the Security of the Constitutional Order
in the United
Presidency Comes to an End
• Insurrection and the Administrative
Kathleen Chandler -
Hardial Bains Resource Centre
House, Senator Cruz and References to
the U.S. Civil
• Joint Intelligence Bulletin: An Example
House Judiciary Report on
Pertaining to U.S. Civil War
Statement from U.S. Senators Opposing Certification of Electoral
the Security of the Constitutional Order in the United States
is producing a Supplement on the unfolding events in the United States
on the eve of the inauguration of Joe Biden as 46th president of that
country. These events have significance for the U.S. polity and, by
extension, the Canadian polity and the peoples of the world.
in this issue focuses on explanations for what is happening in the
United States by delving into what is relevant and what is not so as to
get to the heart of the matter. The lead article by Kathleen Chandler
explains why the U.S. House of Representatives called the rampage which
took place at the Capitol building in Washington DC on January 6 an
insurrection using the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, rather
than Article 1 of the Constitution, on Congressional powers, and the
implication of this to the workers' and peoples' striving for justice
and democracy. Kathleen Chandler leads the U.S. Marxist-Leninist
Organization (USMLO). Other material is brought to you by the Hardial
Bains Resource Centre (HBRC) which carries out ongoing work on matters
of concern to the forces fighting for change which serves
nation-building by humanizing the natural and social environment and
opening society's path to progress.
of the HBRC's major fields of investigation concerns how disinformation
works, in its ideological and material forms, not in terms of
beliefs. An article on disinformation is published below with
the aim of helping readers provide themselves with the orientation they
require when they attempt to understand what is going on, how it is
spoken about and the measures which are being taken.
focus on what the police powers are in relation to representational
government and how disinformation works in terms of the ideological
form, not just individual beliefs. Disinformation involves the
destruction of what is being informed, what is providing form.
An important feature of analyzing unfolding events is not to
confound the objective world with one's subjective impression of that
world. Rather than a reflection of the objective world, an analysis can
become an amalgam rendered through the prism of one's own understanding
of what one is observing, reading and hearing. Hence the expression:
One sees not what is there but what one thinks is there. For
instance, various forces describe what is happening in the United
States as a problem of extremism, or fascism, or authoritarian, or
populism, or pre- or post-fascism and the like. There is a refusal to
discuss actual human relations and what they reveal, in part because
information is lacking, and deliberately so.
relations, all the many relations between humans and humans and humans
and nature, are not a collection of things. In a polity, they concern
the basis of political relations which are not the same as social
relations of production. A polity has relations, individual and
collective and in terms of the whole. Theories of governance, balance
of power, the distinction between domestic and foreign policy -- all
these are eliminated when a police power is established. A police power
simply considers all humans and the relations they enter into as
"things" placed into categories to be disposed of accordingly. "Blacks:
criminals;" "youth: delinquents;" "middle class: good;" "working class:
troublemakers;" "extremists, Muslims, Iranians, Cubans, Venezuelans:
terrorists;" "Chinese: spies, enemies;" "Russians: ditto," and so
Repeating these characterizations is
what we call the Cinderella Complex. Some say that what is happening in
the U.S. is extremism, or fascism, or authoritarianism, or populism, or
Armageddon. Armageddon, according to the New Testament of the Christian
Bible, is the last battle between good and evil before the Day of
Judgment. All of it signifies a refusal to discuss the ensemble of
human relations and what they reveal.
Cinderella story is of a prince, with a glass slipper, who goes in
search of the right foot to fit it. Whatever name is attached to some
event or developments, they are somehow linked together and then those
making the claim (the slipper) go looking for facts to support it while
those claiming otherwise look for facts to refute it. Interestingly,
nobody is supposed to question the basic presumption that everyone
wants to either be the prince, or marry the prince.
arguments do not clarify the vantage point or throw light on the
situation we are in. Their validity is decided by how many "likes" they
get on Facebook, or absence of "likes." Whether particular vantage
points are good or bad, the vantage point expressed is always from the
point of view of the prince and those arguing cannot see beyond that.
People's thinking on Trump and on what is taking place in the
United States is all over the map. It is not unusual to hear people say
they are convinced that the world is coming to an end. Some agree with
this or that analysis but instead of corroborating the analysis, they
corroborate what is going on in their own head, such as the belief that
the election was stolen from Trump or that Trump is a really bad man
and that Biden may not be so bad, or will be just as bad, or good, and
These personality politics can drive
people crazy. People become afraid when they think about things based
on personal feelings and apprehensions. They become victims of
disinformation, which is not to make you believe in this or that but to
deprive people of acquiring a world outlook which serves them and helps
them work out what can be done to change the situation in their favour.
Those who participate in acquiring a modern outlook cannot be driven
crazy or become scared. They become capable of analyzing the objective
world, sorting out the contradictions and engaging in actions with
analysis to change the situation in favour of themselves, the working
class, all of humanity and the general interests of society.
