“War and Peace: The Lost Principles of Science and Value” by Professor John McMurtry
War and Peace: The Lost Principles of Science and Value
Peace Activists Blame the Enemy without Science or Life-Value Compass
In recent months we have seen one ‘peace activist’ organization after another framing global conflicts in US war-propaganda terms.
There is no criterion of peace, no evidence base, no life ground or compass governing judgement.
The official enemy is assumed as first premise, and slogans substitute for understanding. Avaaz, Amnesty International, and Physicians for Human Rights, for example, have all called for a version of ‘humanitarian bombing’ to ‘save lives’ in Syria. The war criminal attacks on Iraq and Libya under the same pretexts are erased from view.
In this way, blame-the-enemy justifications for mass murder run free with no grounding principle to tell peace from war, or of truth from propaganda. Even the legendary Science for Peace held a conference in March this year organized as if it was the US National Endowment on Democracy in Ukraine Yet oppositions are skeptical of any ‘moral compass’ because it is a concept typically invoked by the very people demanding wars. So we remain adrift in a world heading for cumulative catastrophe without any principled life-value bearings.
Again and again the same pattern unfolds with another designated enemy to justify another US-led aerial bombing of another poor society with resources for the US-led corporate-money maw – already far advanced in Ukraine without press decoding. Accusing the enemy to justify war-criminal aggression is now normalized so pervasively that progressive organizations succumb too without any principled life-value compass. Organized amnesia allows it. Indoctrinated thinking governs it. Stupefied group-egoism motivates it. Today the new propagandists of war are dressed in peace costumes as they assume the official narratives of war as their own.
Systemic Ignorance as the Medium of Mind Control
But how could members of organizations which have stood for good causes go along with the big lies of a global war mechanism bringing eco-genocides to the deprived and profits to the few? Systemic ignorance is the medium of mind control. In a world of totalizing diversions from our common life ground, one orchestrated war after another is reverse-projected onto a designated enemy to attack instead. A billion-dollar-a-day US-led weapons industry advances private corporatization across borders as prime time conflict entertainment and global panacea at once. Wherever people do not mind being complicit in their own comfort zone, a growing global war against life organization itself advances in one despoiling invasion after another.
We know the symptoms in those who go along. Refusal to see, denial, diversion, and favors of the system collaborate to mask the deep war. Once set into motion by the US-led war machine driving even barbaric ISIS, the recourse must be public exposure all the way down. People do not really prefer mass dispossession and death to life. Yet the comfort zone of collaboration has entered into the centers of the peace movement itself. I never fully realized how far until I met it inside an organization I have belonged to for 30 years. Science for Peace has long been the most eminently led organization for peace in Canada, featuring such leading minds as C.B. MacPherson, John Polanyi, Ursula Franklin, Anatol Rapoport, Nancy Olivieri, and the list could go on across disciplines and fields of critical inquiry.
How could such an organization become led into a propagandist framework of war in the name of “science” and “peace”? The story is a kind of allegory of our age. It shows how a dominant culture of denial, personal diversions, and forgetting can fatuate even an organization in scientific cause against war, propaganda and crimes against humanity. As so often elsewhere, it shows how a central administration can reverse constitutional goals by rubber-stamped steps of executive privilege which exactly fit to the surrounding public ignorance and indoctrination.
Just as our universities themselves have been hijacked by a collaborator class to serve business ideology and profits, so too can its public-affairs leadership and concepts of war and peace be hijacked the same way. Our deepest values of how to live as human can collapse into manipulating slogans and complicity unless we know what science, war and peace stand for in principle against push-button assumptions of surrounding propaganda fields.
The Background War of Higher Education:
Corporate Money and Propaganda vs. Standing for Life Value and Truth
The reframing of ‘science for peace’ into US-style blame-the-enemy propaganda occurred after the lead article of the October 2014 Science for Peace Bulletin was published – “Corporate Globalization and Society Destruction: Joining the Dots of War and Peace in Ukraine” for (Vol. 34: No. 2). Then even more then than now, Western media were reporting the causes of the civil war in Ukraine on the bases of sweeping falsehoods and accuse-Putin hysteria. Canadians were kept as ignorant as Americans with Harper and the corporate press out front and even the NDP foreign-affairs critic Paul Dewar repeating the official lies.
