Watching the Shadows
In Episode 188 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg deconstructs the accusation of "red-baiting" employed by the tankie pseudo-left to deflect criticism of funding sources directly linked to Chinese and Russian state propaganda networks. Before such revelations made the New York Times, they were reported by bloggers and researchers themselves on the radical left. And some progressive voices and international socialists have repudiated the smear that any such examination of money networks linked to authoritarian regimes is "red-baiting." Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.
In Episode 183 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg continues his rant on the dangers of artificial intelligence, this time focusing on the threat it poses to human evolution. The advent of Elon Musk's Neuralink brain implant technology, now approved for human testing by the FDA, actually portends the ultimate abolition of humanity, and its replacement by a conditioned post-humanity stripped of all dignity and reason. But there are signs of human resistance to robot rule that we must fan the flames of before it is too late—such as the current strike by Vancouver dockworkers against their replacement by automation. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.
In Episode 182 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg takes heart in SAG-AFTRA joining the Hollywood writers' strike, demanding limits on the use of artificial intelligence by the industry. This is a sign of human resistance to robot rule and the growing hegemony of silicon-based "intelligence" over carbon-based intelligent life-forms. Although journalists are not yet at risk of being rendered redundant as script and copy writers are, Weinberg's own trade of journalism is already being impacted by AI. The post-truth zeitgeist and online cognitive environment of total propaganda is set to become exponentially worse, both quantitatively and qualitatively, through the advent of "deep-fakes," indistinguishable from actual reality. Objective truth, even as a very concept, is about to be abolished—unless the human race stands up and says no to AI, before it is too late. Contrary to the dogma that the "advance" (sic) and ubiquity of this technology is inevitable, resistance is possible. Italy this year banned use of ChatGPT within the country. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention released a report May 30 finding that Afghanistan, Lithuania, Morocco, Poland, Romania, Thailand, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the US all participated in human rights violations against Abd al-Rahim Hussein al-Nashiri, the man accused of involvement in the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000. Al-Nashiri is currently held in Guantanamo Bay prison, though he is said to have been previously detained in the territories of each of these countries.
A tankie agent carried out "false flag" vandalism of a synagogue and other Jewish targets in Detroit, attempting to blame it on the Azov Battalion and tar Ukrainians. She turns out to have been a member of the retro-Stalinist Workers World Party and a staff writer for openly dictator-shilling MintPress News—which has itself engaged in "false flag" disinformation, blaming the Syrian rebels for chemical attacks against their own strongholds by the Bashar Assad regime. MintPress has also received funding directly from the Assad Lobby. In Episode 176 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg examines this ultra-cynical propaganda nexus, and asks whether such agents are mere "useful idiots" for the Kremlin, or actual conscious assets operating in the "gray zone"—the sphere of "hybrid warfare" in which the line between state and non-state actors is blurred. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.
In Episode 158 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg notes that the Russian Socialist Movement has issued a call for solidarity actions with anti‑war activists in Russia on Jan. 19. This is the date when left activists Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova were gunned down by far-right militants in Moscow in 2009. Today, the Vladimir Putin regime is persecuting activists such as Alexandra Skochilenko—who faces a long prison term for producing public art on an anti-war theme. Instead of responding to this call for solidarity, the ANSWER Coalition and other exponents of the "tankie" pseudo-left have called a rally against aid to Ukraine, and implicitly in support of Putin and his war aims, for Jan. 14 in locations such as New York's Times Square—perversely, in the name of Martin Luther King. The Ukraine Socialist Solidarity Campaign repudiates this pseudo-anti-war rally, urging: "No exploitation of Dr. MLK Jr. to support war criminal Putin!" Debunking the Russian propaganda that portrays Putin's aggression as a defensive move against NATO encroachment, Weinberg demonstrates that the principles propounded by Dr. King in his courageous dissent from LBJ's criminal war in Vietnam now mandate that we direct our protests at Vladimir Putin.
The United Nations Human Rights Office on Oct. 14 expressed concern over Turkey's adoption of legal measures "that risk substantially curtailing freedom of expression in the country." One day earlier, the Turkish parliament passed a package of laws that could see journalists and activists imprisoned for up to three years for spreading "disinformation." (Jurist) The day before that, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed the Computer Misuse (Amendment) Act into law, which advocacy group Unwanted Witness called a "looming nightmare to the freedom of expression and speech." (Jurist) Last month, Tunisian authorities promulgated Decree No. 54 on Combating Crimes Related to Information & Communication Systems, imposing five years imprisonment for spreading "fake news." (Jurist)
In Episode 140 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg calls out former Pink Floyd creative genius Roger Waters as a propaganda agent for the criminal regimes of Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping and Bashar Assad. In his recent CNN interview, Waters blames Ukraine for getting invaded, falsely states that "Taiwan is part of China," and dismisses as "bollocks" that there are human rights abuses in China. He has the unmitigated chutzpah to send an open letter on social media to Ukrainian First Lady Elena Zelenska urging her to use her influence on her husband to "end the war"—to which she rightly responds: "If we give up, we will not exist tomorrow. If Russia gives up, war will be over." We've noted before Roger's spewing of genocide-abetting denialism about the Syria chemical attacks. And he disses his own fans who don't go along with his war propaganda. Roger Waters has become the fascist rock star he once satirized in The Wall. The public acrimony between Waters and his ex-bandmate David Gilmour has now become political, with Gimour's release (under the banner of Pink Floyd) of the song "Hey Hey, Rise Up," explicitly in support of Ukraine. David Gilmour is right, while Roger Waters is now just another brick in the wall.