January 2021. Protest
actions by those involved in the movement for rights and against police
impunity continue in Portland (above) and other cities.
objective world changes spontaneously, but more importantly for humans
at this juncture of history, the existing objective contradictions in
relations of production can be resolved through conscious organized
actions to change the world, all of which demands constant analysis,
organized actions and yet more analysis and actions. This opens great
possibilities to humanize the social and natural world.
a person with a modern outlook, the disinformation exists as noise like
a distant ambulance siren. Its effect is no more than annoying sound
waves which reach the brain and almost immediately disappear.
send us your views, reports, photos and information. Write to
note that Martin Luther King Day was observed this year on
January 18. Many TV and radio stations played his speech from 1967,
condemning the war against Viet Nam and his last speech delivered a day
before his assassination in April 1968. Reflecting the strength of the
anti-war movement of that time, the speeches called for a
radical rupture with the U.S. socio, economic and political system,
including calling for an end to militarism, racism and
poverty. His life and work, like that of Malcolm X, Fred
Hampton, Fannie Lou Hammer and many others, continue to inspire
millions of people in the U.S.
20 the Trump presidency will be over and the world is breathing a sigh
of relief -- even though what comes next looks like more of
the same in too many ways. Trump's election in 2016 indicated that the
old way of doing things was finished; civil society arrangements would
no longer serve to sort out problems of any kind. Four years of Trump
rule could not reveal this more vividly. It remains the case and
defines the present, despite wishes it were not so.
January 18, 2021.
Streets around the Capitol building barricaded ahead of inauguration.
The armed military camp that will occupy Washington, DC for
the next 30 days, along with seven-foot fences topped with razor wire,
broad closures of public places and transportation, are an indication
of government plans to contend with resistance by the people. Another
indication that police powers by the executive will increase under
Biden is the Joint Intelligence Bulletin issued by the U.S. Department
of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the
National Counterterrorism Centre. It identifies those it labels
"violent extremists," "anti-government and anti-authority violent
extremists," and "racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists,"
along with militias, saying they pose the greatest domestic danger.
Given that the striving of the people for equality, justice and
accountability -- including in relation to COVID-19, demands for the
right to healthcare, housing and a livelihood -- will persist and the
government is giving itself the authority to decide who is and is not
an "extremist," the likelihood of increased repression against the
people is evident.
In a neo-liberal world where
cartels and coalitions made up of oligopolies have directly seized the
powers of the state in the U.S. and other capitalist countries, the
rulers cannot sustain a political process. Trump positioned himself to
break the bounds of the Constitution and oversee the consolidation of a
state of police powers, developed under Obama as well, such as with
drones and mass deportations. At this point police power is not
concerned with legitimacy so it tramples underfoot the old forms of
claiming legitimacy through elections. It considers they are no longer
required. Similarly, it does not recognize the validity of having a
civil society which pressures government. Instead, it is pushing the
need to preserve the security of what it calls constitutional order.
Internationally, the Trump presidency and the military that
backed him were opposed to nation-building as an activity of the
military. All hitherto set ways for conducting international relations
were smashed, affecting all bilateral and multilateral relations and
institutions, including not only relations with the closest U.S. allies
and the United Nations and UN agencies but also the aggressive U.S.-led
military alliance NATO. Contention and collusion with all rivals has
been carried out on the basis that the President is "in the game."
Trump's "art of the deal" jives with oligopoly where everything is used
to seek advantage. Trump's foreign policy did not position the U.S. for
or against Russia or China but on how to pit them against each other,
to both contend and collude and seek advantage.
No sooner Trump
was elected, the overall stand of the U.S. polity and most of the world
was one of revulsion and repulsion along with every effort on the part
of the monopoly media to divide the polity by blaming the people for
electing a racist, anti-immigrant and misogynist person. The Old Guard
presented themselves as not racist but, on the contrary, champions of
civil rights, the police powers at their disposal notwithstanding. All
of it was done to divert from the U.S.'s known persona as a racist
state which unleashes various police and other forces to run rampant
and commit crimes against Black lives, immigrant lives, the lives of
the working people and indigenous peoples as well as war crimes.
Great credit goes to the working people of the United States
who have waged a vigorous fight for democracy, not only distancing
themselves from what is done in their name but demanding equality, an
end to police impunity, injustice and the abuse of the human person.
Not only will the battle for democracy in the United States, against
the use of police powers and replacement of rule of law with police
rule continue, but so too the battle of democracy which is still
incomplete and demands to go forward. It requires the politics of
empowerment, a political process that provides for the elimination of
the condition of slavery, privilege and the rule of the few over the
January 21, 2017.
Women's March on Washington, the day after Trump's inauguration,
rejects his presidency and all that it stands for.
January 17, 2021.
did Congress so quickly take up impeachment on the basis of charging
Trump with "incitement to insurrection?" What does it mean for a Biden
administration and the movements of the people for rights? Part of the
problem the rulers are contending with is that existing political
arrangements cannot solve the people's demands for equality and
accountability. This drive of the people was evident in many actions in
2020 and since, not only in terms of opposing racist police brutality
and killings, but also by nurses, warehouse workers and other frontline
workers demanding COVID-19 protections and free health care for all. It
can also be seen in demands for income security throughout the COVID
crisis, opposition to evictions and more. The growing conflicts within
and between Congress, the Presidency, military and policing agencies
also show the rulers cannot solve these conflicts among their
contending factions vying for power.
rapidity with which Congress took up the charge of inciting
insurrection is significant, as was its repetition by the media.