Yet not one counter fact or argument was communicated to the Bulletin lead article exposing the causal pattern and repressed facts. But then without notice and covertly, a major conference was unilaterally planned that silenced all the evidence against the official story. Acting president Metta Spencer, the long-time editor-proprietor of Peace Magazine, orchestrated a conference that erased the US-led war crimes in Ukraine and shifted all attention to the official enemy, Vladmir Putin. Many Science of Peace members went along not scrupling to notice that what had been erased that included the documented US orchestration of a war-criminal coup d’etat and the massive one-way bombing of civilians and life infrastructures in Eastern Ukraine and over a million refugees from the covered-up ethnic cleansing (now two million).
Put into the context of University of Toronto’s much more powerful Munk School for Global Affairs, this white-wash of the US-led Kiev overthrow of an elected government and continual mass murder of civilians in the Donbass region fitted very well. Global affairs has been taken over by pro-US/anti-Putin/Israel personnel and organization backed by big corporate money and providing media events. Why not Science for Peace too?
The Munk School was opposed by several active Science for Peace members, Professors of Chemistry and Physics John Valleau and Paul Hamel. They did their best to make the instant corporate propaganda arm accountable to academic disciplines and procedures. But kiss-money academic administrators with little serious research commitment imitate their richer corporate masters. At U of T, they kept negotiations secret until the academic coup was finalized to avoid any academic accountability. Then the announced $35 million received from notorious gold-baron Peter Munk was leveraged to get almost twice as much from Ontario and Canadian taxpayers with no independent academic appraisal, standards or accountability required. If all this could be engineered by a transnationally rapacious global mines owner whose operations kill and terrorize indigenous people in Tanzania and Papua against UN Convention – a man who effusively praised the mass-murderer Pinochet before receiving his doctorate from U of T – Science for Peace is hardly safe next door.
The Monk Institute is also accused of being an academic front for a pro-Israel lobby while being richly funded by a Saudi war merchant, Adnan Khashoggi, as well as by the Harper regime dependent on Israel lobby support. Harper gave $9 million of Canadian citizens money for transnational digital channels to conduct cyber uprising in Iran. When the academic surroundings have become so corrupted, Science for Peace hoping to keep an office on King’s Circle is perhaps only a gulp away. In such executive circles, critically informed scholarship and exposure of ongoing US-led international war crimes is not welcome, and Metta Spencer has already taken steps to silence it.
Fortunately, others in Science for Peace prefer factual truth and critical integrity in an organization worth saving. They can agree across differences and without past associations on the principles at stake of science, peace and war. And so they have against the corruption of these goals by blame-the enemy propaganda towards war in Ukraine and elsewhere. Yet the core modus operandi of the wider corporate state and media and collaborating organizations is not well understood: control of perception by total exclusion of internationally criminal facts and their US-led causation. Behind slogans of ‘freedom’ and ‘peace’ any life reality that does not fit the ruling narrative is erased by being screened out of view. To know the evidence or cause of things is effectively out of bounds.
Yet silencing the facts is not just a matter of memory-holing serial crimes against humanity and starting wars. The rationalizing justifications must reverse life reality itself to impose the master goal across domains – ever more money-sequence predation of human and planetary life supports with no limit or regulation by life standards. The system’s demands of profit and sale multiply exponentially and ever faster than world population. The destruction of societies’ very collective life capital bases is thus normalized in peace as well as war.
What Few See or Connect:
The Global War on Life Support Systems
No-one can reasonably deny the globally systemic rape and destruction of human and natural life and life support systems. But the private transnational money-sequence invasion is not spoken, and the common cause is off limits to expose. Yet we must name the deep war against life to resist it. The air, soil and water are cumulatively poisoned, degraded and run down. The climates and oceans are polluted and destabilized to ever greater extremes. Species are made endangered and extinct at a spasm rate across continents. Waste cycles and volumes increase to endanger life systems at all levels. Public sectors and services are one-way defunded and abandoned as tax evasion by the rich increases. The global food system produces more and more disabling and contaminated junk without nutritional value. Non-contagious diseases multiply to the world’s biggest killer with only symptom cures. The vocational future of the next generations is driven to collapse across nations.
