Which Books Shall I Read?

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Here is a list of books, book excerpts, articles, and videos which might enable a few people to give the slip to the CIA-connected book “industry” and modify their worldview.

God offers to everyone his choice between truth and repose. Take which you please—you can never have both.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Several reasons lead me to believe that the most important question fiction and non-fiction book lovers face is: Which books shall I read?

I. Numerous studies, carried out for well over a century, prove that almost all our information sources are biased. By 1807, Thomas Jefferson wrote:



I really look with commiseration over the great body of my fellow citizens, who, reading newspapers, live and in the belief that they have known something of what has been passing in the world in their time.”

In a self-published book written in 1919, the muck-raker Upton Sinclair wrote:

“Our newspapers do not represent public interests, but private interests; they do not represent humanity, but property; they value a man, not because he is great, or good, or wise, or useful, but because he is wealthy, or of service to vested wealth.”

And:

“I was determined to get something done about the Condemned Meat Industry. I was determined to get something done about the atrocious conditions under which men, women and children were working the Chicago stockyards. In my efforts to get something done, I was like an animal in a cage. The bars of this cage were newspapers, which stood between me and the public; and inside the cage I roamed up and down, testing one bar after another, and finding them impossible to break.”

Here is another chilling example from that period. The speaker is John Swinton, editor of the New York Tribune. He is answering, at a banquet of his fellow-editors, the toast: “An Independent Press:”

“The business of the New York journalist is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to sell his race and his country for his daily bread. You know this and I know it, and what folly is this to be toasting an “Independent Press.” We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping-jacks; they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.”

In 1953, George Seldes wrote (Tell the Truth and Run, p. 254):

The Spanish Civil War “proved once again that the world press is allied to all other commercial and political-commercial interests on the conservative if not reactionary side.”

Will consumers of mainstream “information” ever learn? In 1990, the media and such co-opted organizations as Amnesty International served as the chief catalysts for the first Iraqi Genocide. Iraqi soldiers, the media alleged, murdered hundreds of Kuwaiti infants by removing them from incubators. In reality, it was the USA that murdered hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children and permanently traumatized the rest before, during, and after 1990-91.

 

Numerous other empirical studies conclusively prove that, by and large and despite occasional exceptions (such as The New Yorker’s serialization of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring or Playboy’s interview with Jim Garrison), one should stay away from Anglosphere newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, movies—in the same manner that one should not imbibe contaminated water or glyphosate-coated fruit. The former poisons the mind, the latter poisons the body.

Other studies demonstrate that our educational system, at all levels, likewise serves the interests and dictates of billionaires. With the exception of many graduate programs in the natural sciences and a few other outstanding outliers, the system we have now in place is not trying to foster creativity, critical thinking, thinking for oneself, or real appreciation for any curriculum subject. The goal of that system, rather, is to foster conformity, obedience, billionaire worship, and distaste for anything intellectual or intrinsically beautiful.

The same goes nowadays for most internet outlets and social media. Anything that could be construed as critical of the owners of these outlets, their enormous and richly-undeserved wealth and power, or the plutocratic class to which they belong, is a no-no. Online encyclopedias routinely censor dissenting views and make a mockery of the historical record, as do social media outlets such as Facebook. On occasion, even slightly-dissenting establishment billionaires, journalists, and politicians are sacrificed on the altar of censorship and conformity to the agenda of our rulers.

This intricate web of deceit raises a simple question: Since the oligarchs that lord over us skew all mainstream information sources, isn’t it logical to assume that they also control the mainstream academic and commercial book industry?

II. My second reason for recommending extreme caution before deciding to read mainstream books stems from personal interactions.

A few months ago, my wife and I had dinner with five young people, all of them around 30 years of age: a Russian couple escaping from Russian “dictatorship,” a Dutch couple touring Argentina for a few months, and one a Scotsman volunteering on our farm for one month before returning home. By and by, the conversation drifted to a discussion of which book each one was reading. To my amazement (but not to theirs), all five were struggling through the same book: Yuval Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.

Before then, that book had been independently recommended to me by an Israeli friend and by a Singaporean friend. My experience with these seven people begged the question: How did they all “decide” to read that particular book? The short answer is that it was praised to the sky by such oligarchic brainwashing outlets as the Guardian and the New York Times.

I reluctantly read that book and was impressed by its banality, lack of originality and clarity, and its many logical and factual errors. However, it was also easy enough to find out why the corporate media went overboard in drowning its victims with its praises. Among other gems, Harari argues that

  • The idea that all humans are equal is also a myth. In what sense do all humans equal one another?”

  • Human rights are also a myth.” .

  • Unfortunately, complex human societies seem to require imagined hierarchies and unjust discrimination.” .

  • There are schools of thought and political movements that seek to purge human culture of imperialism. . . These ideologies are at best naïve.” .

  • If we invest billions in understanding our brain chemistry and developing appropriate treatments, we can make people far happier than ever before, without any need of revolutions. Prozac, for example, does not change regimes, but by raising serotonin levels it lifts people out of their depression. . . .. Huxley’s world seems monstrous to most readers, but it is hard to explain why. Everybody is happy all the time – what could be wrong with that?”

If left alone, most freedom-loving teenagers could see through this fraud. But a corporate media’s endorsement seems somehow to numb people’s capacity for critical thinking and for protecting their own liberty and self-interest. This is not the place to refute Harari’s self-serving assertions, nor to effortlessly expose his book’s many other flaws. There is one, and only one, reason for putting this book on a pedestal: It promotes the billionaires’ agenda for enslaving, impoverishing, and dumbing us down.

III. Other personal interactions again reinforce my view that the most important decision facing a book reader is indeed: Which books shall I stay away from?

Most people I know in the Patagonian Andes (where I live now), like most of my North-American acquaintances, do not read books. I do however now and then see three avid book-readers in the nearby town. All three focus mainly on non-fiction books about history and contemporary politics. And yet, two of them are clueless about either subject. They would be better off, by a long shot, not reading any book than reading the books they choose to read. Again, the reason for their predicament is that they read CIA-promoted books; in their case, via the Argentine tabloid La Nación. It has never occurred to them to ask a simple question: Who owns and controls La Nación?

IV. Another reason to look askance at mainstream books and other information sources is the predictability and uniformity of opinions that one encounters among its victims. In fact, speaking of the nine book readers above, it so happened that I was subsequently able to predict, accurately for the most part, “their” opinions on just about any political, historical, and economic subject. Here are a few beliefs common to all these nine people: Neo-liberalism is the best system ever invented to run the economy of any country, Vladimir Putin of Russia is a vile dictator, the current Russian/Ukraine civil war is a pure act of Russian unprovoked aggression and imperial hubris, and the victims of CIA lawfare, e.g., Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of Argentina, Luiz Inácio Lula of Brazil, Pedro Castillo of Peru, and Imran Kahn of Pakistan, should be locked up.

V. I have also a more personal reason for putting forward the list below and for suggesting that you do not touch the New York Times’ best-seller list with a thousand-foot pole. My first incursion into politics took place in the 1980s. I began to suspect then that something was rotten in the American republic, and that I myself was a victim of cradle-to-grave indoctrination. Specifically, I stumbled across views that genetic engineering might bring more harm to our species than good. Hence, I quit my job as a geneticist, trying to figure out if, how, and why most governments implemented any profitable scientific innovation, regardless of its costs and risks.

That hiatus lasted six long years of full-time research for one, and only one, reason. My approach involved reading any book I could find on the subject of American politics. I read all these books because it didn’t occur to me that most published book writers were not truth seekers. A list like the one below could have saved me years of my life.

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Everything said so far about non-fiction equally applies to mainstream fiction books, plays, and movies. The primary goals of promoting these are the same as in non-fiction: portray a false picture of reality and gradually dumb down people and destroy their ability to distinguish between quality and trash. Sounds like Huxley’s Brave New World? Well, most Westerners are already living in precisely that world. Anyway, that is why a few works of fiction appear in the list below.