Everything is being taken in this particular direction. At the same
time, this process is separate from the one under the auspices of the
Department of Justice (DoJ) which is part of the Executive. The DoJ is
not bringing charges of insurrection against individuals, or even
rioting. Thus far individuals are mainly being charged with violent
entry and disorderly conduct.
brought against Trump of inciting insurrection uses wording from the
14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution even though the constitutional
argument of what is insurrection is given in Article 1 concerning
Congressional powers. These powers are specifically delineated in
Article 1 and include the power to declare war, levy taxes, etc. This
is where it says: "The Congress shall have Power to: Provide for
calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress
Insurrections and repel Invasions." The House is not using Article 1,
but rather the 14th Amendment, which is from the time of the Civil War.
Unlike Article 1, it talks about removing people from office and
blocking them from holding office in the future. It is noteworthy that
the House is not giving the constitutional defence of the Republic, but
rather what punishments can be given to officials charged with
incitement to insurrection.
Impeachment is the
Congress acting against the Presidency, with both Congress and the
Presidency vying for greater power. This is occurring in conditions
where the Executive has usurped and concentrated far greater powers in
the Presidency than any other branch of government. There is no
"balance" of powers and impeachment will not change this reality.
Following the January 6 events at the Capitol in Washington,
DC, the House Judiciary Committee quickly drew up a 70-page document
giving the arguments as to why Trump should be impeached. The document
gives two main arguments: 1) to safeguard the nation between elections;
2) it is necessary to preserve the security of the constitutional
order. The second is the argument that they are relying on at this time.
Preservation of the constitutional order is not a new
argument, and is a very basic one that has been used at various times.
Leading political scientists, think-tanks, academics and policy makers
all elaborate on this argument, underscoring the need to defend what is
called "the administrative state." This is all the bureaucracies,
military, policing and regulatory agencies involved in maintaining the
state and preserving the constitutional order. This administrative
state persists from one president to the next.
especially when dealing with the executive power, insurrection posed a
problem for a constitutional order. The conception of executive power
involved an "intermingling of external and internal security," and
conflict between morality and security, something often seen today in
debates on security versus civil rights. There are many writings from
the period of WWII to today speaking to these difficulties. One, for
example, in 1946, was called Total War and the Constitution,
by Samuel Corwin, dealing with the constitutional implications of U.S.
Corwin shows how the power of
the President grew at the expense of the other branches of government.
He put the matter in terms of the regulatory agencies of the
administrative state. He asks, "How far can we continue to progress in
the direction of conferring upon administrative officials more and more
virtually unreviewable discretionary power over the lives and
activities of men without finally reaching a state of absolutism that
can no longer be called a liberal democracy?"
that the bureaucracies now are far, far larger than when Corwin was
writing, numbering in the hundreds of thousands.
was one of the teachers of the teachers being trained in the expanding
bureaucracy, which took institutional forms. These include think tanks
like the Research and Development Corporation (RAND) and the Council on
Foreign Relations (CFR) both places where the rulers today gather to
work out policy and how to preserve the state in conditions of great
conflicts among and between them and in relation to powers abroad. RAND
is a global policy think tank created in 1948 by Douglas Aircraft
Company to offer research and analysis to the United States Armed
Forces. These think tanks are financed by the U.S. government and
private endowment, corporations, universities and private individuals.
They get public funds for planning nuclear strategies, dealing with
urban uprisings, and so forth.
The arguments put
forward are from institutions. They are not ideas in someone's head;
they are not random beliefs. The think-tanks and government
institutions have their own publications, connections to universities,
connections between industry and government and so on. There is a
materiality to the culture.
state is institutionalized and carries great weight. Part of the
difficulty Biden will face is how to unite these contending forces.
Much of what is done in relation to immigration and border issues,
including in relation to trade, as well as for the environment, and
financing, like the Federal Reserve, are done through regulations and
the policies of these institutionalized bureaucracies.
the Constitutional Order Against Communism
period called the Cold War was significant in providing anti-communist
arguments for the preservation of the constitutional order which is
fundamentally an anti-communist conception. It involves a fundamental
question that still confronts us, which had an institutional form. That
question is: How did the world go from an anti-fascist war and
anti-fascist united front and the institutions that came out of that,
like the UN, decolonization, de-nazification, to immediately, in the
late 1940s, becoming an anti-communist front? That anti-communist front
took an institutional form.
Coming up to today when
it is written that it is necessary to preserve the constitutional
order, as the Judiciary Committee did, the same arguments are given
from the time the transformation took place from an anti-fascist united
front into an anti-communist front organized from the U.S., using an
Anglo-American alliance. This was the so-called English-speaking
peoples Winston Churchill referred to in his Iron Curtain speech
delivered on March 5, 1946 in Fulton, Missouri. This shows up when
someone has to immediately put out a 70-page document and organize it
under the title of Preserving the Constitutional Order.
There is an institutional basis for what is occurring which it is not a
fight between fascists versus neo-liberals. There may be such fights
when it comes to setting policy objectives, but not when it comes to
the main issue at hand. It is a matter of preserving the constitutional
order against communism. In many ways one can say that Madison, a main
author of the Constitution, gives the original anti-communist argument.
He said the faction of the propertyless must be kept under control and
out of power. Madison comes up with an argument about the tyranny of
despots turning into a tyranny of the majority, the propertyless, which
had to be prevented. This anti-communism is fundamental to the
arguments now being given about impeachment, insurrection and the
preserving the constitutional order are not just directed at efforts to
sort out fights among the ruling class -- but mainly at disempowering
the people who since March spent the whole summer and fall finding ways
to make known their demands for social and political equality. As well,
workers made demands for security in terms of jobs and healthcare and
for a peaceful transfer of power, which was not partisan and involved
about 600,000 people who were planning a general strike on January 20
if Trump called out the military.
demands of the people are not coming from a defence of the
Constitutional order but as rights belonging to the people. The demands
come from the quality of being human, demanding human rights, equality
and accountability. The clash between the two conceptions is very real.
