All posts tagged: Cold War

Tribute to Woody!

By Saswat Pattanayak Woody Guthrie, the labor organizer and agitator who redefined the entire genre of folk music through his political philosophy was an unrepentant Marxist-Leninist, an avowed supporter of Joseph Stalin and a lifelong adherent of Communism. By today’s standard, it certainly is not a flattering introduction to the man America has glorified to a postage stamp and whose centennial is being celebrated across corporate media in full flair without any mention of his political legacies. But to understand Woody Guthrie’s contributions, it is critical to explore why he has been stripped of all the aspects he held closest to heart. If he is exalted as the father of protest music, it is crucial to know what exactly was he protesting against, and who prevailed upon eventually. Even Nora Guthrie, his daughter who curates Woody’s archives insists today that he could not have been a communist. The Richmond Organization, Woody Guthrie’s publishers deny biographers any permission to quote Guthrie’s songs which praise Stalin. And more famously, “This Land is Your Land”, an authentic narrative …

Vaclav Havel :: Freedom Fighter or Militarist Capitalist?

The biggest myths perpetuated in the history of political economic analysis are the established contradistinctions between ‘democracy’ and ‘dictatorship’. Based on outlined differences, democracy is canonized as the opposite model of political governance to what is disgraced as dictatorship. And with this logic in place, Vaclav Havel is glorified to be a “freedom fighter” of his land, and Kim Jong-il is denounced as a dictator who throttled freedom in his country. It may be an irony that both these leaders died around the same time, but what is way bigger a concern is the manner in which they are being judged as historical subjects. In a corporate media culture that actively moulds our everyday thought processes through news contents, it is necessary to pause awhile, and dissect such enormous conclusions and examine if the impositions of such documented views are merely hasty, or purely methodical. For history is not just a body of collective knowledge compiled for posterity, but more importantly, critical investigations into historical scholarships instill the more necessary weapons in the minds of …

Media Lies and Libyan Lives

Although corporate western media have been reporting more than 50,000 dead in Libya – from the assaults of Gaddafi’s army – the reality is not even more than a couple of hundred bodies have been found so far. And what is more ironic is that over 49,800 bodies are missing, right under NATO supervision. This leads to critical questions: a) If 50,000 were actually killed, where are the bodies? b) Who must be held responsible for the missing bodies, considering that Gaddafi regime has nothing to do with post-mortem or morgues? c) If indeed less than 200 were allegedly killed by Gaddafi regime, and that the 50,000 number is fictitious, who are responsible for such gimmick? If the reported number of dead in Libya appears to be hundreds of times more than the actual dead, there should be nothing surprising about it. For decades now, western corporate media have been feeding the masses with blatant lies and sheer propaganda in the name of free press and balanced journalism. In due course of repeated slogans heralding …

Arab World Witnessing Anarchy, Not Revolutions

Events in parts of North Africa and the Middle East have been heralded as ‘revolutions’. The levels of optimisms surrounding political restructuring apparently crafted by the ‘people’ themselves are defining. Some observers have even gone to the extent of declaring these mass movements as byproducts of Facebook and Twitter activists. In a world craving sensationalistic news, these demonstrations have more than provided for the fodder. In times of large-scale global political corruptions, these protests are being characterized as new hopes. In our continued saga of drab and visionless compromises with oppressive status quo, these uprisings are revolutions, romanticized. However, if peoples’ history is any teacher, not everything might be as rosy or revolutionary in the recent events. Of course, two out of 17 countries where people took to the streets, witnessed regime changes within just a couple of months; and there might be even more such upheavals, no doubt. But clubbing all these countries together into one imaginary crisis block whose people are purportedly revolting to break free and that, they are desiring to adopt …

A World Without America?

“It’s coming to America first,the cradle of the best and of the worst. It’s here they got the range and the machinery for change and it’s here they got the spiritual thirst. It’s here the family’s broken and it’s here the lonely say that the heart has got to open in a fundamental way: Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.” – Leonard Cohen: “Democracy” No country in the world history has been as yearned for and despised as the United States of America; even more so in recent times, as the unipolar superpower of the world. Ironic is the observation that those who hate America and those who love America to the extremes do so for the same reason: its expansionist market capitalism. Those that advocate capitalism find in America its citadel. America remains the world’s largest consumeristic society, its economy apparently market-driven. There are opportunities for one and all to prosper and perish depending on the level of drive they have towards worshipping the capital. American capitalism depicts the ultimate romance with humanized money …