Note from the Editor

"My fellow Americans, this is the most important election of our lifetime. The stakes are high. We are a nation at war -- a global war on terror against an enemy unlike we've ever known before," said Mr. Bush the other night in Crawford, Texas. What, what, what do you say? It was Mr. Kerry who uttered those words last Thursday in Boston, not Mr. Bush? Not Crawford? Are you sure? Oh well, we did not listen to Kerry's peroration as we were rejoicing upon our first day out of suburbia -- at long last, AT LONG LAST! (more on this another time. We have a house for sale though; if you are interested to live in Menlo Park in the Bay Area, rush to 545 Palmer Lane -- Beautifully renovated redwood/fir bungalow on almost one half of an acre of land...the American Dream, you know... Suburbia!) Anyway, seriously, these words could have originated from the mouth of our "great" war leader, could they not? And thinking of it, they could have come as well from another "great" war leader, Mr. Hitler, who, after reading the short report filed by Eli Beckerman on the street protests -- or better said, the gagging of the protesters -- brings to mind the comment William Shirer made in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, "The Germans imposed the Nazi tyranny on themselves." A people has the government it deserves...

Here we are, in Boston, the First Amendment pretty much abrogated while a hypnotized crowd cheers another savior. Talk about mass psychosis...which Manuel García does quite eloquently as he examines how small groups of wealthy elites control larger populations, and looks into the psychological key, if any, that could open the American mind to a Green Socialist future. Then, if you still have any doubt about who calls the shots in Washington D.C., the mascot in the Oval Office or his corporate masters, Phil Rockstroh adds his 2 cents that will make you much richer, from a neuron perspective, mind you; and Philip Greenspan uses his bullshit detector to bring another of his reality checks to the fore without mincing words.

Buried by propaganda, getting their news from Jay Leno and Rush Limbaugh, the American people are marching, in the words of Marilynne Robinson (Harper's, August 2004, p. 17), "lockstep to enormity and disaster." She continues, "A successful autocracy rests on the universal failure of individual courage." The halls of power, as noted by Richard Macintosh, glitter by the dearth of cowardice, with the exception of a few lonely voices. And it must take some moral courage for new contributor, José Tirado, to plead, "stop urging us to vote for your party [Democratic]," and to state the obvious, "we can't get the system we want by voting for people who don't want our system." Duh! Whether it's courage or exile (Tirado lives in Iceland, like John Steppling lives in Poland -- perhaps Americans should travel more...) he sure gets it. Michael Moore gets it too as Gerard Donnelly Smith avers (at least to a point...that should exclude his idiotic endorsement of Wesley Clark, the perfect embodiment of a war crimes criminal). Gerard reviews Farenheit 9/11 and its "objective" propaganda, in which Moore allows the players and events to speak for themselves -- no need for scripting and staging -- and you be the judge.

Milo Clark, a history buff, and an even-tempered mind, reminds us that the Rule of Law can be and has been upheld or restored by some faction of the elites "demanding and getting a piece of the action." So, yes, there is hope, even if faintly, that the Rule of Law will be restored (Americans think of FDR as a man of the people...when he was nothing more than the rescuer of capitalistic interests, forced by the masses to legislate compromises favorable to the workers -- compromises that, when implemented, have been chipped away ever since); but it remains that the laws are made by the elites serve their own interests...and there is no mass movement in the U.S. of 2004 and JFK II is no FDR!

When a Moroccan Swede gets interested in Straussian and Wilsonian politics, the idealist/realist discourse in the U.S., you end up with a Clinton looking much like a Bush, and vise versa. Please welcome the scholarly work of Mohammed Ben Jelloun, another new contributor.

A poem on Gomorrah; the work of Louis Proyect still posted on the front page (it was indeed a book review); and the Letters to the Editor conclude this issue. Enjoy it as much as we did pulling it off in the midst of boxes!

As always, please form your OWN opinion, and let your friends (and foes) know about Swans.


Count Down to 2004

Eli Beckerman:  I Will Not Be Herded

"Welcome to Boston!" I shouted to my mom, who was visiting for some pre-convention work in her role as a canvasser for the Democratic National Committee. As I welcomed her, I smiled and gestured to the 20 or so Military Police and Federal Protective Service officers standing outside the Park Street "T" Station, standing right on the Freedom Trail. Welcome to Boston, indeed.   More...


