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Friday, December 30, 2005


Charles Beard’s book, President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, 1941: A Study in Appearances and Realities, [1] positions Beard both as an historian with an acutely enquiring mind and as a critic of Roosevelt’s war dealings specifically and of America’s role in war generally. However, for a reader to fully appreciate Beard’s white-knuckled mood and firmly grounded perspective one must, at least, be familiar with Beard’s prior works on these and other related issues.
Beard was astute enough to see another great war looming on Europe’s horizon by 1936 and to be moved enough to write The Devil Theory of War: An Inquiry into the Nature of History and the Possibility of Keeping Out of War[2], in which he argued that the prime motivation of America’s involvement in the Great War was for the benefit of capital and big business eager to cash in on the many new opportunities that war provided. He saw the embryonic imperialist dreams of American empire that Theodore Roosevelt, Admiral Mahan, Henry Cabot Lodge, Albert Beverage and others were espousing as simply a “plain capitalist racket” that utterly appalled him.[3] By 1936, Beard could see America heading in exactly the same direction, yet again, having paid no heed whatsoever to the lessons he believed should have been learnt from the First War. It is not until the penultimate paragraph in the Devil Theory of War that Beard offers a meek, almost passing, but nonetheless important insight into the conditions by which America might entangle itself in war, where he suggests that:

"It might so happen that participation by the United States in the next or following war would be desirable “in the national interest” or for some great good. If so, the case could be discussed openly on its merits by the Congress of the United States, as advised by the President and the State Department openly. If we go to war, let us go to war for some grand national and human advantage openly discussed and deliberately arrived at, and not to bail out farmers, bankers and capitalists or to save politicians from the pain of dealing with a domestic crisis."[4]

It is difficult to judge exactly what Beard had in mind with regard to the words “grand national and human advantage” and the offering this paper makes can only be speculative, but it may well be that Beard foresaw some overwhelming catastrophic threat to America’s existence as being the only situation that would require America to entangle itself in war – not just the war to come but, he carefully notes, any future war. That, however, was in 1936.
In President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, 1941, Beard’s reflections on the reasons for FDR taking America into the Second World War, he certainly does not entertain the notion that the attack on Pearl Harbour provided such threat to America’s existence and, indeed, implies that, while America then had no choice but to prosecute the war, its provocation was engineered and could have been avoided.[5] He immerses himself in the task of proving his argument and making his point. The extent of the research alone demonstrates the drive he has found for the purpose and the passionate search for the truth borders on a kind of controllable obsession that seems to fuel that drive. One wonders if Beard senses or is aware of his approaching demise, (he dies in 1948, the year of the book’s publication) and whether this too projects his sense of urgency needed to once and for all resolve and reveal the truth of it. Not just of FDR’s complicity in political manipulation, but also to vindicate what Beard believed and had expressed in 1936 in The Devil Theory of War as an all embracing truth and that the ensuing war was stark proof of it. This paper, apparently, is not the first to discuss the validity of such argument.[6]
But then one arrives at the last chapter of President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War and, after reading it carefully, one wonders if there is not some paradoxical conundrum lurking between all the previous lines. If only Beard were still alive. He could be asked if, in 1948 and with the benefit of hindsight and having full knowledge of the absolute atrociousness of the war, (which he actually would not have had in 1948)[7] whether he would still have been the isolationist that he was before the war. Beard concedes to the obscenity of Hitler’s Nazism and the impossibility of a neutral America being forced to trade with a victorious Hitler throughout Europe and a Japanese empire through Asia. In questioning FDR’s reasoning for doing what he had done, Beard asks if “the means justified the ends”.[8] If, at the end of it all, two monstrous tyrannies were beaten into non-existence at such a terrible price only to be replaced by a huge monolithic tyranny that now swept not just through much of Eastern Europe but across to those regions that were once part of the previous Pacific tyranny, then was it all worth it?[9] If Beard were President, one might ask, what would he have done? The answer, one suspects, is that he would rather have told of what he would not have done. For Beard, the question was not what he would or would not have done; it was the question of political morality that was important. A matter of political honesty and integrity, he may say, and since neither were present according to Beard, there could, he implies, only be left dishonesty, deceit and hypocrisy. For Beard, the hypocrisy of the Atlantic Charter of August 1941, from that meeting between Roosevelt and Churchill where, incidentally, Beard implies, the plans for America’s incursion in to war were hatched,[10] was the betrayal of all that was noble in the Charter. It demonstrated perfectly his contention that the end did not justify the means. The victorious Allied leaders determined a post-war way of life for millions of Europeans who would have no say at all about their future.[11] What now of that ‘noble Charter’, Beard demands to know.
And what of the future? It may well have been Beard’s next question. He does not ask it in Roosevelt and the Coming of the War - the book ends before it is asked. But throughout the entire book one senses that this is really what Beard is leading up to. If the reasons for America’s part in the war are revealed to be wholly for ulterior motives and the outcome of the war so contrary to the rhetoric of great cause and noble righteousness, then how can the people of America and, indeed, the world, ever again trust unrestrained governments to collude with others of the same ilk in the name of the common interest of humanity?[12] As an historian, always trying to find that fine balance between the objectivity of truth and the subjectivity of the righteousness of the true great cause, Beard, in the end, finds himself struggling between calm analysis, frustration at a world unwilling or incapable of ‘seeing’ that which he has laid before them, and an intangible despair that seems to prevent him from asking that question - what of the future?
Beard ensures the reader of Roosevelt and the Coming of the War that it is a sequel to the 1946 publication[13] of his work, American Foreign Policy in the Making, 1932-1940,[14] a work that demonstrates the historians art almost classically, yet, at the same time, gives insight as to what his next book will be. One is struck by Beard’s growing sense of frustration in Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, the seeds of which are sown in the (almost) calm analyses and research that went into American Foreign Policy, to the extent that one needs to ask if it was the emergence of truth, the shedding of light that research exposes, that prompted the need for a sequel. While using the trained historians methods, Beard puts so much feeling into Roosevelt and the Coming of the War as to expose himself as a man who wants to have his life again, or at least a bit more than what is left of this one, so that he can have the ultimate word in his struggle against the hypocrisy of an America going to war without some “grand national and human advantage”. With Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, Beard goes to the edge of scholarly history and pushes right to the boundary of social criticism.


Beard, Charles A., The Devil Theory of War: An Inquiry into the Nature of History and the Possibilities of Keeping Out of War, (New York: Greenwood Press, 1969 reprint ed.)

Beard, Charles A., American Foreign Policy in the Making, 1932-1940: A Study in Responsibilities, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1946.)

Beard, Charles A., President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, 1941: A Study in Appearances and Reality, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1948).

Kennedy, Thomas C., Charles A. Beard and American Foreign Policy, (Gainesville, Fl: The University Presses of Florida, 1975).


[1] Charles Beard, President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, 1941: A Study in Appearances and Reality, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1948).
[2] Charles Beard, The Devil Theory of War: An Inquiry into the Nature of History and the Possibilities of Keeping Out of War, (New York: Greenwood Press, 1969 reprint ed.)
[3] Beard, The Devil Theory of War. pp. 119-121.
[4] Beard, The Devil Theory of War. p. 124.
[5] Beard devotes an entire chapter entitled ‘Manoeuvring the Japanese into Firing the first Shot’ in his effort to prove that America went to great effort to manipulate a situation that would bring it into war with Japan and thence Germany. Beard, President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War. Chapter XVII.
[6] Thomas C. Kennedy, Charles A. Beard and American Foreign Policy, (Gainesville, Fl: The University Presses of Florida, 1975). p. 151.
[7] Much of what we know today about the history of the Second World War has been derived from resources made available since 1948 though Beard would have been aware of the criminal extent of the war from the revelations of the Nuremberg trials of the major war criminals and the trials of the Japanese war criminals.
[8] Beard, President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War. p. 575.
[9] Beard, President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War. p. 577.
[10] Beard, President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War. Ch. XV generally and p. 457 specifically.
[11] Beard, President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War. pp. 576-577.
[12] Beard, President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War. pp. 582-583.
[13] Beard, President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War. Prefatory Note.
[14] Charles Beard, American Foreign Policy in the Making, 1932-1940: A Study in Responsibilities, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1946.

Friday, December 23, 2005


May the entire planet, with all its myriad of deities, begin to learn by the mistakes of history that a better world may be had for all that exist upon it.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005


As some early numbers come in from last Thursday’s poll in Iraq, it seems that the Iraqi people have shown exactly what they think of the man that the US initially tried to foist on their nation as their new leader – the same man that the neoconservatives in the Bush administration used to reinforce the lies that got the war started in the first place – the secular Ahmed Chalabi, looks like he now won’t even be getting a seat in the new Iraqi parliament after getting less than half of one percent of the vote in Baghdad.