It goes without saying that the list is not exhaustive; it merely provides one starting point of many for the journey towards a realistic world view, intellectual freedom, and self actualization.

Finally, a bit of good news. Contrary to what the billionaires’ internet search engines might lead you to believe (which is another example of profitable mind control), at the time of posting this article, you could electronically access each and every item on that list without paying a single cent.

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Anderson, Elizabeth, 2017, Private Government: How Employers Rule our Lives.

[Most workplaces in the USA are dictatorships] in which bosses govern in ways that are largely unaccountable to those who are governed. They don’t merely govern workers; they dominate them. . . . Employers’ authority over workers, outside of collective bargaining and a few other contexts . . . is sweeping, arbitrary, and unaccountable.”

By contrast, most Athenian citizens abhorred working for a boss, as did our hunter-gatherer ancestors. In fact, hunter-gatherer society was thoroughly democratic and egalitarian; to them, the very idea of a boss was contemptible.

Atwood, Paul L., 2010, War and Empire: the American Way of Life.“As in many other cases of American conflicts the Spanish-American War was fomented on outright lies and trumped up accusations against the intended enemy, and was foisted by politicians, press and pulpit on a public reeling from the grim consequences of a lengthy depression. . . .

War fever in the general population never reached a critical temperature until the accidental sinking of the USS Maine was deliberately, and falsely, attributed to Spanish villainy. . . .

In a cryptic message . . . [influential] Senator lodge wrote that ‘There may be an explosion any day in Cuba which would settle a great many things. We have got a battleship in the harbor of Havana, and our fleet, which over-matches anything the Spanish have, is masked at the Dry Tortugas.’ Then on February 15 the prescribed explosion occurred, killing over 250 sailors and marines. . . . While it is generally agreed today that the USS Maine was sunk by the internal buildup of coal dust, war hawks at the time rapidly blamed the sinking on Spanish treachery.

As a result of this cynically imperialistic war, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam ‘became de facto American colonies, exploited as bases for the American navy and for their resources, their people now serving American masters. . . . When Filipinos rose in rebellion against the army that had claimed to free them, the US had its first counter-insurgency jungle war which it waged with utmost brutality, killing upwards of 200,000 civilians, the greatest number of civilian deaths up to that time.”

Bagdikian, Ben, 2004, The New Media Monopoly.

An update of Sinclair’s 1919 book (see below), adding nothing new conceptually, but providing additional examples and thought-provoking analyses. This book shows that you must be a self-loathing masochist to base your world view on on information provided by the likes of FOX, CNN, Hollywood, or the Washington Post. A few excerpts:

Our picture of reality does not burst upon us in one splendid revelation. It accumulates day by day and year by year in mostly unspectacular fragments from the world scene, produced mainly by the mass media. Our view of the real world is dynamic, cumulative, and self-correcting as long as there is a pattern of evenhandedness in deciding which fragments are important. But when one important category of the fragments is filtered out, or included only vaguely, our view of the social-political world is deficient.”

When it comes to the environment, most studies likewise suggest that media coverage of any issue constitutes a compromise between truth and money. Here is one illustration:

On February 24, 1936, Dr. Pearl delivered a paper to the New York Academy of Medicine. His paper concluded that tobacco shortens the life of all users, a piece of genuinely spectacular news affecting millions of readers and listeners. The session was covered by the press, but they either remained silent about the news or buried it. . . . In 1954, the American Cancer Society released results of a study of 187,000 men. Cigarette smokers had a death rate from all diseases 75 percent higher than nonsmokers. . . . It was increasingly clear that tobacco-linked disease is the biggest single killer in the United States, accounting for more than 300,000 deaths a year, the cause of one in every seven deaths in the country, killing six times more people annually than automobile accidents. But though the statistics are conclusive to medical authorities, [by 1986] they were still treated as controversial or non-existent by the news media. . . . The print and broadcast media might make page 1 drama of a junior researcher’s paper about a rare disease. But if it involved the 300,000 annual deaths from tobacco-related disease, the media either do not report it or they report it as a controversial item subject to rebuttal by the tobacco industry. . . . Newsweek, for example, had a cover story January 26, 1978, entitled “What Causes Cancer?” The article was six pages long. On the third page it whispered about the leading cause—in a phrase it said that tobacco is the least disputed “carcinogen of all.” The article said no more about the statistics or the medical findings of the tobacco-cancer link, except in a table, which listed the ten most suspected carcinogens—alphabetically, putting tobacco in next-to-last place. A week later, Time . . . ran a two-column article on the causes of cancer. The only reference it made to tobacco was that “smoking and drinking alcohol have been linked to cancer. If there was ever any question that . . . in the media . . . advertising influences news and other information given to the public, tobacco makes it unmistakably clear. The tobacco industry since 1954 has spent more than $9 billion on advertising, most of it in newspapers, magazines, radio, and television. Newspapers, magazines, radio, and television have effectively censored news and entertainment to obscure the link between tobacco and death. During that period more than eight million Americans have died from tobacco-linked disease.

Blum, William, 2008, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II.

What then has been the thread common to the diverse targets of American intervention which has brought down upon them the wrath, and often the firepower, of the world’s most powerful nation? In virtually every case involving the Third World described in this book, it has been, in one form or another, a policy of “self- determination”: the desire, born of perceived need and principle, to pursue a path of development independent of US foreign policy objectives. Most commonly, this has been manifested in (a) the ambition to free themselves from economic and political subservience to the United States; (b) the refusal to minimize relations with the socialist bloc, or suppress the left at home, or welcome an American military installation on their soil; in short, a refusal to be a pawn in the Cold War; or (c) the attempt to alter or replace a government which held to neither of these aspirations; i.e., a government supported by the United States.”

The whole thing had been a con game. The Soviet Union and something called communism per se had not been the object of Washington’s global attacks. There had never been an International Communist Conspiracy. The enemy was, and remains, any government or movement, or even individual, that stands in the way of the expansion of the American Empire; by whatever name the US gives to the enemy—communist, rogue state, drug trafficker, terrorist.”

Boehm, Christopher, 2009, Hierarchy in the Forest: The Evolution of Egalitarian Behavior.

If an upstart becomes dangerous to the life or liberty of others and is not susceptible to lesser sanctions … fearful or morally outraged foragers go for the ultimate form of social distancing: execution.”

Brown, Ellen, 2007, The Web of Debt: The Shocking Truth About Our Money System and How We Can Break Free, Third edition.

Our money system is not what we have been led to believe. The creation of money has been ‘privatized,’ or taken over by a private money cartel. Except for coins, all of our money is now created as loans advanced by private banking institutions—including the private Federal Reserve. Banks create the principal but not the interest to service their loans. To find the interest, new loans must continually be taken out, expanding the money supply, inflating prices—and robbing you of the value of your money. Web of Debt unravels the deception and presents a crystal clear picture of the financial abyss towards which we are heading. Then it explores a workable alternative, one that was tested in colonial America and is grounded in the best of American economic thought, including the writings of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. If you care about financial security, your own or the nation’s, you should read this book.”

Browne, Jackson, 1986,Lives in the Balance.


his song beautifully captures the reality of The United States’ colonial policy. It points to the mind-control operations that sustain it and that lead most Americans to the ludicrous conviction that their country is in the business of defending democracy and human rights..

I want to know who the men in the shadows are
I want to hear somebody asking them why
They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are
But they’re never the ones to fight or to die.”

Bouton, Terry, 2007, Taming Democracy: “the People,” the Founders, and the Troubled Ending of the American Revolution.

