulation in the third world.  This has happened time and time again the less several decades in America.

If profit is your motive then it feeds greed, yours and the greed of your shareholders, but how many people are shareholders of a given company (assuming the company is public)?  At this point, providing jobs for your fellow countrymen takes a backseat for your own selfishness.  This is what has been happening and is happening now in America.

Class as defined by a dictionary may seem outside the conversation if America is the nation we are talking about but class = money, pared down just to wealth and not assuming any superhuman qualities assigned to those who have wealth either inherited or earned, is very much described in Marxist doctrine .  America tends to mythologize those who seemingly go from rags to riches although many of the stories are often embellished and/or the wealthy person had a lot of help along the way.  Often you dig below the surface and you find the Horatio Alger storied figure had a wealthy parent like Bill Gates sor Donald Trump for example.

Marxism can correctly be applied to another key problem with Western capitalism – The misidentification of the individual standing alone as what makes up society particularly societal change and history.  We are all in this together and it is the relationship the individual has with the different groups in his life be they his family, his place of employment  or the government  that moves life.  The individual as great man of history standing alone and triumphing is a creation of Hollywood – total fiction, American folklore.

When we think of the Proletariat we think of factory workers in the industrial revolution of the 1800’s but a guy working in customer service for a credit card company, an insurance salesman, an auto mechanic, a debt collector are the Proletariat of today’s society.  The Bourgeoisie of today are those that own businesses either directly or through shares.

One of the key points of Marxism which was expounded with even more clarity and broadness of vision is by Theodore Adorno is the Bourgeoisie also own the narrative (since they own everything else) and promulgate the viewpoint that best helps them  so the Proletariat often act against their own best interests by supporting this.  It’s form of brainwashing - think of modern political advertising.

Adorno takes this even further showing how instilling wants for unnecessary material goods and saturating an audience with dumbed down entertainment further anesthetizes and distracts the proletariat I wrote more about Adorno here http://rajdronamraju.wordpress.com/2008/06/19/the-world-according-to-theodor-adorno/

So two ideas I have that I would like to see implemented that one could say were based on Marxist principles.

1.) A wealth cap – No individual would be worth more than a pre-set amount.  I’m all for freedom but when we are talking about a finite amount of resources then what you have hoarded is automatically depriving someone else.  There is no need for any one person to be a billionaire.  I would also eliminate the ability to incorporate oneself as a business.

2.) Partial government ownership of all businesses – All business big or small would be semi-government owned.  This would be a benefit of entrepreneurs as they could go to the government with an idea and they would be able to receive backing.  Big business should not be an adversary to a society and the wellbeing of its citizens.  Often its priorities, for once again the reason of profit cause that business in a whole host of areas such as the environment, worker rights, etc. to be hostile to the Proletariat.  Let government run business in a democratic society and both will be responsive for what is good the citizenry.        





Saturday, November 22, 2014

THREE WESTERN CORPORATE NEWS MEDIA FAILS OF THE WEEK


Contrary to its own self-righteous bullsh*t, The United States has one of the least free news services in the world.  Dominated by large corporation ownership of networks and newspapers and riddled with agents of the CIA and other intelligence services, US news is completely devoid of history (things happen in a vacuum) or they just don’t report stories that don’t fit into their narrative of a fairy tale America.

Here are three of the awful, evil things the US supports and funds throughout the world which were not covered in the news this week.

Western corporate news media fail of the week #1 – I don’t expect anything less from the Zionist controlled Western media, they are already circling the bottom of the bowl, but the “reporting” on the deaths of the five Israelis by Palestinians in Jerusalem completely ignores what’s been going on lately. Settlers have gone crazy since the Gaza mass murder ramming their cars into children in the street, stabbing Palestinians, the other day they murdered a bus driver and the Israeli government did no autopsy and called it a suicide despite the guy’s body being covered with bruises. It’s like the South before civil rights. When an Israeli murders a Palestinian, he is almost never convicted.