It also seems that that other Iraqi criminal and accused murderer of captured insurgents and ex-prime minister, Ayad Allawi, has not fared much better. His coalition party, the Iraqi List, has so far shown only about 14% of the poll.

The US, however, will no doubt be delighted to learn that the religious parties, particularly the Shiite groups, are doing very well in early counting. And, of course, in the appropriate regions, the Sunnis aren’t doing too badly either. Problem is, though, the Shiites are going to be reluctant to let the Sunnis in on the new government, especially if it’s the religious Shiites that get up. This means more insurgency, which means the US will be in no rush to drawdown too many troops thus maintaining their hold on the region.

Democracy running rampant through the region? I think not! The only thing running rampant through the region are American troops.

Friday, December 16, 2005


The election in Iraq yesterday is being hailed a success. That is the actual election, at least in terms of turnout – apparently around 70% – may well have been a success as elections go, but so far that’s all there has been. So far the only thing that as been successful is the management of the actual election. The results, however, will be the real telling of whether or not the election was a success.

All parties involved in this election have encouraged their respective voter blocs to turn out for the election – which, of course, is why the turnout has been high. However a closer look at the leaders of the various factions contending for power soon reveals that ‘democracy’ per se is of little or no interest to any of them.

The two secular Shiite contenders, ex-Ba’ath Party activist, hard-man and accused murderer of resistance fighters, Ayad Allawi, and convicted fraudster and proven liar who fed the lies to the Pentagon neoconservatives in order to start the war in the first place, Ahmad Chalabi, are both men who in the past have shown no respect whatsoever for ‘democracy’. The two Shiite religious contenders, Moktada al-Sadr and Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, apart from being fierce rivals of each other, also have shown little interest in ‘democracy’. Al-Sadr’s main interests are ridding the nation of the invaders and creating a ‘strong’ central government, while al-Hakim would prefer a theocratic Islamic government with close ties to Iran; not very much interest here in ‘democracy’.

The Sunnis are represented by Tarik al-Hashemi, who heads up a Sunni alliance that believes that Iraq should stay as one and, again, has little or no interest in democracy.

Finally the Kurds are represented by Jalal Talabani, the current Iraqi President, and Massoud Barzani, an avid Kurdish nationalist. Both are more interested in Kurdish independence than Iraqi democracy.

The election is merely a tool for all of the contenders to get their respective feet under the table in order to jockey for political power and leverage. The new government, if and when it is able to sort itself out, will not last its allotted four years. The factions alone within each grouping will not allow any form of Western style ‘democracy’ to prevail, and that’s before we start talking about any parliamentary groupings or coalition. Without strong alliances, alliances built without US assistance which will otherwise be seen as serving America’s self interest, there cannot even be any sustainable government, let alone ‘democracy’.

The bottom line is: there may be a period of relative quiet while the sides sort themselves out but it will soon descend into a chaotic free-for-all battle again as temporary coalitions break down and each side demands more of what they consider is their share of power.

In the end there will simply be more of what there is now; insurgents wanting to get rid of the occupiers and plunderers, militias and warlords with their death squads wanting their piece of the corruption action, and the US getting exactly what they wanted in the first place, a nation in turmoil that they can use as an excuse to stay there while they control the region, the oil and protect Israel.

Democracy? Election day is about the only day the Iraqi people will get to see ‘democracy’. They’ve had their day. Now it’s back to more of the same

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


The blogsites of John Howard’s New Fascists, eg., Tim Blair and David Davis (aka Harry Heidelberg) have gone into complete denial and, quite predictably, refuse to accept that John Howard’s policies have caused the current outbursts of blatant racism in Sydney.

It may have escaped their attention but virtually all of the participants in the demonstrations and rioting are aged around seventeen to twenty-five – in other words they were between seven and fifteen years old, their most impressionable years, when Howard first became Prime Minister and began taking Australia down the road to his new fascist Australia. Those intervening ten years have been all it has taken to bring Australia to this.

Of course Howard will deny responsibility; to do otherwise would be an admission to the failure of his refugee, Iraqi War, anti-terrorism and other policies. The racists and fascists that have been running wild in Sydney’s streets have for the last ten years been brought up on a diet of fear of Middle Eastern and Central Asian immigrants and a loathing of Islam and Muslims. They have listened to and taken up his call of ‘We shall decide who comes to Australia’. This coupled with ten years of Howard pushing Australia’s nationalistic barrow and non-stop evocation of Australia’s past military glories and Gallipoli heritage and his frequent visits to the troops on ANZAC days have all served to bolster his image of a Greater Australia and has served to propel that image to the hearts and minds of the young ‘White Aussies’ that now terrorise Sydney.

Howard’s Fascist Australia is a step closer. His supporters, the New Fascists with their blogsites that deny the reality of racism, are the real enemies of peace-loving egalitarian Australians.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


John Howard, as Prime Minister of Australia, must take full responsibility for the current racial tensions which have come to a head recently in Sydney. Howard’s deliberate policy of creating fear and distrust in the community has resulted in hatreds bubbling to the surface of Australia’s social structures.

Much of the violence in Sydney over last weekend was helped along by Howard’s friend and radio talkback host, the racist and fascist Alan Jones who proudly concedes that it was he “…who led this charge here.” Howard himself, while condemning the violence and the actions of all the participants, has pulled up short of condemning it as racism
saying “…but I'm not going to put a general tag of racism on the Australian community”.

Gerard Henderson, Howard’s knee jerk apologist, tries desperately to endorse the Prime Minister’s denials by downplaying the obvious racism by saying: “This is not so much a clash of civilisations but, rather, a series of disputes between some aggressive Australians of Lebanese Muslim background and a group of aggressive (and drunk) Australians of Anglo-Celtic background,” as if the fact that the belligerents are polarised by their racial background is just incidental and that too much should not be construed by this fact.

Howard supporter Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper, The Australian, filled its editorial pages with opinion and commentary that tried to shift the blame for the troubles away from the racism Howard has promoted by his stance against home-grown ‘terrorism’ and his refugee policies. Tim Priest, for example, blames the police for neglecting to control the crowds while Paul Comrie-Thomson blames the Lebanese gangs for causing the trouble in the first place and the police for not nipping the problem in the bud. Meanwhile, the cartoon on the Opinion page depicts that 90% of the crowd on the ‘Aussies’ side are just ‘piss-heads’ and only 10% are ‘Aussie racists’ sums up the extent to which Murdoch’s media wish to lie and mislead.

The reality is Howard and his fascist supporters in the media have succeeded in polarising a nation. One more step down the road to a Fascist Australia.

Saturday, December 10, 2005


Howard supporters are desperately trying to fend off accusations that he is insidiously remaking Australia into a fascist state. For most, including right-wing blogsites whose posters are simply a frothing-at-the-mouth assortment of racists, Islamaphobics and warmongering Arab-hating Howard supporters, this involves simple outright denials without any attempt or even ability to attempt to justify or qualify their denial. Those other supporters that do attempt to qualify their denial, mainly right-wing commentators in the mainstream press, do so by attempting to show that there are no parallels with Howard’s government and policies with the fascism of the 1920s and 1930s. Such denials are usually accompanied by scoffing and mocking of the accusers by pointing to the obvious lack of parallels.

However, the only parallels made are the obvious ones; the visual images of 1920s and 1930s fascism naturally do not bear any resemblance to the Australia of today, nor indeed, does Howard himself fit the conjured-up image of a ‘fascist dictator’. Such images truly would be laughable. But there is more to fascism than the mere imagery that Howard’s supporters wish to distract the Australian people with in their attempt to belittle the notion of Howard’s new fascism. Typical of this distractive nonsense is this piece of not-so-subtle muddleheaded rubbish from Gerard Henderson at ‘The Age’:

“In Australia in recent years it has become almost a fashion to make reference to Fascism/Nazism and/or communism to score political points. In his book The Right Road, historian Andrew Moore wrote that "it is not so very far from the truth" to "suggest that in 1951 Australian Fascism's headquarters were in the Lodge, Canberra". In other words, Moore maintains that the long-serving prime minister of Australia, Robert Menzies, was really a Fascist. This despite the fact that he declared war on Nazi Germany in 1939.”

The obvious distraction attempt here is Henderson’s reference to a piece from a book that is not about Howard at all but of Howard’s hero, Menzies. And the inference, of course, is, if Menzies is not a fascist (on account of having declared war on Nazi Germany) then how can Howard be? For many this may be enough to convince them that Howard is not a fascist. The historical trappings and imagery of fascism do not fit, it would seem, with the image of Howard being a fascist or at least from the way Henderson portrays it.