Behind all the degenerate trends is one system driver of all the others – the privatized, deregulated and self-maximizing global financial system which has ceased productive investment in life capital and goods to multiply itself. And what this borderless money-sequence system requires to go on invading and destroying societies is a global enforcement mechanism to override any barriers in its path posed by nations, peoples and their life conditions. This system cannot be imposed without force. The ruling function of the US-NATO military empire is to provide this enforcement – as, for example, in Libya which had the greatest water-security system in the world, universal healthcare, free higher education, a $50,000 grant for married couples, and a plan for public banking based on gold dinars and oil revenues. It was therefore destroyed by NATO bombing under the usual false pretexts with no corporate state or media ever reporting the facts or their causal mechanism.
This is why at the macro level lethal military production increases to more than the cost to prevent global social and ecological ruin to enforce the very system driving the life destruction at every level. In fact, a world war against human and natural life substance and supports is being waged by the life-blind macro mechanism. It is not driven by “humanity” as so often alleged, but by the opposite, a system disease. Yet conception of peace a feel-good state of self has substituted for recognition of the deadly disorder and its mechanically empowered war on the living world. The system’s eco-genocidal mechanism still remains taboo to investigate or name. Instead a mindless blame-the-enemy framing is reverted to as a first premise of discourse. This is the general mind-lock that results in, for example, the unscrupulous framing of the life-and-death crisis in Ukraine as a matter of ‘pro-Putin’ and ‘anti-Putin’ perspectives. In fact, this was the self-declared starting point of inquiry organized by the acting president of Science for Peace itself over many months from 2014 to 2015 without a stop, review or examination.
The life-blind propagandist structure at work was not questioned even after the production of a NATO-like propaganda conference – and so recognized by immediate NATO-journal publication. In this context “Is NATO as war criminal?” is unspeakable. Even as the US doctrine of “full-spectrum dominance” continued to expand into society-destroying wars now into central Europe, still the blame-the-enemy reversal of reality laundered out all US-NATO causal agency and mass-murderous force – all within the leading body of ‘Science for Peace’ itself. Most complicitly, the entire track record of millions of dead and suffering bodies of ruling US geo-strategic plan remain abstracted out as a ruling convention.
A striking concrete example tracked by Michel Chossudovsky and Global Research has been the complete black-out of the neo-Nazi core of Kiev’s military and security apparatus, even when the Harper regime is funding the training of the neo-Nazi National Guard perpetrating (with its fellow death-squad Azov battalion under its control) countless atrocities in Donbass with stylized swastikas on their official uniforms
The Science for Peace case is instructive of the more general malaise. When the memory-hole operation was completed at the early Spring conference after months of orchestration, no recognition of the cover-up was allowed within executive meeting even when tracked in formal reporting documents. At micro and macro levels of responsibility, the big lie and black-out of mass murder ruled on. At both levels, erasure operates at ground and second-order levels at once. Switching of issues is the method throughout. This is the way of the great sickness of the era which repels science and peace by its nature. The ultimately regulating pattern of transnational propaganda, war and life destruction remains executively assumed as normal.
The Ruling Laws of the System
“Let us again review the documented pattern of facts”, I have written to the Science for Peace membership in response to its collapse of mission. “Any disconfirming evidence is welcome, but none has been provided. The memory-hole operations will prevail on macro and micro levels until the circles of erasure and omission are overcome.”
The regulating pattern of facts, what all science seeks to identify, long precedes the Ukraine crisis. The unseen general law is this:
Whenever any nation has an independent government with fossil fuel, financial, agricultural or strategic resources not yet subjugated to transnational corporate control, there is a US-led campaign to destroy it.
Where is there exception? There is none evident. Global Research provides continuous factual confirmation. Yet the master tactic of the system and its collaborators is to erase from view all such crimes of war that verified evidence points to, and to do so all the way down to people’s memories and bodies of the crimes. No-one can deny this underlying law at work by scientific disconfirmation. Apparent exceptions merely put the blame on others or lower ranks. This institutional disorder is built into the corporate globalization system.
With media-hypnosis and the many on board, the designated Enemy is ready made for moral wrath instead. Leaders and followers exude contempt and hate on cue – rather like a farce. But real life is blown apart, mutilated, deprived , malnourished in millions continually. Only wilful blindness can deny it, and deny it does in accordance with the italicized law. The complementary second law is: to divert all attention to the official enemy instead as the pretext for more war criminal aggressions.