This must-read book would come has a surprise to the many who had been indoctrinated to revere, and pledge allegiance to, the American Constitution. In reality, that constitution was an anti-democratic coup d’etat. It is thanks to this document that America is now sinking into the abyss of stagnation, corruption, sunshine bribery, decadence, income inequalities, and environmental and health catastrophes. All these anti-democratic features of the constitution were deliberately planned out by the well-read wealthy intellectuals who brought it into existence. Down the road from 2024, America’s decline would likely proceed apace—unless the constitution is overthrown and replaced with direct democracy.

“ [Madison, the creator of the American constitution and the country’s fourth president] engineered in his writings a deliberate redefinition of terms whereby an aristocratic theory of politics was couched in sufficiently democratic language that the founders would soon be claimed as the authors of American democracy by men whose beliefs were very different.

Perhaps the most important element of this attempt to scale back democracy was replacing the Articles of Confederation with a new federal Constitution in 1787, that would, in the words of Alexander Hamilton, contain “the amazing violence and turbulence of the democratic spirit” . . . the objective was a government that was less responsive to ordinary Americans and more compliant to the will of moneyed men. . . .

In the more than two centuries that have followed the Revolution, the barriers against democracy put in place by the founding elite have frustrated countless movements intent on enacting changes opposed by the ruling elite. . . . As a result, the century and a half after the Revolution saw wealth and power concentrate to such an extent that it would make the revolutionaries of 1776 shudder.”

Most ordinary white men (the only people who were supposed to benefit from the revolution) were disappointed by the version of democracy that emerged from the Revolution — even as it brought them new political rights and powers. These people did not think the Revolution ended with governments that made their ideals and interests the primary goal. To the contrary, they were convinced that the revolutionary elite had remade government to benefit themselves and to undermine the independence of ordinary folk. Moreover, much of the revolutionary generation was convinced that, during the post-war decade, the elite founding fathers had waged — and won — a counter-revolution against popular democratic ideals. During the 1780s and 1790s, ordinary folk across the new nation perceived democracy to be under assault from elite leaders determined to scale it back from the broad ideal that had been articulated in 1776. To many people, the biggest victory in this counter-revolution was the creation of the new federal Constitution. . . . An episodic approach also masks the stunning about- face made by the founding elite, many of whom championed popular ideals before 1776 and then attempted to suppress them after the war. The turnaround was so radical that the elite enacted post-war policies that were nearly identical to the ones Britain had put in place during the 1760s and 1770s, which at the time the gentry had decried as “tyranny” and “oppression.”

During the 1780s, ordinary Pennsylvanians launched an attack on the gospel of moneyed men and the hard times it created. These people demanded that state leaders save democracy by ending the policies that concentrated wealth among moneyed men. They called for new policies to make wealth more equal. And they demanded a return of a vigorous democracy.

When nothing availed the democrats in Pennsylvania [for example], in the end, the conflict was settled by two mass popular uprisings by thousands of ordinary Pennsylvanians, one in 1794 and another in 1799. Each of these showdowns ended with federal armies marching through Pennsylvania to uphold a far more limited democracy than the version that had existed in 1776.”

General Smedley Butler

Butler, Smedley, 1935, War is a Racket.

War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. In the World War [World War I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted huge gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.

Caldwell, Taylor, 1972, Captains and the Kings.

A fictional account of the bankers’ assassination of President Kennedy. One excerpt:

[The men of the Invisible Government] would continue to grow in strength, until they had the whole silly world, the whole credulous world, the whole ingenuous world, in their hands. Anyone who would challenge them, attempt to expose them, show them unconcealed and naked, would be murdered, laughed at, called mad, ignored, or denounced as a fantasy-weaver.”

Caparrós, Martín, 2020, Hunger: the Oldest Problem.

[There are] 1.4 billion poor people . . . men and women the globalized system doesn’t need but must tolerate because quick genocides don’t look good on TV, and might give nightmares to the weak of heart. Hence, without risking exaggeration: this is the world that US capitalism and democracy have produced. The poverty and hunger of those millions is the consequence of that world — not its mistake.”

Churchill, Ward, 2005,To disrupt, discredit and destroy: The FBI’s secret war against the Black Panther Party.”

Beginning in August 1967, the Black Panther Party was savaged by a campaign of political repression, which in terms of its sheer viciousness has few parallels in American history. Coordinated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as part of its then-ongoing domestic counterintelligence program (COINTELPRO) and enlisting dozens of local police departments around the country, the assault left at least thirty Panthers dead, scores of others imprisoned after dubious convictions, and hundreds more suffering permanent physical or psychological damage. Simultaneously, the Party was infiltrated at every level by agents provocateurs, all of them harnessed to the task of disrupting its internal functioning. Completing the package was a torrent of “disinformation” planted in the media to discredit the Panthers before the public, both personally and organizationally, thus isolating them from potential support. Although an entity bearing its name would continue to exist in Oakland, California for another decade, as would several offshoots situated elsewhere, the Black Panther Party in the sense that it was originally conceived was effectively destroyed by the end of 1971. In this, it was hardly alone.”

Those committed to achieving fundamental change rather than cosmetic tweakings of the existing system are thus left with no viable alternative but to include the realities of state violence as an integral part of our political calculus. We are in a war, whether we wish to be or not, the only question before us being how to go about winning it. Here too, the legacy bequeathed by the Black Panther Party provides invaluable lessons. By studying the techniques with which the counterinsurgency war against the Party was waged, we can, collectively, begin to devise the ways and means by which to counter them, offsetting and eventually neutralizing their effectiveness.”

Copi, Irving M. et al., 2019, Introduction to Logic.

A late 1960s edition of this book played a decisive role in my intellectual development. We can sharpen our reasoning skills by familiarity with their rules and pitfalls. 

“Constructing good definitions by genus and difference: . . A definition must be neither too narrow nor too broad. . . . When Plato’s successors in the Academy settled on the definition of a “man” as a “featherless biped,” their critic, Diogenes, plucked a chicken and threw it over the walls of the Academy. There was a featherless biped—but no man. The [definition] was too broad. Legend has it that to narrow the definition of “man,” the attribute “with broad nails” was added.

Corbett Report, 2013,Rockefeller medicine” (a video). The take-over of American medicine by the money lenders came at a great cost. Americans pay more for health care than Western Europeans and get a lot less. One clear proof of this is longevity: The average Swiss can expect to live seven more years than the average American.

Diamond, Jared, 1995, “Adaptive Failure: Easter’s End (an article).

Oligarchs and their bought-and-paid-for economists, journalists, and policy-makers, tell us that we do not have enough people on Earth; ecologists say that we have too many. Oligarchs say that solving the problem of climate disruptions will cost us billions; some ecologists say that it would save us trillions. Oligarchs say that synthetic pesticides are wonderful or at least indispensable; ecologists say such pesticides are dispensable at no cost, cause cancers, lower men’s sperm counts, destroy bees. . . . Many people dismiss ecological concerns for the future of the biosphere and humanity. Before shrugging off such concerns, you ought to confront the logic and evidence behind them.

As we try to imagine the decline of Easter’s civilization, we ask ourselves, “Why didn’t they look around, realize what they were doing, and stop before it was too late? What were they thinking when they cut down the last palm tree? . . . By now the meaning of Easter Island for us should be chillingly obvious. Easter Island is Earth writ small. Today, again, a rising population confronts shrinking resources. We too have no emigration valve, because all human societies are linked by international transport, and we can no more escape into space than the Easter Islanders could flee into the ocean. . . . t would be easy to close our eyes or to give up in despair. If mere thousands of Easter Islanders with only stone tools and their own muscle power sufficed to destroy their society, how can billions of people with metal tools and machine power fail to do worse? But there is one crucial difference. The Easter Islanders had no books and no histories of other doomed societies. Unlike the Easter Islanders, we have histories of the past—information that can save us. My main hope for my sons’ generation is that we may now choose to learn from the fates of societies like Easter’s.