But, as I have said before, the new fascism bears no physical resemblance at all to the fascism of yesteryear. The ‘old’ fascism is gone. It can never be resurrected. The ‘new’ fascism disowns the ‘old’ fascism. The new fascism has evolved not from nostalgia for the ‘old’ fascism but instead has morphed from the values and ideals of US neoconservatism which has been embraced by US President George W. Bush. The ‘war against terrorism’ and the neoconservatives’ crusade against Islam has given what was ‘White-Australia’ racist conservatism a new impetus that is transforming itself into the new fascism.

Howard’s opportunity came via his lies at the last election and the resultant influence the government has gained in the Senate. With control of both houses Howard has had a relatively easy time of pushing through his welfare reforms, industrial reforms, anti-sedition laws and voluntary student union laws, all of which have been designed to disempower ordinary everyday working Australians and to diminish their right to dissent, protest and industrial action against both the government and employers. The anti-terrorism laws that are associated with the anti-sedition laws have also served to inspire suspicion and hatred among Australians toward the Muslim, Middle Eastern and Central Asian communities within Australia.

As well as punitive legislative changes being a characteristic of Howard’s agenda of taking us down the road to Australia’s new fascism, the more traditional fascist characteristic of national re-armament is also quietly taking place under the auspices of Howard’s servile Minister for Defence, Robert Hill. Passing almost unnoticed has been his recent remarks about Australia being ready in 2012 for possible conflict in SE Asia. Such conflict, needless to say, would be against China over Taiwan in which Australia would be expected to play a part allied to the US.

Next, it seems, Howard will be pushing for tax changes. He says that he believes tax cuts should be across the board; in other words the super-rich will be getting massive cuts while low income earners will receive a relative pittance and will be continuing to contribute to the bulk of personal tax that’s paid into the government’s coffers in order to pay for the wealthy people’s tax cuts.

2006 will be a decisive year for Australians as we continue to witness Howard’s march to an Australian fascist state.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Those that consider themselves ‘mainstream Australia’, all five or six dozen of them that gather daily at Tim Blair’s foul-mouthed fascist blog, have been having a field day over Margo Kingston’s decision to close Webdiary. However, their frothing-at-the-mouth back-slapping seems to be a little premature. Hamish Alcorn, Margo Kingston’s brother, together with some other volunteers, are keen to take up the challenge and keep Webdiary going.

Meanwhile, David Davis and his mob of right-wing hangers-on at the ‘Harry Heidelberg’ blog seem to be a little more subdued. Some of the other self-styled ‘mainstream Australia’ fascists that gather there seemed to have been disappointed that Margo had closed down; mainly because some of them, particularly the obnoxious foul-mouthed and barely literate, Jay White, used Webdiary to peddle their right-wing warmongering nonsense.

Interesting times ahead.


The big news today in Australian current affairs Blogworld is the demise of Australia’s biggest and best blog, Margo Kingston’s Webdiary.

Its demise is a blow for many reasons, not least of which is the fact that there essentially is now no independent voice left specifically for everyday Australians to vent their feelings. There are a lot of blogs around that individuals have set up but none come anywhere near Margo Kingston’s attempt to bridge that gap between the professional commentator, amateur commentator, political activist and professional journalist.

The news of Webdiary’s demise came all the more of a shock because it was only a few days ago that Webdiary had introduced its plans for advertising and told Webdiarists it was looking forward to moving to its new permanent website. However, in closing Webdiary Margo remarked: “Unfortunately I couldn't get funding in time to stop me going broke, and certain events have proved to me that my skin is not thick enough to survive in this game.”

It would be a shame if those ‘certain events’ were the vile and disgusting remarks that came from the extreme right-winger David Davis and a few of his foul-mouthed hangers-on at his so-called ‘Harry Heidelberg’ blog. As I write I haven’t had a squiz yet at what he has to say about it but I’m willing to bet it’ll be a mixture of gloating and patronising sorrow with a few crocodile tears thrown in.

It can only be hoped that someone has the courage to take up where Margo has left off. Australia desperately needs a voice to counter the coming fascism.

Monday, December 05, 2005


I note that the pathological liar and lunatic fascist Craig Warton, (who has a rather telling and obsessive interest in the history of the SS), has shown his head in the sad and somewhat subdued blog of David Davis (a pathetic fascist loser with an inferiority complex who prefers to use the rather grander and more Germanic sounding name of Harry Heidelberg, a style far more in keeping with his fantasy of being ‘leader’).

This is the same Craig Warton that insisted that he personally witnessed a person successfully fly a light aircraft with no training other than some hours in a flight simulator. At first he implied that this person flew the aircraft by himself. Fortunately, he didn’t actually say that; he merely implied it. After much prompting from me he eventually conceded that there was a qualified pilot with him and in doing so saved what was left of his totally tattered credibility. Nonetheless, Warton became quite pathological about his insistence that the event had occurred prior to me prompting a way out of his pathetic predicament by suggesting that such a feat could never be done without a qualified person being there. He took the hint and conceded.

Warton is another of those warmongering fascist Howard supporters who likes to hide behind the façade of ‘mainstream Australia’.

He’s in good company with the other hapless and ignorant fascists that gather at the so-called “Harry Heidelberg” blog to cheer each other up and let off some steam, mixed with some foul-language abuse, about the left.

I also note that some of the same people are appearing at Tim Blair’s fascist blog. They live in a very small world.

Friday, December 02, 2005


It’s an intriguing phenomenon that, while capitalism can exist without fascism, fascism cannot exist without capitalism. It’s a concept that some, including Howard supporter Harry Heidelberg, a fascist blogger hiding under the cloak of ‘mainstream Australia’, apparently is incapable of understanding.

Fascism comes in all shapes and guises but it never comes without the embrace of capitalism. It also rarely comes without the embrace of any given nation’s upper classes. Old money would not like to be directly associated with fascism but will nonetheless support it. New money, as we see with Gerard, openly supports it.

Of course, these days it’s not called fascism. Very few will openly concede that they actually are fascists, indeed, most will vehemently deny it; they will simply laugh at the notion. They say that they don’t like dictatorships per se but they do like strong leaders that have a firm grip on things and they will ensure that that strong leader will stick around for as long as possible within the bounds of not going the full hog of having a real full-on dictatorship. Today’s fascist, in short, would never actually want to be seen as a fascist.

How things have changed. Between the wars in Europe, including Britain, when fascism was on the rise, most people that were fascists were quite happy to call themselves ‘Fascists’. They joined this or that Fascist Party. In fact it was really quite fashionable to be a ‘Fascist’ in the 1930s. Since they lost the war however, it has never been fashionable again. In fact to be called a fascist was – and still is – something of an insult. But that doesn’t mean that the concept has gone away. Every now and then it raises its head again. Several Latin American nations experienced fascist style governments including Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and, of course, who can forget Chile. Spain went on for decades under Franco and Portugal didn’t fare much better under António Salazar. The Greeks had their juntas in the 1960s and the Croatians had Franjo Tudjman (yet another fascist that came from the left) in the 1990s. All, every one of them, were supported by their nation’s wealthiest people.

All, in the main, also had the support of their respective armed forces and security services whose upper ranks are usually filled with those who, just by the very nature of their chosen profession, have right-wing leanings generally even when the government of the day is left-wing.

When Webdiary’s Margo Kingston drew the analogy between what is happening today in Australia with what Fascism was about in Mussolini’s Italy with regard to fascism and its alliance with corporatism, poor old Harry blew the anger fuse and found it necessary to resort to plain foul language in order to help express his denial of the facts. In his rush to defend his hero Howard he actually thinks that every capitalist country must therefore be heading to fascism if Margo Kingston’s logic, which I share, is used. What nonsense Harry! Let me repeat what I said at the beginning. ‘…while capitalism can exist without fascism, fascism cannot exist without capitalism.’ Because you deny Howard being a fascist you seem to think that corporatist Australia getting into bed with him is just plain old corruption. What rubbish.

Many people’s idea of fascism, including Harry’s, seems to revolve around merely the images of fascism past; endless ranks of black uniforms, jack boots, great symbolic nationalistic banners, mesmerised hordes of cheering admirers – all the populist imaginings of fascism which made it so attractive between the wars. The reality is far more prosaic than that. It’s about control, power, wealth and the new racism of culture and religion. The dumb and gullible of Australia should wake up to this new reality.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


When I let loose at Jay White in my last post I said: (See below) “The fascist Jay White… has followed in his hero’s footsteps and come up with what he refers to as the ‘final solution’ to the drug problem,” The vanity-struck Harry Heidelberg, in all his vainglory, actually thought I was talking about him as Jay White’s hero! Now, just how far up ones self can one get?!