Western corporate news media fail of the week #2 – What they don’t tell you in the coverage of the murder of Miss Honduras is that the reason Honduras is sinking into anarchy and violence and people are fleeing and crossing the border and eventually to the USA is the coup enabled by the CIA in which the rich 1% got rid of Zelaya a man of the people who wanted to help the poor. Allende déjà vu (only they didn’t kill Zelaya) .

Hillary Clinton is involved up to her eyeballs – What a disgusting human being she is http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/9/hillary-clinton-honduraslatinamericaforeignpolicy.html

Western corporate news media fail of the week #3 - Russia introduced an “Anti-Nazi” resolution at the United Nations which condemns the use of Nazis symbols and language as well as public memorials to Nazism, holocaust denial, racism and anti-Semitism and holding public demonstrations under a Nazi banner. This is a growing problem especially in the old Soviet client states. It passed but guess who voted against it? Yup America who backs so called “democracy movements” in many of these countries (Not just Ukraine where we’ve seen the ugliness of what an American supported coup and government looks like) but who are in fact a collection of Neo-Nazis and their oligarch robber baron backers. Shameful is the word!

These are the allies the US wants? Really? http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2014/11/18/stay-away-from-kiev/


PRESIDENT OBAMA'S EXECUTIVE ORDER ON IMMIGRATION IS A MISTAKE


I think President Obama’s executive order on immigration is a mistake. While America does owe something to the refugees of those nations such as Guatemala and Honduras whose internal situations they’ve made terrible, this is not the way to solve the problem even temporarily.

1.) The argument that the Republican party especially in the House of Representatives hates Obama so intently that they won’t agree to anything is only half true. The other half of the equation is Obama is horrible at handling legislation – No interest or desire to get his hands dirty at pushing things through, terrible at working legislators for votes, horrible negotiator – He’s kind of the anti-LBJ. I still say immigration reform which got through the senate could have made it through the house had Obama been willing to push them

 2.) The precedent this establishes is awful. You may agree with what President Obama is doing but what about in 2016 if a Republican becomes president and tries to use executive orders for things he can’t get through? Of modern day presidents, FDR used the executive order the most which is understandable considering the crisis he faced and his length of time in office. I don’t see the immigration issue as rising to that level.

3.) The defense of Obama that Presidents Reagan and Bush the 1st did this too on immigration? That’s a false comparison! Reagan and Bush used executive orders to fix loopholes and missing parts of immigration legislation passed in 1986 by the senate. Obama is doing this IN PLACE OF legislation.

Again, I am not opposed to this philosophically but I am on a procedural basis plus I think it will only increase the dysfunction between the executive and legislative branches of our government a trademark of the Obama years.






Wednesday, November 19, 2014

THE INDECENCY OF ISRAEL


I was off line for several months earlier this year and that time period included Israel’s rampage through Gaza in yet another attempt to use the bogus threat of national security to cover ethnic cleansing and genocide in land stolen by the Zionists to create their Nazi state.

One line of defence for Israel I have always heard but not heard rebutted as much as the other faux “Jewish state” justifications which are – History (Plenty of other countries have a claim on that part of the world.  If this is correct then Rome has a claim on the UK for its 200 year occupancy), Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust (In that case, Germany should be the Zionist homeland not in the Middle East), and the process (The British had no right to give away the Palestinian land for a Jewish state and the Arabs as a whole were right to fight it) The argument Israel has won its recognition as a state by through wars and combat basically is saying might makes right, greater violence bestows the right to exists on the winner which when one thinks about it, is all Israel has.

I discussed the case against Israel on an earlier blog post  http://rajdronamraju.wordpress.com/2008/12/31/the-case-against-israel/

But what I’m talking about specifically is what Israel is in the description of its supporters - A democracy in an area without any, a so-called bastion of liberal thought and western values.

On the face of it this argument is ludicrous as it confers legitimacy on any power that wipes out a group of people and steals their land.  All that matters is what they do now not the ethnic cleansing war crimes they committed in the past.

But I would argue that is a dishonest and an invalid argument as Israel is an indecent state.

It is a racist, genocidal state that recognizes no difference between combatants and those in armed conflict against it.  It does this deliberately so as to “mow the grass” the Zionazis euphemism for murdering large numbers of Palestinians to keep the population down.