Diamond, Jared, 1992. The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee: How Our Animal Heritage Affects the Way We Live.

If we wish to survive, we must acknowledge our propensity to kill each other and suicidally foul our nest. We must realize that our behavior is largely governed by irrational instincts, and seek to overcome them and thereby reach our full potential as human beings. Only then can we develop a political and ethical system that deals with these twin problems of aggression and environmental destruction.

Internet Synopsis: “More than 98 percent of human genes are shared with two species of chimpanzee. The ‘third’ chimpanzee is man. Jared Diamond surveys out life-cycle, culture, sexuality and destructive urges both towards ourselves and the planet to explore the ways in which we are uniquely human yet still influenced by our animal origins.”

Diamond, Jared, 2012, The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?

When Western missionaries who have lived in New Guinea with their young children return to Australia or the United States, or when they send their children back to Australia or the U.S. to attend boarding school, the children tell me that their biggest adjustment problem is to deal with and adopt the West’s selfish individualistic ways, and to shed the emphasis on cooperation and sharing that they have learned among New Guinea children. They describe feeling ashamed of themselves if they play competitive games in order to win, or if they try to excel in school, or if they seek an advantage or opportunity that their comrades don’t achieve.

A recurring theme is that the other Westerners and I are struck by the emotional security, self-confidence, curiosity, and autonomy of members of small-scale societies, not only as adults but already as children. We see that people in small-scale societies spend far more time talking to each other than we do, and they spend no time at all on passive entertainment supplied by outsiders, such as television, video games, and books. We are struck by the precocious development of social skills in their children.”

Euclid, early 3rd century BC, Elements (read only Book 1, down to Proposition 47).

This is a compilation of some of ancient Greece’s geometrical output, probably amplified and organized by Euclid. You can skip some of the definitions, axioms, and theorems. The point is not to master Euclidean geometry, but to grasp its nature, expose yourself to deductive reasoning at its best, and sharpen your thinking skills.

Bertrand Russell, the great mathematician and one of the most outstanding published holistic and critical thinkers of the 20th century, correctly observes that Euclid’s Elements is “one of the greatest books ever written.” To begin with, reading the first part of this book will change most people’s conception of mathematics. No one forced the Greeks (and perhaps also the Chinese?) to study geometry, no one distorted what it was about, no one deliberately hid its beauty, and no one gave them candies to study a deformed version of it taught by the graduates of American schools of education. So ancient Greek intellectuals were in love with it. Mathematics, if you can overcome school-acquired misconceptions, is beautiful. But it is also rigorous. Going through the trouble of really assimilating its nature will sharpen your critical thinking skills and ability to distinguish between wheat and chaff. It goes without saying that many accomplished mathematicians were, when it came to other fields, ignoramuses, self-promoters, or scoundrels. But it is perhaps no accident that some of humanity’s most accomplished holistic thinkers were well-versed in mathematics.

If you have no time or patience to go all the way to Proposition 47, just read enough of the Elements to grasp what is going on there. If that is too much, then just consider Euclid’s Proposition 15, which beautifully captures the most important feature of mathematical reasoning—proof:

Now, the ancient Egyptians or Babylonians probably knew that two opposite angles are equal. To show this, they could proceed empirically, cross two lines with each other, and observe that, regardless of size, opposite angles appear equal. They could also prove their equality by crossing two sticks, and, without changing their point of contact, pivoting one of them away or towards the other, pausing at intervals, and making sure that any two opposite angles still appear equal. They might have even measured, empirically, any two opposite angles and show that they are always equal. That would satisfy most people, and perhaps even most natural scientists.

Greek geometers however sought universal proof, which would apply to any opposite angles formed by two lines crossing each other and obviate the need, forever, of carrying out tedious measurements. After establishing certain definitions, axioms, and concepts, Greek geometers were able to establish the conclusiveness of this claim, whose essence, in modern parlance, is this:

Angle AEC + Angle AED = 180°

Angle DEB + Angle AED = 180°

So:

Angle AEC + Angle AED = Angle DEB + Angle AED

Now remove Angle AED from both side of the equation, and you get:

Angle AEC = Angle DEB.

That is how mathematicians proceed—elegantly providing universal proofs. The proofs themselves are almost always more complicated and intellectually demanding than Proposition 15, but the logic behind them is the same.

Fuller, R. Buckminster, 1981, Critical Path.

The fundamental problem, in most countries of the world, is lack of democratic control over the economy. One example is the use of cancer-causing pesticides. In a genuine democracy, where people are well-informed and in charge, such poisons would be banned. After all, who wants to die of cancer?”

It is now highly feasible to take care of everybody on Earth at a higher standard of living than any have ever known. It no longer has to be you or me. Selfishness is unnecessary. War is obsolete. It is a matter of converting the high technology from weaponry to livingry. . . . This is not an opinion or a hope — it is an engineeringly demonstrable fact. This can be done using only the already proven technology and with the already mined, refined, and in-recirculating physical resources. This will be an inherently sustainable physical success for all humanity and all its generations to come. It can be accomplished not only within ten years but with the phasing out forever of all use of fossil fuels and atomic energy.”

Garrison, Jim, 1967, Playboy Interview (online, this interview appears in four parts).

District Attorney Jim Garrison

This interview definitively confirms that President Kennedy was murdered by the Banking/CIA/FBI complex and that this complex was able to get away with this by murdering, incarcerating, smearing, or intimidating any influential truth seeker, any witness, any media personality, who dared expose this enormous, epoch-changing crime against humanity. All subsequent books and articles, either proving or “disproving” CIA involvement, were merely an attempt to (dis)prove the obvious. It doesn’t say much for the common sense of intellectuals on both sides who needlessly sought—and are still seeking—to beat this particular dead horse.

Witnesses in this case do have a habit of dying at the most inconvenient times. I understand a London insurance firm has prepared an actuarial chart on the likelihood of 20 of the people involved in this case dying within three years of the assassination — and found the odds 30 trillion to one. But I’m sure NBC will shortly discover that one of my investigators bribed the computer.”

In a very real and terrifying sense, our Government is the CIA and the Pentagon, with Congress reduced to a debating society…. The clever manipulation of the mass media is creating a concentration camp of the mind that promises to be far more effective in keeping the populace in line…. What happens to the individual who dissents? In Nazi Germany, he was physically destroyed; here, the process is more subtle, but the end results can be the same.”

Gatto, John Taylor, 2010, Weapons Of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher’s Journey Through The Dark World Of Compulsory Schooling.

American education in the 18th century resembled Athenian education in the 4th century B.C.: private, decentralized, vibrant, and highly successful. In 18th century America:

More citizens were literate under a system where schooling was voluntary and of short duration, than ever they have been under the long-term compulsion. . . . From its beginnings, forced schooling represented a big step backwards from the exciting free market in learning offered by the bazaar of American life, a market well-illustrated in the lives of Franklin, Jefferson, Farragut, and many others. This asystematic system of learning put the nation on a road to unparalleled power and wealth. And America’s [and Athens’] young responded brilliantly to it, out-inventing and out-trading every . . . world competitor by a country mile.”

That great system of education has been deliberately subverted by the Rockefellers and their allies. In 1924, the transformation into compulsory, standardized, dumbing-down education was nearly complete, leading H. L. Mencken to the view that the aim of public education is not

“to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence. . . . Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim. . . is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States . . . and that is its aim everywhere else.