Wrong Harry! I don’t think even you are as sick as Jay White’s real hero – the architect of the other ‘Final Solution’ of the ‘40s.

SS-Mistführer White has it all over you Harry!

Monday, November 28, 2005


The fascist Jay White, obnoxious know-all yet know-nothing frothing-at-the mouth lying ranter at Margo Kingston’s Webdiary, has followed in his hero’s footsteps and come up with what he refers to as the ‘final solution’ to the drug problem. His ‘solution’ doesn’t seem to be a great deal different from the Wannsee convention’s ‘final solution to the Jewish problem’! I wonder how many drug addicts there are in the world. He wants to put them altogether in a huge camp and give them as much drugs as they all want. This, he says will allow “…our weakest members of society to just waste away out of sight and out of mind.”

This is the sort of sick human that Australia has in their midst that supports the likes of Howard. Little wonder the rest of the world are beginning to hate us. I wonder if even his fellow foul-mouthed sick fascists at Harry Heidelberg’s blog will go so far as to tolerate this outrage!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Some of the fascists that like to gather over at Harry Heidelberg’s site have been having mixed feelings over the death sentence that looks likely to be carried out in Singapore on 2 December. Heidelberg came out against the death sentence being carried out in this case. As a result his hangers-on, including, surprisingly, arch fascist, historical denialist and all-round ignoramus, Jay White, has also come out against the death sentence in this case.

Others, however, have been less reluctant to tow Heidelberg’s line. Dylan Kissane, for example, a fascist cast in a much stauncher mould of discompassion and blind ignorance, is keen to see the man hang justifying his stance on the ridiculous notion that the recipients of what would have been van Nugyen’s import are simply innocent Aussie junkies.

Some, like the pedantic lunatic quasi-fascist Greg Hynes, goes along with his master Heidelberg as far as this is concerned but says, “…as others have said death penalty is appropriate for the worst criminals like the murderers and the terrorists but it is very harsh for this man.” Confusing, but conforming to his master’s voice.

One has to wonder to what extent that Heidelberg is taking a leaf out of his hero, Howard’s, book and simply bowing to public opinion.

Friday, November 18, 2005


It seems I’ve ruffled a few feathers over at the fascist chook house at Harry Heidelberg’s blog where some of the fascists that use Margo Kingston’s Webdiary to peddle their racist warmongering Howard supporting garbage go to roost when they can’t get published on Webdiary. Well, I suppose they need somewhere to roost to vent their collective spleens and reassure each other that they are, indeed, fascists despite their denials; somewhere where they can slap each other on the back every time they think they’ve scored a point at Webdiary. They like to think they have safety in their numbers there where they can hide behind what they delusionally like to think are ‘mainstream Australia’ views and let off a bit of steam about those of us on the left who are getting under their skin (why else would they devote so much time and energy in insulting me).

All they end up doing by posting there is identify themselves for what they are – right-wing, bigoted, racist, warmongering, Islamaphobic fascists. These are the world’s real enemies.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


In the ongoing ‘war against terrorism’ the West frequently invokes the ‘evil masters’ of terrorism, Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as being the continual cause of Islamic extremism and violence. To do so fulfils two functions; first, the myth of their existence is perpetuated and, secondly, in perpetuating the myth to the point where western mainstream society continues to accept the existence of these two figures of Western hatred allows the West to then apportion blame to them for the continued and seemingly on-going violence.

At the same time it also allows Western governments to attribute events of ‘suicide bombings’ to an organised structure perceived as ‘international terrorism’. Western governments frequently use the phrase ‘al Qaeda cell’ when discussing a bombing event or series of bombing events. The illusion being sought is one of a chain of command whereby an ‘event’, despite having been carried out locally by local people, would be seen as part of some grander plot organised by an ‘evil mastermind’ whereas in reality it was simply an isolated incident or set of incidents carried out by people who are highly unlikely to have any connections whatsoever to al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden or Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. In all likelihood the event would far more likely be a simple ‘copycat’ bombing supposedly carried out by young men eager to ‘join some greater cause’ but to do so independently of any organisation.

The Western powers involved in the ‘war against terrorism’ have for some time seen the merits of maintaining and perpetuating the illusion of their existence but there was a time when the Western powers were inclined to write off bin Laden as being either dead or at least in such poor health that he would not be able to survive very much longer after the first reports of his ill health emerged in late January 2002. One of the first to announce his belief that bin Laden’s had died was Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf.[1] By October 2002 the then newly installed President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, also conceded that bin Laden was probably dead.[2]

One of the reasons that these leaders believed bin Laden was indeed dead was the fact that bin Laden was in need of constant attention to attend to his advanced kidney failure. Such attention included the use of a kidney dialysis machine; a cumbersome piece of apparatus that requires technicians to look after it. Bin Laden would also need the constant attention of a kidney specialist to monitor his condition.[3] Since it would be impossible to provide such services in the Tora Bora Mountains of Afghanistan, bin Laden would have had no alternative but to either find a hospital that would facilitate his requirements, a very unlikely possibility, or to surrender himself to the West who would have provided him with treatment pending his trial.

By December 2001 even the White House was happy to concede that Osama bin Laden was dead. Tony Harnden of the UK Telegraph newspaper wrote:

Osama bin Laden heaped praise on the ‘19 students who shook the American empire’ in the September 11 attacks in a chilling video shown in full last night by an Arab television station. The recording was dismissed by the Bush administration yesterday as sick propaganda possibly designed to mask the fact that the al-Qa’eda leader was already dead.[4]

By October 2002 even a will purported to have been signed by bin Laden and dated 14 December 2001 turned up.[5]

Meanwhile, in March of 2004 reports were coming in that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian extremist said to be heading up ‘al Qaeda in Iraq’ had also been killed. Apparently al-Zarqawi, because of his artificial leg, was unable to escape the American bombing of the Sulaimaniyah mountains in the north of Iraq.[6]

According to reports in Aljazeera, al Zarqawi has become ‘America’s new bogeyman’. “Al-Zarqawi has become the perfect bogeyman. He is a foreigner, so it is the perfect way for the Americans to discredit the resistance and say these attacks are not coming from the Iraqi people”, Abd al-Bari Atwan, an Arab affairs commentator, told Aljazeera.[7]

A ‘bogeyman’ al-Zarqawi indeed is. Besides the advantages to American propaganda about him being the source of foreign Jihadi violence in Iraq, he also serves the neoconservatives in the Bush administration’s assertion that there is a link between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein[8], a point that the Coalition of the Willing was very happy to bring to the publics attention just weeks prior to the invasion of Iraq.

Al-Zarqawi’s artificial leg also seems to be no handicap to him when it comes to daring escapes. Jumping from moving vehicles while being chased seems to be no problem.[9] In some commentary I have referred to al-Zarqawi as the ‘Scarlet Pimpernel of Iraq’. He certainly seems to be as elusive.

Despite the US administrations insistence that these men are the root cause of all that is evil in the world today, the $25 million that each has on his head does not seem to have prompted any arrest. Perhaps the reason for that is that they simply do not exist accept in the imagination of the propagandists who believe that the perpetuation of the myth of their existence will allow them to continue perpetual war.

[1] “Pakistan's Musharraf: Bin Laden probably dead.” CNN World News, 18 January, 2002. Available online: Accessed 15 November 2005.

[2] “Karzai: bin Laden ‘probably’ dead.” CNN World News, 6 October, 2002. Available online: Accessed 15 November 2005.

[3] “Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Bin Laden would need help if on dialysis.” CNN World News, 21 January 2002. Available online: Accessed 15 November 2005.

[4] Toby Harnden, “US casts doubt on bin Laden’s latest message.” The Daily Telegraph, 28 December 2001. Available online: Accessed 15 November 2005.

[5] “Magazine runs what it calls bin Laden’s will.” CNN World News, 26 October 2002. Available online: Accessed 15 November 2005.

[6] “Iraq militants claim al-Zarqawi is dead. Al Qaida-linked extremist suspected of planning attacks.” Associated Press via, 4 March 2004. Available online: Accessed 15 November 2005.

[7] Roshan Muhammed Salih, “Al-Zarqawi: America's new bogeyman.” 1 July 2004. Available online: Accessed 15 November 2005.