Again, try to think of exception. Think of the Middle East – Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, Syria. All have been successively warred upon over decades dating from the overthrow of the social-democratic president Mossadegh of Iran in 1953 to Syria’s still mildly independent social state being destroyed to the roots today. Over 20 years in between, Iraq’s region-leading social state with universal health-care, free higher education, public water and electricity, local agricultural and food subsidies has been subjected to genocidal destruction and permanent civil war. In paradigmatic US war-criminal aggression which remains taboo to name in circles of collaboration, Iraq was attacked on contrived pretexts and the state was destroyed to control its fabulous resource riches “floating on a sea of oil’ (Paul Wolfowitz’s admission).
Always an Enemy is blamed to justify the eco-genocidal attacks. Once it was “communism”,. “despot” is a favorite, even someone elected by continual majorities by electorally undeniable majorities (eg. Venezuela’s Chavez, or Russia’s Putin). But always the real enemy is anyone or group not submitting to the ruling law and a society standing for its common life interest against the takeover. Try to think of any clear stop to this long history of false propaganda leading to crimes against peace that defines US foreign policy. Orchestrated destabilization, violent coup d’etat, civil war construction, and one-way bombing have been the common threads in East Ukraine.
In all cases, vast new profit opportunities, resources, lands, price climbs, markets, agribusiness and – most of all – looting of public resources and finances by private foreign financiers and extractive corporations are opened up by the war. Once sovereign powers to regulate collective life capital bases are then stripped away, not only in the victim societies but at home.
The civil war method of long-term destruction of formerly independent societies to more freely exploit their resources has continued to the present day in a strategic arc of devastating US-fomented civil wars from Pakistan to Iraq to Muslim Africa to Europe itself in Ukraine after the Chechnya civil war in Russia was ended. Civil wars render peoples helpless against foreign money control, and the pattern only deepens. Yet just keep blaming the enemy as the central issue as first premise, as in organization of the Ukraine conference by Metta Spencer of Peace Magazine and now Science for Peace, and the eco-genocidal pattern continues thus concealed.
Even as US-led terror-led death squads and bombing were in semi-truce in Ukraine, the US was supporting Saudi Arabia in projecting “terrorist” and sectarian “Shiite” labels on the popular uprising of the poor in Yemen against a corrupt US-Saudi puppet government. In more long-term historical trajectory, the pattern only deepens in criminal lawlessness abroad. Civil war has been US-supported and funded in Venezuela in the new century ever since its “socialism for the twenty-first century” was launched, briefly succeeding in violent coup d’etat until the people rose in the streets against it and loyal guards defeated the putschists who had already been diplomatically recognised by the US just as its proxy coup regime was in Ukraine later.
Today a main vector of destabilization of both Russia and Venezuela has been orchestrated oil-price halving aimed at it ruining their economies. Yet always “democratic” and “pluralist” pretexts lead continual attacks on independent societies. The Enemy is whatever seriously opposes the ruling law of expropriation. One object alone is achieved. Peoples and resources of the region are predated by transnational corporations. Without sovereign social defences or unity of collective life purpose, they fall apart. This is where they are planned to go – a myriad of controllable principates for US geo-strategic manipulation. As long as all evils can be blamed on an ever-shifting US Enemy, the life-devouring system marches on.
Knowing the Real War and the Real Enemy
US citizens themselves are bled dry. Their common life bases and interests are stripped out by military and financial claws in dollar-trillions every year while public purses and resources too are plundered by the same causal mechanism. Yet the undeclared war against life and life support systems is blocked out a-priori. The master diversion across conflict situations is to blame an alien enemy that distracts from the actually invading system.
It is not only the designated enemy constructed by US propaganda. In civil society, it is endless spectacle games whose outcomes are irrelevant to the fatal disorder, but distract mass energies from standing up to it. In general, the survival resolve of peoples to overcome what attacks their lives is re-routed onto fabricated oppositions – in sport and political spectacles especially. The enemy is the other color. One way or another, the real enemy and terror is blocked out of view.