American oligarchslike their counterparts everywhere in the world—need obedient factory workers, bureaucrats, mercenaries, and CIA operatives, not people who can think for themselves. Slave owners in the USA understood that an educated slave posed a threat to them and to the entire system. Likewise, American oligarchs see that free thinkers pose a threat to their privileged position. So they created an “educational” system that methodically undermined creativity and non-conformity. What we have then is

an educational system deliberately designed to produce mediocre intellects, to hamstring the inner life, to deny students appreciable leadership skills, and to ensure docile and incomplete citizens — all in order to render the populace “manageable.” . . . Under the new system, the goals of good moral values, good citizenship skills, and good personal development were exchanged for a novel fourth purpose — becoming a human resource to be spent by businessmen and politicians. . . . the chief end of the project was “to impose on the young the ideal of subordination. . . . School has no choice but to limit free thought and speech to such a profound degree a gulf is opened between the sanctimonious homilies of pedagogy (‘searching for truth’, ‘leveling the playing field’, etc.) and the ugly reality of its practices.”

Giurge, Laura M. et al., 2021,Does power corrupt the mind? The influence of power on moral reasoning and self-interested behavior,” The Leadership Quarterly, vol. 32

We find that having power over more followers decreased leaders’ principled moral reasoning, whereas having higher power to enforce one’s will enabled leaders to engage in self-interested behavior. We also find suggestive evidence that power over increases self-interested behavior.”

Grahame, Kenneth,1908. The Wind in the Willows.

A children’s book at one level. At another level, a hymn for freedom, camaraderie, and the beauty of the natural world.

He thought his happiness was complete when, as he meandered aimlessly along, suddenly he stood by the edge of a full-fed river. Never in his life had he seen a river before—this sleek, sinuous, full-bodied animal, chasing and chuckling, gripping things with a gurgle and leaving them with a laugh, to fling itself on fresh playmates that shook themselves free, and were caught and held again. All was a-shake and a-shiver—glints and gleams and sparkles, rustle and swirl, chatter and bubble. The Mole was bewitched, entranced, fascinated.”

Greer, John Michael, Twilight Last Gleaming.

A well-written page turner that artfully captures the gist of American foreign policy, including its regime change standard operating procedure.

Book synopsis taken from the internet: “This is a chilling high-concept geopolitical thriller where a declining United States and a resurgent China come to the brink of all out nuclear war. The year is 2025. Oil is the black gold that controls the fortunes of all nations and the once-mighty United States is down to the dregs. A giant oil field is discovered off the Tanzanian coast and the newly elected US president finds his solution to America’s ailing economy. While the United States blindly plots and plans a regime change in this hitherto insignificant African nation, Tanzania’s allies—the Chinese—start their own secret machinations. The explosion that follows shatters a decades-old balance of global power and triggers a crisis on American soil that the United States may not survive. Political conspiracies, military maneuvers, and covert activities are woven together in this fast-paced, gripping novel that paints a stark warning of an uncomfortably likely future.

It would take many months and much more drilling, he knew, before anyone could be sure just how much oil was down there . . . It would be early the next year before he found out just how abundantly that prayer had been granted.”

Griffin, G. Edward, 2023, The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve, 4th edition.

Internet synopsis: “Where does money come from? Where does it go? Who makes it? The money magicians’ secrets are unveiled. We get a close look at their mirrors and smoke machines, their pulleys, cogs, and wheels that create the grand illusion called money. A dry and boring subject? Just wait! You’ll be hooked in five minutes. Reads like a detective story — which it really is. But it’s all true. This book is about the most blatant scam of all history. It’s all here: the cause of wars, boom-bust cycles, inflation, depression, prosperity. Creature from Jekyll Island will change the way you view the world, politics, and money. Your world view will definitely change. You’ll never trust a politician again —or a banker.”

Grote, George, 1852, A History of Greece, Volume 10 (a brief excerpt): Restoration of Democracy in Thebes: Pelopidas’ Violent Decapacitation Strategy, 379 BC.

When the time for a revolution finally comes, what kind of revolutionary strategy is most likely to free humanity from the reckless, parasitic, oligarchs who rule it now?

Hansen, Mogens Herman, 1998, Athenian Democracy in the Age of Demosthenes.

Like Popper’s book (see below), this book documents the marvelous nature of the much-maligned Athenian direct democracy. After discarding such obvious injustices as slavery, oppression of women, and discrimination against foreign residents, we would do well well to adopt the Athenian Constitution as our own.

If we judge Athenian democracy by the consistency and efficacy of its policy, we have to note that democratic Athens was much more efficient and much stronger than its oligarchic neighbors, though these neighbors were as populous as Athens. Like Athens, Thebes was strongest, in fact the strongest city-state in Hellas [Greece], in the fourth century when the polis [city state] was democratically governed.”

Before 411–410 [the first chilling oligarchic takeover during the war with Sparta,] Athens had simply been a democracy. Now, and especially after [the “monstrous” oligarchy of] 403, Athenians knew that their democracy was something precious and special, something necessary for the Athenian character and the city of Athens, something to be protected at all costs.”

Heinlein, Robert, 1966, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

A thrilling novel, showing that freedom is best given to those who are willing to violently defend it. The road to regain national and personal freedom requires secrecy, risks, and far-sighted strategic thinking.

Every new member made it that much more likely that you would be betrayed. . . . Revolutions are not won by enlisting the masses. Revolution is a science only a few are competent to practice. It depends on correct organization and, above all, on communications. Then, at the proper moment in history, they strike. Correctly organized and properly timed it is a bloodless coup. Done clumsily or prematurely and the result is civil war, mob violence, purges, terror.”

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.”

Hempel. Carl G., 1966, Scientific Inquiry: Invention and Test” (a book excerpt).

You can’t understand the modern world without understanding how scientific breakthroughs are arrived at. The same open-minded procedure described in this readable illustration must of course be practiced in our own lives.

Herodotus, The Histories, Vols 1, 2.

This is the first scientific history ever written, and still the best. Herodotus was an ardent democrat, and hence had been looked down upon by oligarchs and their muzzled academics (the vast majority). Here is just one example of this bias. There is much talk nowadays, when talking about China, Russia, and the USA, about the Thucydides Trap. Thucydides meets all the needed requirements for being adored by the run-of-the-mill academic—a highly competent and biased historian, rich, and an enemy of direct democracy. In reality, however, this trap should be called the Herodotus Trap, as the following paragraph amply shows:

“[The Spartans] could also see that Athenian power was on the increase and that there was no way in which Athens was going to accept their hegemony. They realized that the Attic [Athenian] people, given its freedom, would become a match for them, whereas if it was oppressed by tyranny, it would be weak and submissive.”

Two other excerpts:

Thus did the Athenians increase in strength. And it is plain enough, not from this instance only, but from many everywhere, that freedom is an excellent thing since even the Athenians, who, while they continued under the rule of tyrants, were not a whit more valiant than any of their neighbors, no sooner shook off the yoke than they became decidedly the first of all. These things show that, while undergoing oppression, they let themselves be beaten, since then they worked for a master; but so soon as they got their freedom, each man was eager to do the best he could for himself. So fared it now with the Athenians.”

Now, the pyre had been lit, and as Croesus was telling his story, flames were licking around its edges. But when the translators relayed the story to Cyrus, he had a change of heart. He saw that he was burning alive a fellow human being, one who had been just as well off as he was; also, he was afraid of retribution, and reflected on the total lack of certainty in human life. So he told his men to waste no time in dousing the flames and getting Croesus and the others down from the pyre. When they tried, however, they found it was too late—the fire was out of control.”

Huxley, Aldous. 1959, Brave New World Revisited.

This book shows that the program of enslaving us was well on its way decades ago. Needless to say, in 2024 we are far closer to that nightmare than we were in 1959. Here is an excerpt showing why brainwashed people (99% of all human beings) can’t escape from mental slavery. This oligarch-nurtured human failing, let me note in passing, poses the gravest threat to the future of humanity, and, for as long as our species survives, to freedom, social justice, and peace:

It is perfectly possible for a man to be out of prison and yet not free-to be under no physical constraint and yet to be a psychological captive, compelled to think, feel and act as the representatives of the national State, or of some private interest within the nation, want him to think, feel, and act. . . . The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him, the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free.”