[8] Ed Vulliamy, Martin Bright and Nick Pelham, “False trails that lead to the al-Qaeda ‘links’.” UK Guardian Newspaper, 2 February 2003.,6903,887439,00.html

[9] Michael Vincent, “Reports US forces came close to capturing Zarqawi”. ABC Australia, 26 April 2005. Available online: Accessed 15 November 2005.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


The increasingly blatantly racist views of the fascist Jay White, a non-stop commentator using Margo Kingston’s Webdiary to peddle his brand of vile garbage, seems to have reached new depths of sick opinion. He thinks that “…France and the problems [it has] must be blamed on socialism”. What rubbish! Jay White’s blatant and transparent Franco-phobia has combined with his already well known Islamo-phobia to produce a totally unfounded piece of classic fascist nonsense.

The notion that socialism had anything to do with the kind of racism that is rife in France today is barely worth commenting on save to say that, rather, it is the extreme right-wing of France and their fear-mongering that has created the kind of strife we see there today – and it’s exactly the same kind of fear-mongering that Howard and his fascist supporters like Jay White are nurturing here in Australia.

Australians should be aware of these disgusting people. They are the real enemies of Australia.

Friday, November 04, 2005


Below is the original version of one of my post’s to Margo Kingston’s Webdiary. For some reason the editors at Webdiary have become frightened of using the word ‘Jewish’ and, where I have used the word ‘Jewish’, the editors have replaced that word with ‘Zionist’ which has the effect of diluting the context of the original post.

Will Howard says: “One more time: the Israelis were far more concerned about Iran. That's I-R-A-N, not I-R-A-Q.” The Israelis themselves were equally concerned with Iraq as well as Iran. The Israelis were having grave concerns with Iraq inasmuch that Hussein was actively supporting the Palestinian Intafada.

Furthermore, it was the Jewish-American hardcore of the American neoconservative movement, particularly those intellectual Jewish-American ideologues that formed the pro-Zionist Washington elitist groups within the Office of Special Plans (OSP) at the Pentagon and the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) predominately within the Office of the Vice-President that came from such right-wing pro-Zionist dominated right-wing think tank organisations as the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) etc., that had pushed for the war against Iraq and are now pushing for ‘regime change’ in Syria and Iran.

Far from being nonsense, Will Howard, it is fast becoming the truth that the American people and the rest of the world are finally waking up to.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


I note that Howard’s favourite apologist, SS-Rantenfuehrer Janet Albrechtsen, is at it again over in her Oz column this morning. She seems to think that the more the left complain about some legislation Howard wants to shove through, the more likely it is to get through. This time she’s on about the new terror laws. Albrechtsen calls this the ‘Fairfax Index’ law. Rather than explain it, read the article to find out why.

Like most laws, there is always a reciprocal law. In this case it’s the ‘Albrechtsen’s-getting-worried-so-feels-the-need-to-denegrate-someone’ law. It works every time. Howard trots out something that is criticised by both sides and the criticism starts to get traction and, when it starts looking like gaining too much traction for the right-wing’s liking, Albrechtsen re-reacts with this sort of garbage. It’s quite predictable – just go back over her archived material and see for yourself.

Friday, October 14, 2005


There was a point, after much private discussion with Hamish Alcorn at Webdiary, that I was willing to publish, for what ever my little ol’ blog is worth, some kind of ‘retraction’ of my earlier notes titled ‘Margo Kingston’s Webdiary Caves in to the Right-Wing’. I’m wondering now if I was not right in the first place and that Margo Kingston has indeed caved in to the right-wing – it certainly seems so as of today!

During the other day (12 October 2005) and yesterday there had been much debate on Margo Kingston’s Webdiary about the discussion of ‘conspiracy theories’. The right-wing has made a concerted effort to discourage such discussion and, at this stage, it looks as though Margo and her team have caved in yet again.

Some arrogant editor on Webdiary named ‘David’ has been adjudicating the stream of posts on the subject and has deigned himself qualified somehow to see himself fit to decide what is published and what is not in matters relating to so-called ‘conspiracy theories’. He enlightens us of his intentions with remarks such as this: “We take our own decisions on what to publish and what not…”, reminiscent somewhat of a certain Prime Minister’s equally arrogant remarks regarding who and who does not come to Australia!

The bottom line is; freedom of speech has yet again been curtailed by the right-wing on Margo Kingston’s Webdiary, a project that started off with so much promise, but has succumbed to forces that even it doesn’t understand. And why doesn’t it understand? FEAR! Fear of losing the right-wing from Webdiary and the fear of some mysterious ‘very powerful people’ that Margo for some reason has also given in to. One has to wonder who these ‘very powerful people’ are.

So much for freedom of speech. Again, what a shame! Another good idea down the tube. The right-wing wins again and Margo and team show their true colours!

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Part of the paranoia that is associated with so-called ‘conspiracy theories’ is the refusal to believe that any government, particularly a supposedly ‘democratic’ one, could actually do the things that are claimed. To even contemplate it means taking a step outside of their safety zone. They feel, as Jay White said, uncomfortable. The mind of most people can only be opened up just so much but beyond that it shuts down with a refusal to see any thing that might disturb their image of perceived reality.

An example. The idea that the US government could have had anything to do with 9/11 is absolutely mind boggling for most people. If it were found to be true a lot of people’s entire concepts about the very nature of man’s existence would be thrown into disarray. The whole structure upon which entire government systems are founded would be called into question. Can you imagine how the American people or, indeed, the entire world, would react if it were found that 9/11 was planned and carried out by elements of the government? Just close your eyes and imagine.


Yet there was a time when elements of an American government planned just that sort event in order to start a war.

No doubt many Webdiarists are familiar with Operation Northwoods of the JFK era. For those of you not familiar with it go here .To view the original government documents relating to the plan go here.

This is the first hurdle that one must get over if one is to even begin opening one’s mind – the fact that at least the government is capable of thinking about such atrocities.

Digest this lot and then we can move on a bit further.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


By ignoring or pooh-poohing what the right-wing consider to be conspiracy theories (and let’s not forget that during the cold War the right-wing were full of conspiracy theories themselves, particularly during the McCarthy witch-hunts ere and reds-under-the-bed scare tactics in post-war US) we run the risking of ignoring questions that need to be asked. These aren’t questions of theory; they are question that arise from proven actual events which put into doubt the line that has been told about other events.

For example: On 4 December 2001 President was asked: “…another thing is that, how did you feel when you heard about the terrorist attack?”

The President replied: “Thank you, Jordan. Well, Jordan, you're not going to believe what state I was in when I heard about the terrorist attack. I was in Florida. And my Chief of Staff, Andy Card -- actually, I was in a classroom talking about a reading program that works. I was sitting outside the classroom waiting to go in, and I saw an airplane hit the tower -- the TV was obviously on. And I used to fly, myself, and I said, well, there's one terrible pilot. I said, it must have been a horrible accident.
But I was whisked off there, I didn't have much time to think about it. And I was sitting in the classroom, and Andy Card, my Chief of Staff, who is sitting over here, walked in and said, "A second plane has hit the tower, America is under attack."
And, Jordan, I wasn't sure what to think at first. You know, I grew up in a period of time where the idea of America being under attack never entered my mind -- just like your Daddy's and Mother's mind probably. And I started thinking hard in that very brief period of time about what it meant to be under attack. I knew that when I got all of the facts that we were under attack, there would be hell to pay for attacking America.”

Now, this is just a piffling thing on the surface, but the question I have to ask is: how come the President got to see the first aircraft flying into the WTC before the second aircraft flew into the second tower? No one else did unless they happened to actually be there. Video of the first aircraft flying into the tower didn’t emerge until after the second aircraft had gone in.

It’s not rocket science; it’s just a question about something that doesn’t add up. No theory is being propagated at all. In this example I’m merely asking why the President lied. The right-wing paranoids (paranoid about ‘conspiracy theories’ upsetting their own right-wing theories and agenda) can test this question. Who knows, they may come up with an answer that suits their needs.

Sunday, October 09, 2005


The US government is, it seems, waking up to the idea that most people on the planet believe that Osama bin Laden is more than likely dead. Of course, they can’t quite just come out and say that because for a very long time now they have been telling the world that he is alive and continues to be a threat to the US and the world.

So now we are told and asked to believe that a letter – not, one should note, from bin Laden himself – but from Osama bin Laden’s number two man, has turned up on Bush’s desk. The letter, we are further asked to believe, was meant for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq, the one-legged Scarlet Pimpernel of the Middle East whose existence is the subject of the other myth that the US needs to perpetuate in order to keep the concept of a ‘Global War on Terror’ in motion. (But that’s another debate.)