While there are myriad masks of and distractions from the actual invader, the real enemy can be defined very exactly. It is what always attacks or demands more from collective life capital not under its control for external private gain. In the world-historical reality we live in, the ruling formula is: it always invades the evolved collective life capital bases of societies to multiply transnational corporate money sequences instead. This is the underlying ultimate law of the ruling disorder and its unseen deep war against social and ecological life bases to privatize for profit. It is only stopped by collective life-capital rule and regulation (as explained in depth in my Cancer Stage of Capitalism/From Crisis to Cure).
Twenty-five years after the dismantling of Yugoslavia into atavistic nationalisms steeped in the Nazi past by US-led destabilization (with Germany supporting the Croatia fascist party in nation ruin), the same has happened in Ukraine. The claimed US “war against aggression” is a reverse projection. It is targeted on what stands in the way of more corporate system expansion. Its violence and war crimes are then reverse-blamed on those who resist. “What about ISIS?”, it may be asked. ISIS has through all its mutations been funded, trained and armed by the US and allies, starting with the aim to control Shia Iraq and overthrow Syria’s social state. If its external funding were stopped, this Saddam-descended Sunni military formation would not last a week. It is US-bombed in some places to protect allies, and not bombed where it is advancing in destruction of Syrian society – for example, in ancient Palmyra near Damascus this Spring. None of this now documented fact is allowed into the ‘free’ media and corp-think tanks.
In the ‘war’ and ‘peace’ of this system, moral meaning is reversed at the same time as science. Socially organized development is everywhere reversed or destroyed for privately profitable transnational feeding on the collective financial, agricultural, natural and strategic resources of societies. This is called “development” and “peace”, while blocks to it are called “aggression”.
Western civilisation has, alas, gone radically bacwards since the international covenants of collective peace and welfare formed after 1945. All trade and financial agreements after 1988 have erased their every trace in a covert war against life security across domains. It is called “the global free market”, but there is no such thing. Rather there is the opposite – unaccountable corporate-right treaty laws for the control of global supply and demand by the dominant transnational corporations. They in turn invade by finance and machines all that lives to convert it to lifeless commodities and profit.
In fact, an eco-genocidal program rules instead of international law. For example, when Palestine seeks the protection of codified international law, it is openly threatened and its taxes seized by Israel with US support. When Palestine joins UNESCO by invitation, the US defunds UNESCO. When it appeals to the International Criminal Court to judge the continuous war crimes and crimes against humanity oppressing it, Israel threatens it with more oppression and with tacit US support continues to extendits criminal occupation of Palestinian land.
Palestine is not an exception as assumed. It is a symbol of the system lawlessly destroying the lives and life conditions of non-corporate people across the world. Yet who names the game? Normalized terror, life destruction and impunity rule. Even if more than three-quarters of wealthy societies’ populations are themselves without a secure livelihood, the deep war rules on at mounting extremes of cumulative ruin.
Knowing the systems laws of war and peace versus those of the life capital of all is the lost moral and scientific compass of the age and the species.
The Global Market God at War
Canada, long recognized as a life-grounded nation of peace at home and abroad, now systematically steers in the opposite direction. Under US “free trade” and NATO “partnership for peace”, CEO Harper’s dictatorial rule strips Canada of its life infrastructures, tax revenues and public information resources in the name of “future prosperity”. Yet always in fact he follows the deep-war code – to serve only private market powers to multiply and rule for profit with no limit. This is the underlying program driving all life-destructive trends today.
The God of this fanatic world religion is the global corporate market. It pursues a furious all-fronts war to convert everything to itself while pervading main-street, living rooms and academies with its indoctrination. The market God is omniscient, all-powerful and beneficent by definition. Just read the primary theorems of welfare economics and “the invisible hand” which remain the basis of the reigning pseudo-science styled ‘Economics’. Market magic rules through continuous commodity and system miracles eating the world alive. .
Always this God’s deeper meaning of freedom is spreading deregulated pillage across borders wherever more private money can be extracted from peoples, natural resources and public purses. It puts the hordes of Attila to shame in territory conquered and lives destroyed. Yet it ceases to have any historical life function once its circuits of production and distribution mutate to more private money demand to fewer as the ruling law of reproduction and growth: not more means of life for more people with less waste as true economic growth.
Yet this ultimate distinction itself of moral and scientific reason is completely unknown to the reigning theory and practice. Opposites are assumed as the same, with even fashionable philosophers joining in the absurdities of system worship as first premises of social thought.