Le Guin, Ursula, 1974, The Dispossessed.

An imaginary utopia showing that a better world and a more dignified human behavior are conceivable. Here is an excerpt echoing Huxley’s insights about invisible walls:

All their conversations were like this, exhausting to the doctor and unsatisfying to Shevek, yet intensely interesting to both. They were Shevek’s only means of exploring the new world that awaited him. . . . As for the doctor’s mind, though intelligent and certainly well-meaning, it was a jumble of intellectual artifacts even more confusing than all the gadgets, appliances, and conveniences that filled the ship. These latter Shevek found entertaining; everything was so lavish, stylish, and inventive; but the furniture of Kimoe’s intellect he did not find so comfortable. Kimoe’s ideas never seemed to be able to go in a straight line; they had to walk around this and avoid that, and then they ended up smack against a wall. There were walls around all his thoughts, and he seemed utterly unaware of them, though he was perpetually hiding behind them.”

Levin, Ira, 1970, This Perfect Day.

A better written version of a dystopian world than either 1984 or Brave New World. A review of this book is available here. This novel shows that the struggle to regain our freedom is not going to be an easy one and that the main enemies of humanity are power seekers. Here are the last words of the master spider of that fictional Invisible Government

Chip, listen to me,” he said, leaning forward, “there’s joy in having it, in controlling, in being the only one.”

Lindbergh, Charles August, 1913, Banking and Currency and The Money Trust.

The financial system has been turned over to the Federal Reserve Board. That board administers a finance system by authority of a purely profiteering group. That system is private, conducted for the sole purpose of obtaining the greatest possible profits from the use of other people’s money. This (Federal Reserve) Act establishes the most gigantic trust on Earth. When the president signs this bill, the invisible governments by the Monetary Power will be legalized. The people may not know it immediately but the day of reckoning is only a few years removed. The worst legislative crime of the ages is perpetrated by this banking bill.”

Long, Huey, 1934, Parts of a speech in a Share Our Wealth Rally, “What’s Morgan and Baruch and Rockefeller and Mellon going to do with all that grub?”

In passing, note that the Rockefellers felt compelled to murder this friend of humanity.

How many men ever went to a barbecue and would let one man take off the table what’s intended for 9/10th of the people to eat? The only way to be able to feed the balance of the people is to make that man come back and bring back some of that grub that he ain’t got no business with!”

Elsewhere, Long explains the reasons for endless wars, genocides, and the plight of weak countries:

The Chaco War (1932-1935) between Paraguay and Bolivia involved the deaths of about 100,000 people — close to 3% of the entire population of either country, and tremendous suffering. In a speech on the Senate floor on 30 May 1934, Long claimed the war was the work of “the forces of imperialistic finance”, and maintained that Paraguay was the rightful owner of the Chaco, but that Standard Oil [i.e., Rockefeller], which Long called “promoter of revolutions in Central America, South America and Mexico” had “bought” the Bolivian government and started the war because Paraguay had been unwilling to grant it oil concessions… In a speech about the war on the Senate floor on 7 June 1934 [he] called Standard Oil “domestic murder[ers],” “foreign murder[re]s”, “international conspirators” and “rapacious thieves and robbers”. As a result, Long became a national hero in Paraguay.”

Milgram, Stanley, 1974, Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View. We could easily minimize such devastating psychological handicaps as blind obedience and compliance—by overhauling the educational system and corporate media. Sadly, such an overhaul is most likely to happen in the aftermath of a revolution.

 

“With numbing regularity good people were seen to knuckle under to the demands of authority and perform actions that were callous and severe. Men who are in everyday life responsible and decent were seduced by the trappings of authority . . . into performing harsh acts.”

Nissani, M., 2023, Eight Billion Cheers for Direct Democracy: Direct Democracy is Humanity’s Last, Best, and Only Hope (back up internet link).

Internet synopsis: “Eight Billion Cheers for Direct Democracy presents a compelling and comprehensive defense of direct democracy. It argues that direct democracy — as opposed to such token democracies as India, the Russian Federation, or the United States — provides the best hope for a free, just, prosperous, peaceful, and sustainable future. It defends the direct democracy framework as it was once practiced by the Athenians and other Greeks, and as it is practiced today by some subnational groups. It specifically indicts such minority-ruled systems as representative ‘democracies,’ oligarchies, theocracies, president-for-life arrangements, and dictatorships.”

Nissani, M., 2022, Encyclopedia of domestic assassinations: The US/UK Smear, Harass, Blackmail, Bribe, Incarcerate, or Murder all Influential Dissidents (Back up link).

Internet synopsis: “The Encyclopedia of Domestic Assassinations provides irrefutable statistical, historical, empirical, and predictive evidence that the American and British governments routinely smear, harass, bribe, blackmail, incarcerate, or murder their influential opponents. Always and everywhere, humanity’s champions get neutralized long before they can accomplish anything. This encyclopedia argues that any reform strategy that fails to explicitly address this reality is doomed to fail. It provides a partial explanation for the utter failure of humanitarian reform movements in the Anglosphere and elsewhere in the world. In particular, it shows that it is impossible to understand international relations without taking into account the ever-present menace of blackmail, smears, clandestine removals, and assassinations of influential foreigners. It celebrates the short wonderful lives — often heroic and idealistic — of some 50+ victims of the US/UK. Finally, it confronts readers with (assassinated) Bob Marley’s question: “How long shall they kill our prophets while we stand aside and look?”

Packer, Herbert, L., 1968, The Limits of the Criminal Sanction.

If Packer is right, a civilized and free society would legalize gun ownership, prostitution, and all drugs. It would recognize that the harmful effects of criminal sanctions in such cases far exceed the beneficial ones.

The criminal sanction is the best available device we have for dealing with gross and immediate harms and threats of harm. It becomes less useful as the harms become less gross and immediate. It becomes largely inefficacious when it is used to enforce morality rather than to deal with conduct that is generally seen as harmful. Efficacy aside, the less threatening the conduct with which it is called upon to deal, the greater the social costs that enforcement incurs. We alienate people from the society in which they live. We drive enforcement authorities to more extreme measures of intrusion and coercion. We taint the quality of life for free men.”

Page, Benjamin I. & Gilens, Martin, 2017, Democracy In America?: What has Gone Wrong and what We Can Do about It.

Internet Synopsis: “America faces daunting problems—stagnant wages, high health care costs, neglected schools, deteriorating public services. Yet the government consistently ignores the needs of its citizens, paying attention instead to donors and organized interests. Real issues are held hostage to demagoguery, partisanship beats practicality, and trust in government withers along with the social safety net.”

How did we get here? Through decades of dysfunctional government. In Democracy in America? veteran political observers Benjamin I. Page and Martin Gilens marshal an unprecedented array of evidence to show that while other countries have responded to a rapidly changing economy by helping people who’ve been left behind, the United States has failed to do so. Instead, we have actually exacerbated inequality, enriching corporations and the wealthy while leaving ordinary citizens to fend for themselves. What’s the solution? More democracy.

Parenti, Michael, 1986, Inventing Reality: The Politics of the Mass Media.

For many people an issue does not exist until it appears in the news media. How we view issues, indeed, what we even define as an issue or event, what we see and hear, and what we do not see and hear are greatly determined by those who control the communications world. Be it labor unions, peace protesters, the Soviet Union, uprisings in Latin America, elections, crime, poverty, or defense spending, few of us know of things except as they are depicted in the news. Even when we don ’t believe what the media say, we are still hearing or reading their viewpoints rather than some other. They are still setting the agenda, defining what it is we must believe or disbelieve, accept or reject. The media exert a subtle, persistent influence in defining the scope of respectable political discourse, channeling public attention in directions that are essentially supportive of the existing politico-economic system. . . . In this book I will try to demonstrate how the news media distort important aspects of social and political life and why. The press’s misrepresentations are not usually accidental, not merely the result of the complexity of actual events and the honest confusions of poorly prepared reporters. While those kinds of problems exist, another kind of distortion predominates, one not due to chance or to the idiosyncratic qualities of news production or newspeople. The major distortions are repeatable, systematic, and even systemic — the product not only of deliberate manipulation but of the ideological and economic conditions under which the media operate.”