We are told that the letter contains an outline of a strategy designed to force the US and its allies from Iraq and then to spread Islamic theocracy to neighbouring states and throughout the Middle East. All this very conveniently ties in with Bush’s claim in his speech of 6 October 2005 which, oddly enough, is the same date as the revelation to the world that the ‘letter’ exists. While the letter apparently only mentioned the ME being in line for Islamic theocracy, Bush embellished the claims by saying that they want “…to overthrow all moderate governments in the region, and establish a radical Islamic empire that spans from Spain to Indonesia.”

That’s from Spain to Indonesia, we are asked to believe!

Though I can find no date as to when this ‘letter’ was supposed to have come into US hands one might assume that its 13-odd pages must have taken some considerable time to prepare regardless of who actually wrote it. One can assume however that it would have been written before the 1 October 2005 blasts in Bali. (Courier services from the Tora Bora caves to the battle fronts of Iraq are notoriously slow these days.) But this wouldn’t bother Bush in his rush to propagandise any given situation. The latest bombings in Bali are proof enough for Bush that al Qaeda want to have an empire that will include Spain, stretch all the way across North Africa from Morocco to Egypt, across the entire Middle East and throughout Arabia, through Iran and Afghanistan, across the entire sub continent and all the way down through Asia to Indonesia. (Phew!)

The president, just to demonstrate how far he has really lost the plot, then goes overboard with the propaganda with this garbage which he expects the world to fall for: “With greater economic and military and political power, the terrorists would be able to advance their stated agenda: to develop weapons of mass destruction, to destroy Israel, to intimidate Europe, to assault the American people, and to blackmail our government into isolation.” Bush somehow misses the fact that if this ‘radical Islamic empire from Spain to Indonesia’ somehow comes about, they don’t have to develop WMDs – Pakistan and India already have them. And in the creation of this empire Israel would have long disappeared.

Such are the ramblings of a US President who tells the world that God wants him to stand up against the creation of this empire. This is the President of the world’s most powerful nation – one that Howard supports.

Now that is frightening!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


This in yesterday’s SMH was of interest. It begins thus: “The FBI's counterterrorism unit has launched a broad investigation of US-based theft rings after discovering some vehicles used in deadly car bombings in Iraq, including attacks that killed US troops and Iraqi civilians, were probably stolen in the United States, according to senior US Government officials.”

Why, or even how, would ‘terrorists’ in Iraq import cars from the US to use in ‘suicide’ bombings?

The article goes on: “The FBI's deputy assistant director for counterterrorism, Inspector John Lewis, said the investigation did not prove the vehicles were stolen specifically for car bombings in the Middle East, but there was evidence they were smuggled out of the US by organised criminal networks that included terrorists and insurgents.”

Are we really expected to believe this stuff?

Does the person that dreampt this up realise how rediculous it is to imagine that stolen cars can be taken to a port in the US, loaded onto a ship, taken halfway around the world, then unloaded at a port in the ME and then driven or freighted into Iraq were they can be used in ‘suicide’ attacks?

Why aren’t questions being asked about the true nature of ‘suicide’ bombs in Iraq? No one seems to want to talk about what is going on. Why? Are we too frightented to ask about what is becoming increasingly obvious? What are we frightened of?

Friday, September 30, 2005


Latham has exposed the soft underbelly of what is supposed to be Australia’s Labor Party. He has shown us what a sham it really all is – self-serving and opportunistic with most of its leadership nothing more than parasites on the backs of its grass-roots membership and true believers. I doubt though that it will shake up the ALP.

And therein lays the real disappointment about Latham. He’s exposed the ALP for what it really is but has left those of us on the left high and dry by refusing to follow through and do something about it preferring, instead, to skulk at home while raking in the proceeds from his Diaries.

Get over it Latham. Lead something!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Jay White over at Webdiary wonders how the left, in this case the Greens, would finance their policies. One way of raising billions of dollars without having to tax any one a single cent is to simply get shot of these big buck offence – sorry, I mean defence – projects the Howard government has going at the moment. There’s $530 million on the 59 (that’s about $8 million a pop; and one $2.00 Molotov cocktail and it does go pop) totally useless M1A1 Abrams tanks that will never fire a shot in anger in Australia, (unless Howard has something else in mind for them here). Then there is the Air Warfare Destroyers which are designed specifically to attack off-shore nations (since we are an island nation-state). The savings here would be a massive $6 billion! Then there is the $200 million on ‘anti-terrorism’. Then there is the millions being spent on upgrading our F-111s and F/A-18s. And how can we forget the millions for the new light-weight torpedoes? (When was the last time the RAN fired a torpedo at any one?)

In this so-called war against terrorism will we be using all this stuff to blow away some bloke with a suspicious looking knapsack on his back? No? Then why do we need it?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Sadly, I am now wondering about the ‘future of fair dinkum journalism’ as portrayed by Margo Kingston and her newly independent Webdiary. When Margo first moved from SMH to set up shop on her own, I, as did so many others, applauded the move and bathed in the breath of fresh air that seemed to pervade the new world of people’s journalism and was excited about the future as I envisioned a truly global exponentially growing network of people bloggers that linked with one another via sites just like this new Webdiary. But now, I’m very much afraid to say, I am wondering if that applause was premature.

Within the bounds of decency and respect for one’s fellows, Margo provided a forum within which people of every political persuasion could vigorously exchange views, ideas and comments. Debates became often heated and diverged from the various thread subjects. Margo and her editors worked hard at editing postings to keep ad hominem views clear of much of this often over-heated and sometimes over-vigorous commentary without allowing the life to be sucked out of the essence of that commentary and those views.

Then the inevitable happened.

Someone from Margo’s much cherished right-wing complained of the nature of that commentary and the views of the left – with me being actually named by one of those that complained. Another that had complained had threatened not to be involved any more with Webdiary (though I notice that since I have been virtually excluded from taking any further part in Webdiary, that that person has since returned to the forum).

This is a great shame.

But what is even more of a shame is Webdiary’s apparent compliance with the right-wing’s demands for more temperate rhetoric from the left.

The result has been the censorship and heavy editing of much of the left’s more radical opinion and commentary – certainly, at least, of mine. The overall result is that Webdiary has caved in to the right for what seems to be purely commercial reasons. Margo has made no bones about the importance of right-wing commentators coming over to her new Webdiary after she shifted from SMH. Their move, Margo inferred, was crucial to the success of her new venture. With the success of the new venture in terms of political audience, will also come financial success – provided Margo can maintain the right-wing’s participation. What seems to be happening is that the left is being moderated, edited and, in my case, fully censored, out of fear of annoying the right to the extent that they leave Webdiary high and dry and without point.

I offered compromise which I thought would be acceptable. I suggested that Margo allow me to continue commenting as I have on Webdiary. If Margo continued to feel the need to censor and/or heavily edit to keep the right-wingers happy, then that’s fine – provided that Margo would link to this blogsite where I would post the full uncensored and unedited version of my post.

Hamish Alcorn, Margo’s brother and hard working editor, wrote back to me saying that he would take it up with Margo but was about to have a couple of days off. But in the light of further posts I have made being all but totally censored and without any explanation from Margo, who was clearly at the time sitting in the editor’s chair, I have no option but to accept that my views are no longer welcome by Webdiary.

A fine but short-lived experiment that has quickly degenerated into just another mediocre chat room for middle-class non-intellectual political centrists who haven’t a hope of bringing meaningful insight, let alone change, to a desperately anaemic Australian political landscape.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