Biden and the Democrats are striving desperately to block the demands
for equality and rights and bring youth and workers back into the fold
of this dysfunctional constitutional order, which has shown it cannot
provide equality. There is little doubt that this striving for equality
and people's empowerment and governing arrangements that provide for
that, will intensify in the Biden administration.
January 2021. Banner
drop in New York City demands permanent status and protection
for migrants. Banner drops and other actions for migrant rights and to
abolish ICE are being organized in the days before and on Inauguration
7, 2021. New York City protest calls for Trump to be impeached. (Liat_RO)
The House Judiciary Committee arguing for charging Trump with
"incitement to insurrection," and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and the
Senators who joined him in challenging certification of the vote, all
use Civil War references to make their arguments.
Judiciary report uses the 14th Amendment, section 3, arguing the charge
of "incitement to insurrection" is needed as the "threat that
manifested in the Capitol is ongoing. The emergency is still with us."
This refers to the threat of violence in DC and State capitols across
the country. The 14th Amendment is one of the three Civil War
Amendments (the 13th ratified in 1865 at the end of the Civil War, the
14th ratified in 1868 and the 15th ratified in 1870). The 14th
prohibits any person, member of Congress or officer of the U.S. who has
engaged in insurrection or rebellion from holding any office in the
U.S. The Committee says: "despite widespread bipartisan calls for
Trump's immediate resignation, the president has refused to leave
office," so they have to move to impeachment. Given that the grounds
for impeachment are that the President incited insurrection, the 14th
amendment can then be used to pass a vote in the Senate by simple
majority to say Trump is blocked from ever again holding office. That
is the punishment they are trying to achieve even after he leaves
At the time of the Civil War, the
battle between Congress and the Presidency and the Supreme Court was
also a main part of the fight. The Supreme Court said, in the event of
war, the government was liable for destruction of property, including
in relation to enslaved African Americans who were treated as property,
as things, not human beings. As a war, the laws of war would apply. It
would be necessary to delineate who is military, who are civilians, who
are prisoners of war, etc. As well, the Supreme Court and Congress
raised questions over Lincoln being Commander-in-Chief. The Supreme
Court challenged him, saying he had not been called into service, as is
stated in the Constitution. Even so, he did give himself authority as
Commander-in-Chief, but did not call the conflict a civil war or even
Even though Lincoln said by law he
could not touch issues of slavery and promised not to do so in debates
prior to his election, the Democrats, representing the Slave Power,
basically said “we do not believe you.” All were
contending with various uprisings of the enslaved people at the time,
along with the raid on the U.S. arsenal in Harper's Ferry led by
abolitionist John Brown in 1859 which was an effort to strengthen the
rebellions by arming greater numbers. This took place before Lincoln's
first inaugural address, in March 1861, where he continued to keep away
from even mentioning civil war and slavery. He said things such as that
slavery was an amoral institution, but his address mainly promoted
reconciliation, for preserving the federal union under the Constitution.
The Democrats then in Congress rejected that and went back to
their various states and basically organized coups in their states.
Some at first tried to have assemblies and referendums but that did not
work as people were against secession. So they organized coups. Shortly
after, the Confederacy was formed, with its Articles of Confederation,
its own flag, army, uniforms, generals, etc. In April 1861 the
Confederate forces laid siege to and fired on Fort Sumter, the opening
battle of the Civil War.
Lincoln still tried to
avoid calling it civil war or insurrection. He referred to the actions
of gangs, marauders, hooligans. It is not until his Gettysburg Address
in November 1863 that he called it civil war. The general argument he
supported was that slavery as a system was on its way out and free
labour was on the rise, thus slavery would die out on its own. It is
significant for arguments made today, which are pushing insurrection
instead of reconciliation, even though Biden presents himself as a
unifier. This includes calling for the removal of House Representatives
who challenged certification of the Electoral College Vote for being
"supporters of insurrection."
Civil War was launched from states seceding from the United States. It
was launched as an insurrection against the U.S. state, a rebellion by
the slave-masters. It was not a war between states. If Lincoln accepted
it as war, it would be considered a war between distinct nations
states, and involve international relations and the laws of war. It was
also not simply to secede, but rather to also settle which forces would
dominate the Americas. People in Lincoln's cabinet were actually
offering Canada, Cuba and Nicaragua to the Confederacy, saying this
would give them lots of room to expand and manoeuvre. It would be
better to choose empire rather than wage war against the government,
they argued. But the Confederacy wanted it all.
of the generals in the Civil War got their experience in wars against
Mexico and with the westward expansion and its genocide and wars
against Indigenous peoples. This includes Confederate generals like
Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis (the general, not the head of the
Confederacy) as well as Ulysses S. Grant who led the Union Army as
Commanding General in winning the Civil War and subsequently served as
the 18th president of the United States from 1869 to 1877. The
Confederacy was not simply defending the system of slave labour but all
the connections serving their interests with northern merchants,
railroads and the world market of the day.
