What did Manning produce?Bradley Manning leaked three important bodies of documents from his army intelligence service, all of which went to Wikileaks. They are: the Iraq war logs, which comprise 391,000 field reports, most famously the video of the Apache helicopter, opening fire on small crowd of Iraqi civilians in July 2007, killing over a dozen of them, a video seen millions of times around the world, but including documentation of the Haditha massacre in which 24 Iraqi civilians, most of them women, children and the elderly, were killed by American soldiers.Then there are 90,000 Afghan war logs, which include a document expressing suspicion that the Pakistanis are arming and funding the Afghan insurgency. “Certainly worth knowing,” Madar says.And Manning released 260,000 diplomatic cables. These include revelations that the U.S. lobbied to keep down the minimum wage in Haiti so as to keep manufacturing costs low for American employers; also the documentation of Tunisian corruption, which played a role in the revolution there.
Most fundamentally, Prashad’s book is a full frontal assault on neoliberal capitalism. Deservedly, he spares no political party, bank, or government linked to this most devastating edition of capitalism. Whether the collusion was willingly engaged in or merely the result of an unwillingness to lose personal or political power, Prashad paints a sweeping indictment of those who want to rule the earth with little or no regard for most of its inhabitants. While keeping firm hold to his left anti-imperialist foundation, Prashad acknowledges the shortcomings of social democrats in their attempts to compromise with the ravenous beast of neoliberal capital. Naturally, these politicians and parties get some of the blame for the economic devastation caused by the banks and other machinery of that beast; Prashad saves the bulk of the blame, however, for its rightful targets: the IMF, World Bank, finance capital, and the men and women who operate that beast.
With the global economy in a protracted crisis, and workers around the world burdened by joblessness, debt and stagnant incomes, Marx's biting critique of capitalism — that the system is inherently unjust and self-destructive — cannot be so easily dismissed. Marx theorized that the capitalist system would inevitably impoverish the masses as the world's wealth became concentrated in the hands of a greedy few, causing economic crises and heightened conflict between the rich and working classes. "Accumulation of wealth at one pole is at the same time accumulation of misery, agony of toil, slavery, ignorance, brutality, mental degradation, at the opposite pole," Marx wrote.
A growing dossier of evidence suggests that he may have been right.
Perhaps not unexpectedly, Richard Seymour’s Unhitched has roused Christopher Hitchens’ legion of defenders and apologists to indignation, and Seymour has risen to the occasion in characteristically scathing fashion.
In the Washington Post: “The author — a Marxist writer and activist born in Northern Ireland and living in London — has done his research, apparently having read almost everything his subject ever wrote, but in the service of the narrow goals of the over-zealous prosecutor…Seymour insists on advancing his argument from solid ground onto very thin ice.”
In response, Verso will soon be publishing Seymour’s new trilogy of Stieg Larsson-style books: “The Strident Marxist Who Went Too Far, The Strident Marxist Who Didn't Go Far Enough, and The Strident Marxist Who Went Far Enough, Took Pictures, Came Back and Mailed Them To Your Mama.”
It’s not hard to imagine that anyone who skimmed the news this week might get the impression that something uniquely terrible is about to happen in Midwood, Brooklyn. “We’re talking about the potential for a second Holocaust here,” Assemblyman Alan Maisel warns. Assistant Majority Leader Lew Fidler and other New York City politicians write a letter to the Brooklyn College president threatening the school’s funding and claiming that their constituents feel “targeted and demonized.” “Jew-bashing grows in Brooklyn,” the New York Post proclaims. “Brooklyn College, a once-esteemed campus in the City University system, this week joins a long list of enemies — from lefty denizens of the Park Slope Food Co-op to Iranian madman Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — who crave wiping the state of Israel from the map.”
Mental images of Ahmadinejad picking up some kombucha at the Park Slope Food Co-op aside, the level of hyperbole might make one wonder if Brooklyn College is hosting a neo-Nazi revival weekend or passing nuclear secrets to Iran.