It is important to be aware of the fact that the process of globalisation is far from complete. The question of whether the completed process of globalisation will be compatible with the current notion of the nation-state or not can only be speculative and may only be answered after defining how and in what form the model of the completed globalisation process is likely to present. Such a model can only be constructed based on the history of the evolution of modern globalisation to date and what relationship the nation-state currently has with the process of globalisation thus far. Since the question is, ‘Is globalisation incompatible with nation-states’, and not ‘Will globalisation be incompatible with nation-states’, this paper will concern itself with the contemporary relationship and its evolution.
One thing that history has demonstrated and, indeed, is currently demonstrating, is that the variables and options that may be considered have, in the past, been so vast that to construct any accurate model of some future relationship could prove to be impossible. It may well be that some variables could possibly be used to construct a model that would demonstrate deglobalisation! However, that is not an option this paper will involve itself with.
In an effort to unravel the huge complexities of the relationships of the nation-states with each other and the evolution of that relationship, many scholars have attempted to categorise, firstly, the types of nation-states, then their relations with other nation-states, (once referred to as foreign relations but now more generally referred to as International Relations, or IR), and finally the types of changes nation-states have undergone and the subsequent effect and change that has had on their IR. In his book, The State and International Relations, John Hobson provides us with some examples: “…neorealism grants the state high domestic/no international agential power, while classical liberalism and international society-centric constructivism grant it low domestic/high international agential power.” He goes on to tell us that, while this simplified model may suggest an inverse relationship between these two aspects of agential power, there are, in fact, a range of other theoretical models that demonstrate a myriad of other degrees of domestic agential power relative to that state’s international agential power.[1] The resultant permutations seem to be endless. Furthermore, the ebb and flow of a nation-state’s domestic/international agential power will always have the effect of changing the domestic/international agential power of another nation. Sometimes the change may be small and the effect all but undetectable and at other times the change may be so large that the effect could be catastrophic. The categorisation of nation-states is itself highly complex and their relationships with other nation-states even more so.
The existence of these theoretical models are brought to attention here because they, importantly, reflect the theorists’ views of a continued existence of the nation-state regardless of the level of influence they have domestically and/or internationally. However, it is that level of influence that will directly dictate their importance relative to the trend of globalisation.
If it is accepted that the most dominant factor in globalisation is total independence of capital and the presumption that capital is used to enrich, then, ideally, that should take place in a world free from any distractions that would deny that pursuit, such as an inability to trade with another part of the world when that other part of the world would otherwise wish to do so. This infers that there would be capitalists in, say, one part of the world that would wish to trade with capitalists in another part of the world but that trade is disrupted by barriers imposed by people who are not capitalists and have some other reason for not wishing such trade to occur. The only people not wishing such trade to occur and having the power to halt such trade, or not allow such trade to proceed, would be the representatives of a nation-state. On at least one occasion, such representatives of a nation-state have lost their power over the nation-state because the desire for the capitalists, supported by their market, to make such trades with capitalists in other parts of the world, has been so overwhelming that further resistance to such trade would have given rise to a domestic turmoil that would have weakened the very fabric that is the nation-state. The demise of the communist states of the USSR was for reasons that were far more complex than this simplified view. But overall, when all the other factors are taken out, the demise of the USSR could, arguably, not have happened had not the states concerned wanted the independence to be able to conduct their own affairs in a world that was otherwise leaving them behind. Russia, the largest state within the USSR bloc and the most dominant, may well have been able to maintain its dominance over the other states had it not, itself, succumbed to such influences and desire to trade with others in order to enrich the capitalists and satisfy the desires of potential consumers within it.
Apart from the ‘push’ of the world outside of the USSR, which had demonstrated the ability of capital to develop advanced technologies, and the ‘pull’ from inside the USSR that needed that advanced technology,[2] there was the fundamental desire of would-be capitalists within the USSR to develop technologies that would be able to compete with the ‘outside’ world. But to do this, however, capital would be required. The paradox, of course, was that the reasons primarily that they needed the technology was so that they could use it in weapons that would be able to defend them from a world that operated in a way that was ideologically abhorrent to them and the very reason that they had isolated themselves from the rest of the world in the first place. The Soviet economic system was unable to compete in this context. Its ruling elites had abused what little virtue its system theoretically may have had and what production there had been was completed without any enthusiasm because it was unable to provide even modest rewards for those involved. It is no coincidence that this failure of the Soviet bloc to compete occurred at the same time as the emerging so-called ‘techno-economic’ paradigm of the seventies.[3]
By the seventies, some of the states within the bloc, but not part of the USSR, were indulging in capitalism themselves by making extensive borrowings from Western banks. Unfortunately, they did this at a time when the capitalist world was about to enter one of its own periodic slumps and the states concerned, Poland, Hungary and Yugoslavia, were left with massive debts.[4] The Soviet Union, a little more conservative about the idea of involving the West in its economic affairs, was given some reprieve when oil prices suddenly jumped in the early seventies. This gave the USSR much of the funds it needed to update its technologies without having to go to the West for funds.[5] However, it only served to delay the inevitable, not deflect it away forever. The technologies of the West, coupled with the associated emerging new ideas of global capitalism, together with the tantalising and tempting glimpses of Western consumerism, forced the USSR to capitulate its economic ideas of the previous seventy years and by 1990 it was left facing the turmoil that a nation-state must endure as it changes its entire structure to meet the reality of the world. This situation complies entirely with modern theorists’ ideas of capitalism that, far from destroying itself, as Marx would have had us believe, is actually able to renew itself completely after a failure[6] and, as if just to reinforce the idea, in this case at the expense of a nation-state that would have preferred to believe Marx.
The collapse of communism in Eastern Europe left a vacuum that was difficult to fill. The first effect for most of the ex-East European communist bloc nations was to display a newfound notion of nationality and freedom. National flags were proudly hoisted and a myriad of nationalistic political parties and groupings sprang up. Some nations, for example the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, were already well placed historically, economically and geographically to slip easily into the comfortable ways of Western Europe and the developed world. Others, such as the Central Asian Republics of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyztan were, on the other hand, left with very little to offer the rest of the world, with Tajikistan also having deep internal troubles.[7] Somewhere between these extremes of adjustment lay the nation-states, for example, of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, which both have their borders to the Caspian Sea and the potential that these untapped oil reserves have for the region. The question of sovereignty for these states became increasingly important as they achieved their independence because of the entrenched way in which many of them were economically and militarily reliant on Russia prior to the collapse of the USSR.[8]
Russia itself has its own internal problems with ethnic groups that are within the many ‘republics’ which go to make up the Russian Federation, some of them seeing themselves as so different from Russia that they are seeking their own independence. Chechnya is the most prominent of these but others such as Bashkortostan, Chuvashia, Khakassia and Tartarstan, to name just a few, are also pushing for, if not complete independence, a degree of, at least, ethnic self-rule.[9]
It would seem almost as though, after years of being shackled to the dominance of Russia during the years of the USSR, that nationalism must become a feature, an expression, by which many of these Republics, independent or otherwise, must go through before seeking their place on the road to becoming a part of the process of globalisation. This view, perhaps, is a simplification of an observation whereby many of the nations that are now actively part of the trend of globalisation have all gone through the same process themselves long ago and have put the problems of securing their ‘nationhood’ behind them and have ‘moved on’ with the help of technology and the new found freedom of movement of capital. Sovereignty for many of the newly independent republics is, they feel, the prerequisite before embarking on the road to globalisation. While they may need to relinquish some of that sovereignty later as control of capital passes to the capitalists, sovereignty needs to be established in order to maintain control of the myriad of other characteristics that go to make up a nation-state. For some the predominate feature is ethnicity, for others race and for others religion. No matter which, there seems to be a need to intensely consolidate their national and sovereign identity before moving on.
After the first stage of achieving some degree of independence, the next stage is to consolidate it and secure it. Within the post-communist world this has been done, or is being done, with varying degrees of difficulty. The states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, for example, quickly consolidated their positions quite peacefully. The states of the former Yugoslavia, on the other hand, have had to endure, and still are, massive upheavals, which have resulted in dreadful loss of life as old and ancient ethnic animosities confronted each other as the search for statehood progressed.[10] The reasons for this are highly complex and, of late, some historians argue that, apart from those age-old animosities, it was the structure of the Yugoslav nation-state during the Tito years and the evolution of social self-management and its subsequent demise post-Tito, that had aggravated an already potentially explosive mix of ethno-nationalistic fervour, decentralisation and disassociation of potential nation-states from a formerly powerful centralised federation.[11] Added to these problems are the Balkans’ geographic position where ‘East’ meets ‘West’, the origin and cause of those age-old animosities, in which the clash of religions has often been the catalyst for the years of violence that flare up from time to time. These differences underpin the very nature of the desires of ethnic groupings to establish state hood and where economies and global participation are lesser considerations, at least for the time being.[12]
Regardless of how the struggles for national identity and formation of the nation-state occurred, their necessity to go through the process seems to be a vital step on the road to a full and active role in the process of globalisation and participation in a world that is moving toward full utilisation of the ‘globalisation’ concept. The question of sovereignty remains important, even in the postcolonial situation where priorities for newly formed and developing nation-states are often, not so much control of capital and means of production, for some there is none anyway, but the concept and notion of nation-statehood for its own sake as a pre-requisite for capital and production planning later.
Sovereignty, it is suggested, is about the power of government to enforce its will over the people.[13] Often that power is given to the government by the people but at other times it is forcibly taken from the people and wielded regardless of whether the people wish it or not. Either way, there is an expectation that to some level or another, the government will take on the day-to-day running of the nations affairs and ensure its protection, welfare and its notion of sovereignty. To say ‘at some level’ means that not all governments take on these tasks willingly or whole-heartedly. Some governments will simply neglect their responsibilities and all but enslave the peoples they govern in order to enrich individual members of a government. Such governments rarely last long and usually, then, sovereign power will revert back to the people who, in turn, will empower a government that will look after the people’s interests. What is important is not so much the nature of the relationship of sovereignty between government and people, but relationship of territoriality and sovereignty. It may be that a neighbour nation-state could take an advantage of a weaker nation-state when there is turmoil within it but, these days, this is unlikely. This brings us back to the idea that what is important for the notion of the nation-state today is the ability of that state to provide, well, whatever. For the rest of the world outside of that nation-state, what goes on within is essentially no other nation-states business unless it directly threatens another state. Whether it wishes to trade with the rest of the world is a decision only it can make. The rest of the world will continue to function in whatever way it deems it should, more than likely in the direction of globalism. To date, ‘globalism’, per se, has not been forced on any nation. Today, nation-states do not impose themselves on other nation-states simply because they refuse or are unable to participate in a global economy. One needs to ask if they do not do this through a fear of, at some stage, themselves being imposed on when they, for some reason, are unable to perform ‘globally’?
The next stage for many nation-states that wish to begin to compete in a global economy but find that they are too small on their own to do so, (unless they happen to have some vast resource that the rest of the world needs), is for them to join forces with states that find themselves in a similar situation. Confederation (as against Federation that implies relinquishment of a large proportion of sovereignty to a centralised organization or government), or economic union has provided the answer for many nation-states in Europe, North America, South America and South East Asia.[14] In so doing, however, these nation-states do need to concede some level of their sovereignty to the consortium. This is done, though, via negotiation and agreement. Just as in capitalism itself, the nation-state that is prepared to concede such sovereignty does so because it believes that what it is getting in return is of equal or greater value. That is the price paid. But in no way is sovereignty conceded in its entirety. Most of the nation-states that have co-joined in such confederation have done so within the constraints of a democracy-style government where such mandate has been offered by its people for those respective governments to so do. It is done so with little disturbance to the status quo of that nation-state. The nation-state may well relinquish much of its financial independence and control of its wealth and capital based on the belief that in so doing it will ultimately be for the better of the nation-state, however, there may also be, in accompaniment to that, a relinquishment of the social responsibility a nation-state has toward its subjects. That is, the state may insist that those who are able to pay their way in the community should do so. The welfare state becomes rationalised. Welfare resources become market-orientated. They become intrinsically linked to the economic well-being of the state rather than the well-being of its people.[15] These have become areas of concern for welfare administrators who struggle to keep up with increasing demands on their services while the financial resources diminish. There seems to be an increasing trend toward charity reliance. Indeed, charities have had to adopt and employ the practices of highly professional managers in order to manage the massive amounts of monies that have become involved.
Another major area of concern with regard to sovereignty is the problems associated with monetary union. Many nations have forgone their own currency to share in the currency of a close neighbour that has greater stability within its currency. This is another trend that seems to be expanding. Apart from the loss of control over currency, there is for some nations a deep and symbolic meaning to a currency that it has had for, in some cases, centuries.[16]
Perhaps the most important issue regarding sovereignty, and currently the most topical, is that of movements of people and labour. At present the problem presents as one of security, but over the long term it is more one of sovereignty. The issues are highly emotive and, for some nations, extremely divisive. It is not the place of this paper to discuss those issues except to say that there is still some way to go before they may be resolved and, certainly, the issue of security needs to resolved first prior to any resolution to the question of labour movement that does not involve security. Embedded in this aspect of sovereignty are also the issues of citizenship and human rights. While human rights are extra-governmental and within the notion of globalisation via organizations such as the United Nations, citizenship is conferred by privilege from the nation-state but usually, though not always, under the auspices of human rights declarations.[17] Again, a little sovereignty needs to be conceded if the nation-state concerned wishes to participate in the globalisation trend.
So, what is left after the nation-state has conceded sovereignty over capital, currency, human rights, labour trends and welfare? The hot issue in Australia at this time is the protection of borders and who and who is not allowed to be a part of this particular nation-state. But these are issues that relate to the broader context of globalisation and of Australia’s participation in globalisation. One way or the other, they will be resolved but the way in which they are resolved will most definitely affect Australia’s role in the global context by virtue of the way Australia is viewed from without. There may be a diminishment of sovereignty but certainly no demise.
The nation-state is quite compatible with the notion of globalisation. All the day-to-day functions of local governance still require servicing and the nation-states collectively will concern themselves with global governance. There is still much to be resolved and this may take many more years to do. But the concerns of the multitudes of groups of peoples will take precedence ultimately while democracy prevails. The alternatives are a possibility, but does the world really want to go there?