José M. Tirado:  Damned If We Do? Damned 'Cause We Didn't!

Greens are definitely in a predicament these days. From the Right -- ridicule. From the Left we are excoriated, first damned for supposedly helping elect Bush, and now damned for picking David Cobb as our standard-bearer. From even some of our own supporters we are told to tone it down, swallow our pride, and vote for the Democrats. Well, this Green believes it's time to clear up some confusion.   More...


America: Myths and Realities

Manuel García, Jr.:  The Imprisoned American Mind

Can an awareness of political reality be re-awakened in the American public mind? How do we produce this Second American Revolution?   More...


Phil Rockstroh:  From The Annals of Presidential Style: Do The Clothes Make The Mascot?

Is authentic human experience even possible in an environment constructed of the flimsy artifices of corporate marketing "values" and its concomitant twenty-four-hour-a-day saturation of advertisements?   More...


Philip Greenspan:  Dubya's Elixir: Bigger And Brighter Same Old Crap

Politicians today are marketed to the public like nationally advertised brands. To gain coveted offices an advertising blitz of billions employs television, radio, newspapers, magazines, billboards, marching bands, parades, and recruits the services of every damn fool sucker willing to volunteer.   More...


Richard Macintosh:  Courage II

On July 15, 2004, Congresswoman Corinne Brown (D-FL) threw down a challenge to the House of Representatives. Speaking on the floor of the House, she challenged the Representatives to guarantee honest elections, so that the presidential election would not be "stolen" again.   More...


Gerard Donnelly Smith:  The Documentary As Propaganda

People, in general, are under the false assumption that propaganda equals false, misleading or deceptive rhetoric, including logical fallacies such as false emotional appeal, name-calling, false dilemmas and slippery slopes. Although I can't disagree with conservative republicans who call Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 propaganda, I do wish to qualify what type of propaganda Moore's documentary represents:   More...


Gilles d'Aymery:  Propaganda: Then and Now

[Ed. Initially published in November 2001, this article provides a fair description of the bolts and nuts of propaganda.]

In January 1916, President Woodrow Wilson stated, "So far as I can remember, this is a government of the people, and this people is not going to choose war." (2) Later in the year, Wilson campaigned and won his re-election on a platform stressing a policy of neutrality, if not antiwar pacifism, toward the raging conflict on the old continent.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Milo Clark:  Rebalancing Power

Western history is marked by successions of events involved with balancing of power. The Roman Empire went through power shifts between autocratic Caesars and Republican Senate. In England, working its way to Great Britain, royal arrogance was checked several times.   More...


Mohammed Ben Jelloun:  Wilsonian Or Straussian: Post-Cold War Idealism?

Starting from the present-day situation in Iraq, one may wonder whether more reflection really needs to be devoted to the Wilsonian influence upon the US foreign policy idealism being embraced since the end of the Cold War -- I personally doubt it very much. Searching for the bigger picture behind US foreign policy goals, turning to masters in suspicion, I found that Nietzsche's modernity diagnosis made sense not only of the lies about weapons of mass destruction and human treatments, but the entire discourse of invading Iraq.   More...



John Marshall:  The Robots Of Gomorrah

When asked we speak in a stannic tongue,
polytonal, quadraphonic, tetravalent, precise.
We think in ultraviolet. We dream in cyan.
Our names are endless and alphanumeric.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Louis Proyect:  The Case for Nader-Camejo

[Ed. Published on July 19 under the headline "Countdown to 2004," Proyect's piece should be read once again as a book review.]

Although liberal attacks on Ralph Nader have been marked by a level of vituperation usually reserved for such as Slobodan Milosevic, Greg Bates's Ralph's Revolt is completely rancor-free by contrast. It is a calm, dispassionate "case for joining Nader's rebellion," as the subtitle puts it.   More...


Letters to the Editor


From the Politics of Anti-Semitism, the case for Nader-Camejo, the imperial patriarchy, Leo Strauss, the US Genocide of Indian Nations, to a call to challenge Fox NewsSpeak Network's hypocrisy and partisanship...and, of course, John Steppling's review of the July 19 issue.   More...



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Created: August 4, 2004