Pauwels, Jacques R., 2015, The Myth of the Good War: America in the Second World War.

Internet synopsis: “In Pauwels’ account, the actions of the United States during the war years were heavily influenced by American corporations . . . who were having a very profitable war selling oil, armaments, and equipment to both sides, with money gushing everywhere. . . . The Second World War, as Jacques Pauwels tells it, was a good war only in myth. The reality is far messierand far more revealing of the evils that come from conflicts between great powers and great leaders seeking to enrich their countries and dominate the world.”

The study that follows is . . . an attempt to offer a relatively short sketch as well as a consistent interpretation of the role played by the United States in the Second World War. the wartime role of America’s political and economic leadership, was not guided primarily by idealistic motives, as is generally assumed. . . . [This book refutes] the heartwarming historical literature that tends to confirm what the aver age American first learns at school, and subsequently hears over and over again from the nation’s media: that in the Second World War, the idealistic United States took upon itself the leadership of the crusade for democracy and against dictatorship, and proceeded to win this crusade virtually single-handedly. . . . Much more is now known than a decade ago about the collaboration of major corporations and banks — not only American but also German, French, Swiss, et cetera — with fascist movements and regimes in general and with Nazism in particular.

Perkins, John, 2006, (“Confessions of an Economic Hitman (video) Part 1 at the VFP National Convention.”

How does colonialism persist to this very day in the former American, English, French and other colonies? Aren’t countries like 2024 Nigeria or Ecuador independent? Why do dozens of former colonies—run by an assortment of kleptocrats, scoundrels, fascists, theocrats, and traitors to their own people—never achieved genuine independence? Perkins explains how this US/UK exploitive and cynical racket maintains and preserves the subservience and destitution of many countries of the global south. This is done through a combination of overthrowing genuine leaders through regime-change operations, lawfare, and an extensive program of assassinations. The primary enslavement tool is forcing leaders to accept an odious debt from such an imperial agency as the International Monetary Fund. As expected, when the debt comes due, when such countries cannot repay the debt, they are done for. If they refuse to pay back, their leaders are deposed or killed. But, since they cannot possibly pay that debt (which was mostly stolen and only worsened the economic situation of their nation), then the empire offers the usual recipe: Hand over their natural resources to American corporations, throw their people into even greater poverty than before, and stop any attempt at minimizing environmental destruction and exploitation of workers. This racket is of course helped by the vast spiderweb of informational and educational outlets who are charged with the task of concealing the true reasons for the massive poverty and hunger of billions. Consequently, most Americans and Europeans—and some of the victims themselves—believe that the US/UK help these people, that they bring them democracy and civilization, and that selfless leaders like currently imprisoned Imran Kahn of Pakistan or the murdered Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, are scoundrels..

Phillips, David Graham, 1906, The Treason of the Senate: Aldrich, the head of it all.”

The treason of the Senate! Treason is a strong word, but not too strong, rather too weak, to characterize the situation in which the Senate is the eager, resourceful, indefatigable agent of interests [the Rockefellers]as hostile to the American people as any invading army could be, and vastly more dangerous; interests that manipulate the prosperity produced by all, so that it heaps up riches for the few; interests whose growth and power can only mean the degradation of the people, of the educated into sycophants, of the masses toward serfdom.”

Popper, Karl R., 1945 (original publication date), The Open Society and its Enemies.

Popper was a neo-liberal who backed the US/UK imperial policies as well as their war on the majority of their own people. Popper also conveniently overlooked the fundamental difference between Athenian genuine democracy (for its male citizens) and the joke that currently goes under the name of Western democracies. Already by 1918, Eugene Debs depicted more truthfully and courageously the nature of American democracy: “They tell us that we live in a great free republic; that our institutions are democratic; that we are a free and self-governing people. That is too much, even for a joke.” Popper was either misguided or a brilliant sycophant, while the equally-brilliant Debs was a fearless crusader for the common man. It is no wonder then that Popper lived to old age and was knighted, while Eugene Debs spent years in prison and died prematurely as a consequence.

Still, Popper’s spirited and original defense of the open society is worth reading. In particular, echoing Russell’s earlier critique of such enemies of freedom as Plato, Popper’s book eruditely and eloquently refutes oligarchic self-serving justifications for a hierarchical society. Just as important is Popper’s defiance of standard scholarship by pointing out the marvels and achievements of Athenian direct democracy.

If in this book harsh words are spoken about some of the greatest among the intellectual leaders of mankind, my motive is not, I hope, the wish to belittle them. It springs rather from my conviction that, if our civilization is to survive, we must break with the habit of deference to great men. Great men may make great mistakes; and as the book tries to show, some of the greatest leaders of the past supported the perennial attack on freedom and reason. Their influence, too rarely challenged, continues to mislead those on whose defence civilization depends, and to divide them. The responsibility for this tragic and possibly fatal division becomes ours if we hesitate to be outspoken in our criticism of what admittedly is a part of our intellectual heritage. By our reluctance to criticize some of it, we may help to destroy it all.”

The strong feeling of optimism which pervades the whole book struck me more and more as naïve, as the years after the war went by. My own voice began to sound to me as if it came from the distant past . . . But my mood of depression has passed, largely as the result of a visit to the United States; and I am now glad that, in revising the book, I confined myself to the addition of new material and to the correction of mistakes of matter and style, and that I resisted the temptation to subdue its tenor. For in spite of the present world situation I feel as hopeful as I ever did.”

That last naive paragraph confirms Popper’s own assertion that “great men may make great mistakes.” Paradoxically, it also suggests that there are original thinkers out there—but no “great men.”

Russell, Bertrand, 1945, History of Western Philosophy.

Russell was an exceptional polymath, and a man who can serve as a model for those who aspire to think for themselves. With the possible exception of Albert Einstein and Democritus, I know no book writer whose courage and gift of critical thinking approaches Russell’s.

“Socrates is dishonest and sophistical in argument, and in his private thinking he uses intellect to prove conclusions that are to him agreeable, rather than in a disinterested search for knowledge. . . . Unlike some of his predecessors, he was not scientific in his thinking, but was determined to prove the universe agreeable to his ethical standards. This is treachery to truth, and the worst of philosophic sin. . . . As a philosopher he needs a long residence in scientific purgatory.”

Science tells us what we can know, but what we can know is little, and if we forget how much we cannot know we become insensitive to many things of very great importance. Theology, on the other hand, induces a dogmatic belief that we have knowledge where in fact we have ignorance, and by doing so generates a kind of impertinent insolence towards the universe. Uncertainty, in the presence of vivid hopes and fears, is painful, but must be endured if we wish to live without the support of comforting fairy tales.”

1943, The Little Prince.

This charming novella can be read at one level as a children’s book. At another level, it offers deep philosophical insights. Here for example is a description of one of the ills of the modern age: excessive specialization:

“Your planet is very beautiful,” [said the little prince]. “Has it any oceans?”

” I couldn’t tell you,” said the geographer. . . .

“But you are a geographer!”

“Exactly,” the geographer said. “But I am not an explorer. I haven’t a single explorer on my planet. It is not the geographer who goes out to count the towns, the rivers, the mountains, the seas, the oceans, and the deserts. The geographer is much too important to go loafing about. He does not leave his desk.”

Sinclair, Upton, 1919, The Brass Check.