[1] John M. Hobson, The State and International Relations, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000). pp. 9-10.
[2] David Lockwood, The Destruction of the Soviet Union: A Study in Globalization, (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2000). pp. 87-90.
[3] Ankie Hoogvelt, Globalization and the Postcolonial World: The New Political Economy of Development, (Baltimore, Maryland: The John Hopkins University Press, 2nd ed., 2001). p. 65.
[4] Lockwood, The Destruction of the Soviet Union. p. 88.
[5] Lockwood, The Destruction of the Soviet Union. p. 88.
[6] R. Boyer, ‘Technical Change and the Theory of Regulation’, in G. Dosi and C. Freeman, (eds.), Technical Change and Economic Theory, (London: Pinter, 1988).
[7] Roger T. Kangas, “Problems of State-building in the Central Asian Republics”, World Affairs, (vol. 157, no. 1), Summer 1994. p. 29 (9). (para. 1).
[8] Kangas, “Problems of State-building in the Central Asian Republics”, (para. 5).
[9] Demitry Gorenburg, “Nationalism for the Masses: Popular Support for Russia’s Ethnic Republics”, Europe-Asia Studies, (vol. 53, no. 1), January 2001. p. 73. (para. 2).
[10] Patrick Brogan, World Conflicts: Why and Where they are Happening, (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 1992). pp. 422-432.
[11] Gojko Vuckovic, “Failure of Socialist Self-Management to Create a Viable Nation-State, and Disintegration of the Yugoslav Administrative State and State Formations,” East European Quarterly, (vol. 32, no. 3), Fall 1998. p.353 (24). (paras. 1-17).
[12] Hoogvelt, Globalisation and the Postcolonial World. pp. 203-206.
[13] Andrew Grosso, “The Demise of Sovereignty”, Communications of the ACM, (vol. 44, no. 3), March 2001. p. 102. (para. 3).
[14] James D. Wilets, “The Demise of the Nation-State: Towards a New Theory of the State under International Law”, Berkeley Journal of International Law, (vol. 17, no. 2), Fall 1999. p. 193. (p. 20).
[15] Robert Geyer, “Globalisation and the (non)-defence of the Welfare State. (British and Norwegian Welfare States)”, West European Politics, (vol. 21 n0. 3), July 1998. p.77. (paras. 1-10).
[16] Dick Bryan, “Accumulation versus Sovereignty, (Monetary Unions)”, Arena Magazine, February 2001. p. 7.
[17] Bryan S. Turner, “Outline of a Theory of Human Rights”, Sociology, (vol. 27 no. 3), August 1993. p. 193. (8).


Treasurer Peter Costello seems to be putting in a fair effort of batting for ‘America’ these last few days. On Nine’s ‘Sunday’ program we had him coming on strong about anti-Americanism[1] and today in ‘The Australian’[2] Costello has had his interview with John Laws published in the editorials in which Costello insists that that part of our history where America comes to our rescue during the Second World War should never be forgotten.

Of course, our Prime Minister is always prattling on about what an enormous debt we owe to America from the Second World War. But now to bring in Costello – of all people – to help reinforce the idea smacks a bit of desperation in the ranks over the loss of direction in Iraq particularly from the Americans’ point of view. If America goes down in Iraq then so do we. Trouble is, Howard has committed Australia to ‘stay the distance’ with America. He won’t back away from that but will need some let out when things finally and irreversibly do go pear-shaped for the US in Iraq. Howard will tell us that it was a matter of honour that we stick with the Americans through thick and thin, no matter what, and that he had no choice because of that than to stay with them.

We no doubt will be hearing a lot more in the coming months about how the Americans stayed with us even as we were threatened by the Japanese on our very doorstep. And as Americans wake up, as they indeed are now doing, about how wrong it was to go into Iraq in the first place, so we will be hearing more and more of how we are obliged as a matter of debt and honour to stay with the US regardless of what they choose to do in the end.

It’s the Lying Tyrant’s only way out.


[1] Channel Nine ‘Sunday’ program transcript 21 August 2005. Available online: Accessed 23 August 2005.

[2] ‘Treasurer Peter Costello on the John Laws radio show yesterday’, The Australian, 23 August 2005. Available online:,5744,16347344%255E7583,00.html
Accessed 23 August 2005.