It is a racist state that mirrors this in everything it does from excluding Israeli Arabs from living in certain areas to never prosecuting or giving a slap on the wrist sentences to settler violence against Palestinians including violence against children.

It is a dishonest state that lies about its own past constantly and the genocide the Zionists committed to steal the land from its original inhabitants.

It is also dishonest in its self-description – Jewish fundamentalism is on the rise in Israel leading to conflicts among Jews from everything to women’s rights (like where men and women sit on a bus and how women dress ) to who serves in its military.

Dishonest in its description of Gaza – Israel never left Gaza merely pulled out the settlers without relinquishing control of air, water, or taxes then turned it into a giant jail on all sides.

Whether it tests new cruel and destructive military weaponry (DIME weapons, Flechette shells, white phosphorus) on a defenseless population or locks up and tortures innocent Palestinian children, Israel is an indecent, evil state whose antecedents are Nazi Germany and Apartheid era South Africa.

I hope to see the end of Israel as we know it in my lifetime.

  





Sunday, November 16, 2014

BILL COSBY IS A RAPIST


I’ve always had mixed feelings about Bill Cosby.  As a kid, I liked the shows he did or was part of in the 1970’s that were aimed at children – The Electric Company, Fat Albert, his variety show on Sunday nights at 7:00.  He wasn’t so much a comedian as a storyteller and had all the skills to make an audience hang on every word of those stories.

I didn’t care so much for his 80’s show.  THE COSBY SHOW was feel good Reagan era crap that completely ignored what a lot of African Americans go through in America.  His evolution into a public scold for black people seemed ill-fitting considering he was very quiet during the civil rights era when he was first becoming a big star.  Tommy Smothers once called him out on this and Cosby physically attacked him.

That last story is perhaps why my feelings about Cosby have always been mixed because I always felt under the affable, exasperated everyman was a lot of anger.  It shows in his eyes and in his physical movements.  I wouldn’t call it violent rage lurking there; more like a passive aggressive anger (although I could see him exploding).  Complaining about one thing when you are really trying to let someone know you are irritated about that same thing without telling them outright.  In general, there has always been something very creepy about Bill Cosby.

Regarding the rape accusations made about Cosby, I believe them because there are at least 14 (or 16) different women, most or all of whom don’t know each other, occurring over 30+ years and who tell somewhat similar stories of being drugged and groomed by Cosby and his army of handlers.  Cosby has settled with at least one accuser out of court and has been mum on the rest.  His PR people created a wall of silence.


Does this matter to Cosby’s huge legacy as a comedian and performer?  Yes it does.  Cosby has always marketed himself as a clean family man, an image that began to unravel in the 90’s when he was the victim of a blackmail plot involving the paternity of a prostitute’s daughter, a prostitute Cosby admitted to sleeping with.  All that time spent hanging out at the Playboy Mansion should have been a clue.

Cosby is a monumental fake and a sexual predator.  He is an old man but IMO there is no statute of limitations in exposing someone like this.  It will be good to see Bill Cosby suffer some form of justice either in the courts or through the lessening of him as a popular public figure.    


Thursday, November 13, 2014

AVONMORE BY BRYAN FERRY


Bryan Ferry's solo albums have always veered between records of new material and of cover versions and of combinations of the two.  Happy to say that AVONMORE is mostly new material except for two weird covers (Send in the Clowns and Johnny and Mary) at the end of the record.  Overall just a dependably enjoyable record of the usual Ferry wall of sound, his trademark since the last Roxy Music album AVALON, well played by an army of musicians including Nile Rodgers and Johnny Marr (who co-wrote Soldier of Fortune a ballad here)and his ever aging fragile voice (which has great authority)....Not as good as his best solo work (nor Roxy Music of course) - OLYMPIA, MAMOUNA, BETE NOIRE, BOYS AND GIRLS but I like it....Standout tracks - Driving Me Wild,  A Special Kind of Guy, and Loop De Li (the first single).

My review of the last Ferry album OLYMPIA can be found here http://rgdinmalaysia.blogspot.com/2010/10/olympia-by-bryan-ferry.html