the fact that between 600,000 and 700,000 people were killed during the
war, Lincoln did not even want to call it an insurrection. But on
January 11 the House wasted no time in calling the events of January 6
an insurrection, as opposed to a riot or a violent protest or other
similar language. By relying on the 14th amendment, first they have to
say Trump incited insurrection and then they can make use of the
content of the 14th Amendment to block Trump from holding office in the
The time period of the 14th Amendment,
which is during Reconstruction (1865-1877) was also raised by Senator
Ted Cruz on January 2, in the letter explaining why Republican Senators
were challenging certification of the election. The letter raises the
issue of the 1877 presidential election, the Hayes-Tilden race. That
time period was raised to delegitimize Biden's election. Cruz said in
the letter that for the 1877 dispute Congress did not dismiss concerns
about the election. He introduced the period of crushing
Reconstruction, with federal troops removed from the south in exchange
for which Hayes got the presidency.
to arguments of the time, charges of insurrection were also used
against the workers fighting to defend themselves. Big upheavals were
happening in terms of the development of the U.S. state. The
trans-continental railroad was completed and there was a serious
depression after the Civil War, in 1873. By 1877 the Baltimore
Ohio railroad (B&O) was completed. In West Virginia, the
twice cut wages and workers went on strike. It turned into a national
strike and general strikes were held in specific cities like St. Louis
and Chicago. The national strike lasted from June to September of 1877
and saw some of the most violent battles, put down by federal troops
and the Pinkertons, a private police force. A lot of other workers such
as iron workers, steel workers and coal miners also went on strike and
used armed resistance. All were part of the battle for an eight-hour
day. There was recognition that the working class had emerged -- black
and white together. Newspapers of the time are filled with headlines
and arguments that the Paris Commune -- the revolutionary uprising of
French workers who seized control of Paris in 1871 and governed in the
interests of the workers -- was coming to the U.S.
picked up on this history. Reconstruction was a period that witnessed a
broad flowering of democracy, especially in the south where state
constitutions were being rewritten and debates on women's rights,
voting, representation, people's assemblies, were taking place. While
it was partly an opportunist argument, he also specifically picked a
period during which Reconstruction was smashed. Perhaps he is worried
there will be a repeat of the 1877 uprisings.
fact that both the House and Cruz are referencing this period is
reflective of the reality today that the ruling factions, who no longer
have mechanisms like a functioning Congress and elections to resolve
conflicts, will drag the country into a violent civil war and that they
consider that the current movements of the people threaten their rule
as more and more demand a new direction for the economy and
As W.E.B DuBois, a recognized
authority on the Civil War and Reconstruction said, both involved a
general strike and an effort by workers, black and white, to carry
forward the elimination of all enslavement.
significant in going through this particular historical period of
retreat of revolution, is that all the experience of humans relating to
humans and humans relating to nature from time immemorial is coming to
a head. If that vast experience is not thought through, then we could
be heading for a greater tragedy, an event causing great suffering,
destruction, and distress. It is in this context that what constitutes
disinformation has significance.
not synonymous with misinformation. It can include misinformation,
straightforward lying or misconceptions of various things but this does
not go to the heart of the matter which lies in the "dis" part of the
word disinformation. To "dis" is to destroy. Disinformation is the
destruction of what is being informed, that which is providing form.
A legitimate question is: What is the realm of what needs to
be informed with this vast human experience? What is the arena that we
are actually dealing with? How do we connect with, have links with,
feel the whole sensuous matter of this experience that we have in our
personal lives and in the lives of our collectives and in society in
general and internationally throughout the world?
are speaking here of the ensemble of human relations -- all the
material that becomes thought material, that is provided to the human
brain. This is what has to be informed. We are not talking about
information as in bits of computer data or about giving the proper
piece of data that somebody in their brilliance can construct. This is
akin to sorting out the question of "what is what" by having a grocery
list of things or, for that matter, by collecting metadata. If we are
to take various bits of information and just string them together in
any way that we desire, giving it whatever form we desire, that could
be well and fine and there are various points of interest that could
possibly be communicated by doing something like that. But that is not
what we are talking about when we speak about informing, about having
information. Without tackling this, we will not see the disinformation.
we look at the world, the natural and social environment, when we deal
with our society, our collectives, where we work, how we work, all of
these things, we get to see a vast entanglement, how everything is
related to everything else and how there is such a complexity. If one
could stand on a mountaintop and look down and see all the trees and
lakes together, one might see a city over here and cars and roads over
there. But for us in social life, it is never like having that vantage
point on a mountaintop because we are right in the midst of the
hurly-burly. How does one relate to one's colleagues and co-workers, to
one's comrades, family, neighbours, to one's nation, to one's polity --
all such questions arise. Not only that, there is a whole history that
has brought us all together up to this point. This history is the whole
social development and the stage of development now reached by the
productive forces, of which the most important are the human beings who
do the work, who have contributed to bringing society to where it is
today, to bringing civilization to this point. There is a human need to
see, to literally see, to observe what is known, to understand how did
we get here, what is unknown, to define precisely, especially what is
unknown, what is absent in our lives. And thus how do we deal with the
problems as they are presented?
developments that have taken place provide very rich content, but this
content necessarily outstrips the forms that have been established in
the past. To put it very concretely, in the society we live in today
the fetter on our lives is the social relations of production that we
enter into independent of our will. Literally forced down everybody's
throats are the claims of monopoly right, to the extent that there is
no public right. People's right to make claims for a livelihood, for
conscience, for all the things that are needed, including those within
the spheres of knowledge and all such matters, are simply not
At the same time, being human beings in
a particular historical period, in a definite political and economic
arrangement, we all have to have our opinions about what we need to do.