If you only read one book in this list, read this one. The best written, most original and comprehensive, book ever written on the mendacity of the American media, exposing the myth of free press in the so-called land of the free. (A few excerpts appear in the introduction of this article).

Singing Poetry Project, 2023. “If—re-imagined.”

The path towards self-actualization—a path rarely taken —is not, by a long shot, the one recommended by the much-celebrated “If” poem of the imperialist Rudyard Kipling. A much more persuasive program is proposed in this link (albeit, it must be admitted that, from the literary standpoint, this program is dwarfed by Kipling’s captivating poem).

Starikov, N., 2012, Double Nationalization – the Way to Russia’s Freedom. (A shortcut is provided by this book review).

Since [1694], the Anglo-Saxons have been following one rule in politics, and this rule is that there are no rules.”

The main purpose of the World Bank was and remains giving out of loans to those who then will be unable to pay them back. Convincing and forcing them to take out a loan is what its employees are paid to do. The result is always the same—a catastrophic growth of debt of undeveloped countries which can pay for their debts only through taking out new loans. And that means further enslavement to the bankers. . . . As a result of cooperation with the World Bank, the poor become even poorer and their money flows into the rich countries.”

Prices are formed not via actual supply and demand, but through a system of futures and for­wards. Roughly speaking, it is not goods or oil which are sold on the commodity exchange nowadays, but the oil delivery contracts. The amount of futures sold is ten times larger than that of actual black gold. This means that if the futures are sold at a lower price today, the price of real oil subsequently will also go down. Today the price is defined not by demand, but by commodity exchanges. . . . The one with the ‘printing machine’ can do whatever he wants with global economics. . . . The entire horde of gamblers and blood-suckers, referred to as ‘investors’ to be politically correct, like monkeys start buying or selling on the commodity exchange what­ever the organizers of the climb or fall wish.”

“Since 1694, the owners of the English “printing machine” routinely resorted to murder to achieve their goals. Besides American presidents and countless other opponents, their victims probably include Napoleon, William of Orange, and most living descendants of Louis XIV.”

Stout, Martha, 2006, The Sociopath Next Door.

John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

The corporate and political world, as they are constituted now, are breeding grounds for psychopaths and unprincipled power-seekers. We must admit to ourselves that such people exist and figure out a way of curbing their cancerous impact.

Imagine – if you can – not having a conscience, none at all, no feelings of guilt or remorse no matter what you do, no limiting sense of concern for the well-being of strangers, friends, or even family members. Imagine no struggles with shame, not a single one in your whole life, no matter what kind of selfish, lazy, harmful, or immoral action you had taken. And pretend that the concept of responsibility is unknown to you, except as a burden others seem to accept without question, like gullible fools. Now add to this strange fantasy the ability to conceal from other people that your psychological makeup is radically different from theirs. Since everyone simply assumes that conscience is universal among human beings, hiding the fact that you are conscience-free is nearly effortless. You are not held back from any of your desires by guilt or shame, and you are never confronted by others for your cold-bloodedness. The ice water in your veins is so bizarre, so completely outside of their personal experience, that they seldom even guess at your condition.

In other words, you are completely free of internal restraints, and your unhampered liberty to do just as you please, with no pangs of conscience, is conveniently invisible to the world. You can do anything at all, and still your strange advantage over the majority of people, who are kept in line by their consciences will most likely remain undiscovered.

How will you live your life? What will you do with your huge and secret advantage, and with the corresponding handicap of other people (conscience)? The answer will depend largely on just what your desires happen to be, because people are not all the same. Even the profoundly unscrupulous are not all the same. Some people – whether they have a conscience or not – favor the ease of inertia, while others are filled with dreams and wild ambitions. Some human beings are brilliant and talented, some are dull-witted, and most, conscience or not, are somewhere in between. There are violent people and nonviolent ones, individuals who are motivated by blood lust and those who have no such appetites. . . .

Provided you are not forcibly stopped, you can do anything at all.

If you are born at the right time, with some access to family fortune, and you have a special talent for whipping up other people’s hatred and sense of deprivation, you can arrange to kill large numbers of unsuspecting people. With enough money, you can accomplish this from far away, and you can sit back safely and watch in satisfaction. . . .

Crazy and frightening – and real, in about 4 percent of the population.”

Tarbell, Ida, 1904, The History of the Standard Oil Company.

John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937), was a “living mummy,” “a mask and a steel grip, forever peering into hidden places for money, always more money; planning in secret to wrest it away even from his friends, never forgetting, never resting, never satisfied…. blackmail and every other business vice is the natural result of [his] peculiar business practices … Our national life is on every side distinctly poorer, uglier, meaner, for the kind of influence he exercises.

Just in case you are wondering: Yes, his descendants, along with a few descendants of like-minded criminal bankers, still rule the world. No, I stand corrected: John D.’s dream of enslaving and impoverishing everyone, of destroying everything worth living for, is now closer to being realized than it was in the days when he ruled America.

Wikipedia, 2017, “Belief Perseverance.”

“Even when we deal with ideologically neutral conceptions of reality, when these conceptions have been recently acquired, when they came to us from unfamiliar sources, when they were assimilated for spurious reasons, when their abandonment entails little tangible risks or costs, and when they are sharply contradicted by subsequent events, we are, at least for a time, disinclined to doubt such conceptions on the verbal level and unlikely to let go of them in practice.”

Wikipedia articles: Conformity, Compliance, Closed-Mindedness, Harlow’s monkey experiments.

To self-actualize and escape the invisible wall of our intellectual prison, we must be aware, first, of the psychological obstacles we all face, second, resolve to overcome them, and third, construct an educational curriculum that specifically seeks to address these problems.

Williams, John, 2023,Shadow Government Statistics.

The American government can be best seen as a lie-fabrication machine. It drags us to wars on false pretenses, tells us that the technology exists to convert a man into a woman and vice versa, invents all kinds of boogeymen to scare the people into submission, boasts of its massive gold hoard—but allows no one to see it, manipulates the stock and commodity markets, inculcates the belief that some races are better than others, rewrites history to suit the interests of its oligarchic masters, and commits zillion of other crimes against reality and common decencies. In particular, it has battalions of economists, statisticians, and propagandists whose task is to falsify such vital data as the rates of unemployment and inflation. Williams’ website gives the real numbers.

John Williams’ Shadow Government Statistics” is an electronic newsletter service that exposes and analyzes flaws in current U.S. government economic data and reporting, as well as in certain private-sector numbers, and provides an assessment of underlying economic and financial conditions, net of financial-market and political hype.”

Have you ever wondered why the CPI, GDP and employment numbers run counter to your personal and business experiences? The problem lies in biased and often-manipulated government reporting.”

Below for instance, is a graph showing that the real inflation rate in the USA in 2023 was roughly double what the government and just about all experts, books, newspapers, TVs, radios, social media, were saying it is. A few reasons for such an outrageous lie? First, thanks to this lie, the government can steal from senior citizens about half the money they contributed all their lives to the Social Security Fund. Besides Social Security, people who depend on other government programs also get less than they should. Second, it lulls people into thinking that the American dollar—a mainstay of the American empire—is a stable currency and that one needs not look for such alternatives as silver and gold (whose price the government also massively manipulates downwards to achieve the same goal). A historical comparison of the American dollar to gold or to the Swiss Franc clearly gives the lie to the allegation that the dollar is a stable currency. Third, disclosing the real rate of inflation would force the government to raise interest rates, which in turn would aggravate the government’s ability to cover its ever-growing debt and financial liabilities (well exceeding $200,000,000,000 in 2024). Fourth, by curtailing the cost of living adjustments to American workers, this brazen lie serves one of the government’s key goals: Enrich their billionaire patrons and gradually enfeeble and impoverish most Americans. (BLS = U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; SGS = Williams’ Shadow Government Statistics).

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