Canada’s leadership may once have been capable of the distinction, but can no longer conceive it. It has become a militant servant of the Global Money God for total world rule. Within its borders, it turns over all public resources and finances to maximally profit the money rich and free corporate extractors like Big Oil. Externally, it has been aerial bombing Arab lands from Libya to Syria and attacking Putin while training and equipping neo-Nazi Kiev in Ukraine – all funded by public money. The unseen war on life organization remains so silenced and suppressed from view that joining the dots of the real enemy across domains is too much to bear.
The Truth is What Sells, and the Enemy Sells the War
The underlying war on life and life support systems was explained in the October 2014 Science for Peace Bulletin in connection to Ukraine. But in line with the times, it all was erased by president-led conference in March 2015 – including the massive US-led criminal violations of international law and the violent overthrow of elected government and ethnic mass murders by neo-Nazi gangs and death squads still suppressed from view today.
This is how the global deep war can invade even a long research-leading anti-war organization with few noticing the hijack. Just keep erasing the facts, dressing up in peace and human rights while ignoring them, and focus on the US enemy as villain. What works on the world stage is thus enacted within the peace movement itself.
One master framework of lies rules beneath definition. Diverting to the Enemy is the decisive step for elimination of facts and causes inconsistent with the official story. A familiar hate-object of the audience is instead adopted as first premise. The corporate mass media and politicians do this as stock in trade because it runs deep into the group psyche. Once diverted to the hate-object of the group, people block out the disproving facts to remain acceptable themselves. This is the underlying thought-switch upon which system mass-murder and oppression depends. Not even academics may stand up to the accusation of “pro-Russia”, “9-11 conspiracy theorist”, “communist”, or whoever the designated foe may be.
This is why evidence, public statistics, knowledge of anything outside the official narrative is no longer safe in corporate states. Public knowledge is the enemy of the entire game. That which sees, documents, shares, certifies, distributes, or organizes to prove and act for the public good is blocked or sabotaged in omnibus ways. This is the secret behind, for example, the Harper agenda of information erasure – from defunding and de-listing progressive NGO’s, to gags on government ministries and scientists, to allowing only his personal photographer’s pictures into the mass media. The method of silencing facts by blocking them from view is not confined to Harper-rule, but expands by normalization into where we may least expect it.
The explicit US geostrategic plan and execution of “full spectrum dominance across the world” is thus reversed by blame-the-enemy diversion to the opposite – “the US protecting neighbouring states from Russia/China/Cuba’s aggression”. An ultimate issue thus emerges from contemporary world affairs to local choice space: whether, for example, an organization like Science for Peace collaborates with and abets this ruling order of propaganda and power, or stands for scientific standards of evidence and conclusion against proven falsehood and enemy blame justifying war preparations.
The standard approach of complicit organizations is to abolish any choice between real peace and military aggression by equating them in blame-the-enemy fabrications. No-one thinks to compare the US with military bases in over 150 foreign countries and Russia with none beyond adjacent borders. In accordance with the strategy of collaboration, one merely keeps blocking out the evidence with no reply as if it did not exist. If ignoring the evidence does not work, then one can simply lie and say it has already been fully answered, or say when caught out, no-one knows what the evidence is. All this has been done at the Science for Peace presidential level.
Saying it is so makes it so if enough people go along with it. The overall method is dominant in the wider world of starting wars while claiming to work for peace. Orwellian propaganda now totalizes through the academy itself by the purse-control level of central administrations which multiply themselves and their funding, privileges and salaries to the top while dispossessing teaching-research bases. Wall Street lies and take go bureaucratic top across public sectors.
Reconnecting to the ruinous trends at the macro level and their enforcement by the world’s reigning military and financial embargo system, we might ask two direct questions. Who connects the degenerate trends, as opposed to ignoring whatever does not fit the US-led public tale? Who looks for the common cause, as opposed to multiplying disconnected perspectives as democratic and free?