If we cannot collect, inform this vast need for expressing our
opinions, we have no way of examining even what is correct or
incorrect, relevant or irrelevant. Everything becomes diffuse. At the
same time, because of the developments and because we live in a modern
society there are all sorts of institutions with their disciplines. For
example, with the development of modern capitalist society, one of the
most important achievements was the scientific and technological
revolution in which the relations of humans with nature could be
transformed for use by human beings. In order to carry this out, the
university system was developed, various institutions were established,
such as publishing houses and newspapers and associations, and this
constituted part of the original revolutionary struggles that
established the modern nation states. Within these universities and
forms of education, and within the development of journalism, knowledge
had its expressions, as well as all the opinions that
pertained to that knowledge. This constituted the various disciplines,
whether it was mathematics or biology or economics or political and
social sciences or fine arts, music or others. They were developed to
the level that social development had carried them, along with the
productive forces, but within the context of the social relations that
were already established. What was most important at a certain period
was the creation of something that was public, the formation of outlook
-- not just knowledge but an outlook based on that knowledge.
We are not dealing here with the question of world outlook per se, but an
aspect of it which is the creation of public opinion, that in the
creation of polities and political society there is the need for
arguing out all the distributions of claims and interests that people
have in different ways. That public opinion is going to be informed by
people fighting in their interests, expressing their outlooks. Because
we live in a class society, that fight within the domain of public
opinion goes on among all the contending classes and social forces.
This constitutes a definite complexity that is linked very
closely but is not the same as the problem that exists in fighting for
and carrying out the democratic revolution against medievalism. That
fight brought forth a modern conception of democracy which served the
needs of the society as it existed at that time. Today this no longer
adequately expresses what is required as people present themselves with
many interests as individuals, within their collectives, then in the
society overall and which are, at the same time, the consequence of all
the influences both of their own experiences and how they are affected
by the vast interaction through the institutions of their society. This
is what is called affect.
It is not simply a social relation that exists, but because of the
human brain, these social relations, to varying degrees and in various
ways, are cognized. All the human brain can do in cognition is perceive
and know the relations that underlie the basis of the society, those
relations between humans and humans and humans and nature. That affect
is expressed in the form of passions. It is what provides emotionality.
In the domain of public opinion, there will be the expression of all
the angers, joys, happiness, anxieties, lusts, strivings and so on of
that particular society, which will be informed by its culture --
political, ethical, scientific culture.
type of work that is done within that society, based on its stage of
development, has its own culture and that culture has a form. It has
material, social and ideological form, not as separate things, but as
that culture. Any work that is established develops its own culture. If
the needs of that society at any particular time are not met by
establishing work, whether it is in industry, or in scientific research
or in the area of class struggle, that culture is not able to develop.
This means that the affects, the sensuousness of people, the passions
are going to be influenced by those who have done that work, carried
them out in the domain of work.
terms of what happens today, this is where the human personality
becomes either humanized or dehumanized. It either gets organized
adequate to or in conformity with this stage of development that
society has already reached or it does not. It is what history is
calling for as the task that has to be settled once and for all in
these particular circumstances. This is what has to be informed. All
the opinions expressing the affect, the social affect in that
emotionality that people enter into in their relations to one another
and to nature have to be informed. It means that we have to be able to
work together within the particular historical circumstances, we have
to have the facts of the matter and to be able to discuss the facts of
the matter. We have to decide where these facts of the matter will lead
us. We have to be able to make predictions. For instance, it is how
deliberations take place on how to prevent a natural disaster. In the
same way, we could stop the social disaster which is in the making; we
could turn historical success into victory. All of this is fought out
in this realm of what is public opinion.
have to be the forms given rise to that are adequate to bring this
content into the public realm, to release the initiative of all the
people who have the expertise to make the contributions, to make this
advance, and to settle scores finally, historically, with everything
from the past.
To be continued.
On January 13, 2021
a Joint Intelligence Bulletin was issued by the U.S. Department of
Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and
the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). The Report is titled:
"Domestic Violent Extremists Emboldened in Aftermath of Capitol Breach,
Elevated Domestic Terrorism Threat of Violence Likely Amid Political
Transitions and Beyond." It states that its purpose is "to highlight
the threat of violence from domestic violent extremists in the wake of
the January 6 violent breach... of the U.S. Capitol Building in
Washington, DC, following lawful protest activity related to the
results of the General Election." The Bulletin is Classified U/FOUO,
meaning "unclassified, for official use only."
is written, so it is said, to warn about the threat of further actions
such as took place on January 6 in the period surrounding the
Presidential Inauguration and after. But it reads as a threat to all
those standing up for rights -- any who take action "in furtherance of
political and/or social agendas, which are deemed to derive from
anti-government or anti-authority sentiment, including opposition to
perceived economic, social, or racial hierarchies; or perceived
government overreach, negligence, or illegitimacy." Certainly the large
majority think the government is negligent concerning COVID-19, that
there is a serious problem of government racism and attacks on the
people and more. By labelling whole groups of people as "violent
extremists," the Bulletin is putting in place the justification and
legal basis for broad attacks against resistance. And it is doing so in
the name of protecting the people and preventing violence.
disinformation involves an effort to disrupt and destroy the broad
public opinion that exists that the country remains headed in the wrong
direction, that there are no means to hold government accountable, and
that basic human rights to healthcare, housing, education and a
livelihood are repeatedly denied. That public opinion is to be
destroyed and replaced with considering those named by the FBI, DHS and
NTCT as "extremists" deserving of punishment. Part of this is rendering
whole groups of people as things, using initials, like DVE, for
"domestic violent extremists." Doing so dehumanizes the people so
branded, making them things subject to government violence and
collective punishment, not human beings demanding rights. While the
Bulletin includes militias, there is ample evidence, including from
January 6, that the government backs and often arms these militias and
is well aware of their plans but does not interfere or stop them. They
are included in part to hide this.
Intelligence Bulletin says a "domestic violent extremist" is an
individual who is operating in the U.S. "without direction or
inspiration from a foreign terrorist group or other foreign power who
seeks to further political and social goals wholly or in part through
unlawful acts of force or violence." It then claims that "the mere
advocacy of political or social position, political activism, the use
of strong rhetoric, or generalized philosophic embrace of violent
tactics may not constitute extremism, and may be constitutionally
protected." This claim of not interfering in
protected” activism was made repeatedly when federal, state
local forces violently attacked demonstrators all through the summer.
They simply declared the actions violent or unlawful and made broad use
of tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets and more. Few give any
credence to the statement now that demonstrations may, only may, be
categories given by the FBI, DHS and NCTC are broken down into three
- Anti-Government and
Anti-Authority Violent Extremists are those mentioned above.
- Militia Violent Extremists are said to
be "individuals who seek, wholly or in part through unlawful acts of
force or violence, to further their belief that the U.S. is purposely
exceeding its Constitutional authority and is attempting to establish a
totalitarian regime." "Consequently," the Bulletin states, "these
individuals oppose many federal state laws and regulations,
particularly those related to firearms ownership [and] take overt steps
to violently resist or facilitate the overthrow of the U.S. Government."
- Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists
are said to use "the potentially unlawful use or threat of force or
violence, in furtherance of political and/or social agenda, which are
deemed to derive from bias, often related to race or ethnicity, held by
the actor against others, including a given population group."
For the policing agencies behind the Bulletin, the "Greatest
Domestic Threats in 2021" are not all the problems people face related
to COVID-19, like unemployment, lack of healthcare, evictions, suicides
and other deaths, but the people fighting for their rights. Indeed the
Bulletin says its intelligence is informed by the response it expects
to "renewed measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,
socio-political conditions, and perceived government overreach."
Bulletin, like Biden and the House of Representatives predict an
increase of "threats and plotting of illegal activity, including
destruction of property and violence targeting officials at all levels
of the government, law enforcement, journalists, and infrastructure, as
well as sporadic violence surrounding lawful protests, rallies,
demonstrations, and other gatherings." The armed camp now in DC with
30,000 National Guards deployed for a month and thousands more FBI, DHS
and police forces, are their response.
Bulletin also advises "government counterterrorism and law enforcement
officials, and private sector security partners to remain vigilant," in
light of this "persistent threat" and "unpredictable target selection,"
so as to "effectively detect, prevent, preempt, or respond to incidents
and terrorists attacks."
January 6 as "An
Enduring Driver for Violence"
Bulletin says that the January 6 events at the Capitol building will
serve as "a significant driver of violence for a diverse set" of
people. It says targets could include "racial, ethnic, or religious
minorities and institutions, law enforcement, and government officials
and buildings," as well as members of the media "due to perceived
complicity in a system hostile to their beliefs." This is a purposeful
effort to put together the broad efforts of more than 20 million people
targeting racist police violence ("law enforcement") and "government
officials and buildings," together with the racist militias. All are
made equally violent, all are "extreme," and deserving of government
violence and arrests.
The Bulletin says
that "amplified perception of fraud" in the 2020 Presidential Election,
"the change in control of the Presidency and Senate," combined with
"long-standing drivers such as perceived government or law enforcement
overreach, and the anticipation of legislation perceived by some to
oppose or threaten their beliefs -- very likely will lead to an
increase in violence."
An important part of the
disinformation throughout is to present the problem as one of beliefs,
that it is people's beliefs, not the existing economic and political
relations which are organized against the people, that are supposedly
the source of violence.
The Bulletin expects an
increase in violence "regarding the U.S. government's exercise of
power, influence and initiatives: possibly including gun control
legislation, the easing of immigration restrictions, and new limits on
the use of public lands;" as well as "the ordered dissemination of
COVID-19 vaccinations and the efficacy and/or safety of COVID-19
In this manner, the numerous and
united demonstrations defending immigrants, refugees and their
children, as well as organizing in relation to COVID-19 are all being
targeted as a source of violence. The government has worked very hard
to present the people as divided and split, when both the united
actions of people from all walks of life on immigration and COVID show
the opposite. It is the policing agencies, military and presidency that
are increasingly in conflict, within and between their ranks. The
Bulletin forces hope to unite these contending agencies, in the name of
defending against violence, while striving to pit the people against
each other and justify violence against them.