At the most general level of global corporate press and information systems (including introductory textbooks in economics and sociology, over 90% so controlled in Canada), not one of these fatally degenerate trends is connected to any other or to any common cause producing them. This is testable by looking for any exception. Least of all is the depredatory system of vast military expenditures and operations behind the latest enemy they are used against examined as the real cause of the hostilities and uncontrolled global degradation. Never linked to this system costing over one billion dollars a day of US public money are the transnational corporate expansions into every area that the weapons, covert operations and nuclear threats enforce by their terror – always blamed on the resisting enemy instead.
Thus in Ukraine next to Russia, for example, private Wall Street and German banks are already in with the IMF as loan enforcer; big agribusiness including Monsanto is already operating to control the greatest farmlands of Europe and a breadbasket of the world; big US oil is already into licenses for the new gas-fracking zones being created now that a pro-Russia government – which prohibits fracking – has been overthrown by the violent US-led coup; and of course the world’s leading manufacturers of war armaments are already receiving orders for them via post-coup Ukraine and US war-party promises with Harper-Canada in tow. Meanwhile, US-led NATO military forces surround Russia with advanced attack forces on all possible sides including the Baltic and Black Seas “to stop Russia’s aggression”– reversing blame for all.
If you are part of the ruling propaganda and power apparatus, every one of these facts will be ignored. If you are an active agency of this system, then only the official enemy’s alleged motives for expansion will be proclaimed. At the basest, it will be assumed as the very framework of understanding the conflict (as occurred with the Metta Spencer-led conference on Ukraine.) Thus even though the civil war was undoubtedly orchestrated by the US with mass-murderous fascists as means, it was all blocked out a-priori before public inquiry started.
Thus responsibility for the US-constructed Ukraine civil war – not to mention Syria before and after – is reversed onto Russia. Thus even Science for Peace went ahead with this propagandist framework of Putin/Russia invading Ukraine although already demonstrated to be a big lie produced by reverse-blame first premise. Thus a renowned ‘peace activist’ is actively complicit in imposing a propaganda frame towards war, ethnic cleansing, dispossession of millions and mass murder as “science for peace” and “advocacy of universal standards of human rights”.
Without principled understanding of logic and life value – the only moral calculus that works – the most monstrous lies can run free. In the larger system of lies in which collaborators are embedded, the truth is what sells. In the Science for Peace case, endless activities of lectures, member round-ups, connections to like activities, pot-luck dinners, corporate-media chairs for conferences, and so on are all governed by an underlying value equation: the truth = what sells = democracy. This is the morality of the global corporate religion. The substance, care and life concern for natural and social, ecological and historical life support systems in cumulative collapse by a global disorder cannot compute to it. It is all blocked out by a blame-the-enemy propagandist frame a-priori which none can question without being accused or insinuated as in league with the enemy.
The test of the big-lie system is simple. Try to find one case of an international conflict reported by the corporate press or state when this propagandist frame is not already presupposed before the reporting starts with the designated enemy assumed as evil through every step – as “despotic”, “the aggressor”, “dividing and weakening”, “exploiting minorities”, in “perpetual machinations of expansion”, “seizing at the point of a gun”. All these are stock phrases for endless accusations of the latest designated enemy with no sound evidence required. Orwell’s “two minutes hate” is reborn. The sad fact is that slander and lies have no consequences but reward if they sell the official story. The Enemy as hate object then steers the process of selection to fit the ruling narrative upon which continued favor and funding depend, and war criminal attacks then follow as justified by the charges even if no claimed fact is proved and all are false.
From then on, symbolic shows of ‘peace’ without political meaning fill in. The underlying religion of war is not suspected, and with understanding disconnected from the known greatest war machine in history, it invades where it pleases if the enemy evil is sold. Any deeper understanding of war and peace is ruled out as somehow suspect. Denial of the mass-homicidal effects is not the direct denial found in big-oil funding of deniers of climate destabilization. It is not quite Harper-rule defunding of all public and non-governmental research exposing system-wide facts. It is more subtle. It operates as in the following paradigm example of a peace conference on one of the great crises of our time. The war God has many faces.
Beyond Amnesia: Paradigm Tracking of the Propaganda Framework of Aggression
What follows is a shortened version of a formal communication to the membership of Science for Peace in response to the spring conference on Ukraine. It is a kind of allegory of our time. It shows how the peace movement itself can be hijacked by the unexamined assumptions of the ruling corporate-market religion indoctrinated into the bones of collaborators conceived as ‘peace activists’. What better cover could there be? Not even the agent may be aware of it.