For Your Information
Judiciary Report on Impeachment
January 12, the House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler
released a majority (Democratic) staff report for the impeachment of
President Donald J. Trump on the charge of "incitement to
insurrection." The report provides the arguments that will be used by
House Representatives in presenting their impeachment case to the
Senate, where the trial is held. Senate leaders have not yet set a date
for the trial, which will now occur after Trump leaves office. The vote
for impeachment included 10 Republicans, most notably the third most
powerful Republican in the House, Liz Cheney from Wyoming. She went out
of her way to condemn Trump, saying he "summoned this mob, assembled
the mob, and lit the flame of this attack," and his actions were the
"greatest betrayal" ever by a U.S. president. She is the daughter of
former Vice-President Dick Cheney.
read the 70-page report, click
to U.S. Civil War
Civil War Constitutional Amendments, 13-15 are as follows:
by Congress January 31, 1865. Ratified December 6, 1865. The 13th
Amendment changed a portion of Article IV, Section 2.
1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment
for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist
within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
SECTION. 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article
by appropriate legislation.
Passed by Congress June 13, 1866. Ratified July 9, 1868. The
14th Amendment changed a portion of Article I, Section 2. A portion of
the 14th Amendment was changed by the 26th Amendment.
1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to
the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the
State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which
shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United
States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or
property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its
jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States
according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of
persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right
to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and
Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the
Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the
Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such
State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United
States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion,
or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in
the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the
whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.
SECTION. 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in
Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any
office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State,
who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an
officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature,
or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the
Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection
or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies
thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove
SECTION. 4. The validity of the
public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts
incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in
suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But
neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or
obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the
United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave;
but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and
SECTION. 5. The Congress shall have the power
to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
Passed by Congress
February 26, 1869. Ratified February 3, 1870.
1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be
denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of
race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by
Joint Statement from U.S.
Senators Opposing Certification of Electoral College Vote
U.S. Senators Ted Cruz
(R-Texas), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Steve Daines
(R-Mont.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and Mike
Braun (R-Ind.), and Senators-Elect Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger
Marshall (R-Kan.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), and Tommy Tuberville
(R-Ala.) issued the statement below in advance of the Electoral College
certification process on January 6, 2021.
is a Republic whose leaders are chosen in democratic elections. Those
elections, in turn, must comply with the Constitution and with federal
and state law.
When the voters fairly decide an
election, pursuant to the rule of law, the losing candidate should
acknowledge and respect the legitimacy of that election. And, if the
voters choose to elect a new office-holder, our Nation should have a
peaceful transfer of power.
The election of 2020,
like the election of 2016, was hard fought and, in many swing states,
narrowly decided. The 2020 election, however, featured unprecedented
allegations of voter fraud, violations and lax enforcement of election
law, and other voting irregularities.
has posed a persistent challenge in our elections, although its breadth
and scope are disputed. By any measure, the allegations of fraud and
irregularities in the 2020 election exceed any in our lifetimes.
And those allegations are not believed just by one individual
candidate. Instead, they are widespread. Reuters/Ipsos polling,
tragically, shows that 39 per cent of Americans believe ‘the
election was rigged.' That belief is held by Republicans (67 per cent),
Democrats (17 per cent), and Independents (31 per cent).
Members of Congress disagree with that assessment, as do many members
of the media.
But, whether or not our elected
officials or journalists believe it, that deep distrust of our
democratic processes will not magically disappear. It should concern us
all. And it poses an ongoing threat to the legitimacy of any subsequent
Ideally, the courts would have
heard evidence and resolved these claims of serious election fraud.
Twice, the Supreme Court had the opportunity to do so; twice, the Court
On January 6, it is incumbent on Congress
to vote on whether to certify the 2020 election results. That vote is
the lone constitutional power remaining to consider and force
resolution of the multiple allegations of serious voter fraud.
At that quadrennial joint session, there is long precedent of
Democratic Members of Congress raising objections to presidential
election results, as they did in 1969, 2001, 2005, and 2017. And, in
both 1969 and 2005, a Democratic Senator joined with a Democratic House
Member in forcing votes in both houses on whether to accept the
presidential electors being challenged.
direct precedent on this question arose in 1877, following serious
allegations of fraud and illegal conduct in the Hayes-Tilden
presidential race. Specifically, the elections in three states-Florida,
Louisiana, and South Carolina-were alleged to have been conducted
In 1877, Congress did not ignore those
allegations, nor did the media simply dismiss those raising them as
radicals trying to undermine democracy. Instead, Congress appointed an
Electoral Commission-consisting of five Senators, five House Members,
and five Supreme Court Justices-to consider and resolve the disputed
We should follow that precedent. To wit,
Congress should immediately appoint an Electoral Commission, with full
investigatory and fact-finding authority, to conduct an emergency
10-day audit of the election returns in the disputed states. Once
completed, individual states would evaluate the Commission's findings
and could convene a special legislative session to certify a change in
their vote, if needed.
Accordingly, we intend to
vote on January 6 to reject the electors from disputed states as not
‘regularly given' and ‘lawfully certified' (the
statutory requisite), unless and until that emergency 10-day audit is
We are not naïve. We fully
expect most if not all Democrats, and perhaps more than a few
Republicans, to vote otherwise. But support of election integrity
should not be a partisan issue. A fair and credible audit-conducted
expeditiously and completed well before January 20-would dramatically
improve Americans' faith in our electoral process and would
significantly enhance the legitimacy of whoever becomes our next
President. We owe that to the People.
matters worthy of the Congress, and entrusted to us to defend. We do
not take this action lightly. We are acting not to thwart the
democratic process, but rather to protect it. And every one of us
should act together to ensure that the election was lawfully conducted
under the Constitution and to do everything we can to restore faith in
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