While Science for Peace leadership has trended with the commercial world to personal opinions on issues over principled substance, fact and law, our mission by definition is understanding by scientific standards”, I wrote. “We must therefore commit in first principle to knowing facts versus ignoring facts, reasoning versus diversion to individuals and imputed perspectives, and seeking the underlying causal structures and principles of phenomena rather than competing perceptions as an end-in-itself.
A non-scientific commercial format has, however, prevailed through organisation of the conference on Ukraine and in comments of support of it since. Only more glaring repetitions of the propagandist framework have followed. The story line of “war between Ukraine and Russia” was indeed still proclaimed by acting president Metta Spencer. in her solo press release after the conference – although the profoundly false claim in law and in fact had been demonstrated to her in published form. International law has been ignored from the start and throughout – the most revealing omission of all. Unaccountability to scientific or legal understanding of the driving forces of the civil war, their causal pattern, or the war crimes under law against millions of victims on the ground is in this way built in as first premise.
“This propagandist framework has long been endemic in dominant media and blame-the enemy political culture. Yet understanding of Science for Peace is only principled if it lives up to standards of science and reason in seeking the civil peace it advocates. This is what the organisation means – to be distinguished from ‘peace’ as conformity to imperial norms, or a criterionless neutrality standing for no life cause, or the peace of a genocidal outcome.
“The founders and strength of Science for Peace over decades has been to see through pervasive armed violence and threats against civilians dressed in myths of the designated Enemy to justify the destruction of one society after another. This is the ultimate issue at stake. Yet the Ukraine conference excluded these life-and-death issues from every discussion in exemplification of the ruling frame of mind that abets war crimes by blinkering them out.
No item of the agenda allowed the war-crime issue in. Armaments and nuclear weapons spending, build-ups, threats and wars already in motion have been what Science for Peace has long sought to empirically track, connect and understand in principle at the leading edge of research. But all these too were blocked out of view. Instead reduction to the official foreign enemy and demonization of its leader became the basis of the organization from then to now in the name of ‘Science for Peace’.
In such manner, home-side imperial and national slogans without definition, the dominant global market business of war, and heinous crimes under law causing over a million people fleeing in East Ukraine before September 2014 under US-supported neo-Nazi command were over months all simply erased. So too were NATO’s non-stop accusations without evidence to justify the heavy-arms NATO build-ups, war exercises, and aerial bombing preparations in every country on Russia’s East European borders in one-way threatening of world war.
International law, the only instituted common ground or regulator across the hostile and warring parties, was kept out of any topic, speaker knowledge, or conference discussion. The Canadian government’s unprecedentedly fact-ignorant war mongering on Ukraine was abolished from consideration. All was totally ignored even when explicitly brought to the acting president’s attention with evidence.
Sound familiar? As in corporate media and state proclamations, the taboo zone is any line of inquiry or analysis that exposes the official story line, its concealments of central facts, and the mass murders and destruction of civilian homes, schools and infrastructures. As in Bosnia, so in Donbass. More criminally, the known US-installed coup government of Kiev was heavily subsidized and armed to wage its one-way bombing, starvation and clearance of Donbass citizens from their lands, homes, culture and codified laws.
Can the truce hold when US-assisted Kiev views it as a period to prepare for war? The life-and-death facts are not allowed into the ruling format. More disquietingly, they have been blocked out by every step of the organisation of the Ukraine conference. Seek to find exception. The method is more effective than a gag order because the silencing pattern is itself silent. The method has ample precedent within the acting president’s Peace Magazine, as reported by Science for Peace member, Edwin Daniel – but with no attention by the executive in allowing this conference to build over months. As Professor Daniel observed beforehand – as usual with no response –Peace Magazine will ‘publish claims that are untrue’ and refuse to correct them when pointed out.’
As we know, this is the very opposite of science and reason. Yet ‘when I have tried to point these out,’ Daniel continues, ‘I have been consistently ignored. I will mention just one recent example, the question of who was responsible for firing sarin containing rockets in Syria. The western media and governments immediately blamed the Assad regime, but later evidence showed that to be false. After Metta published the media claim and I sent her the refuting evidence, nothing happened. So I wrote a letter to the Editor of the Peace Magazine, explaining the nature of the refuting evidence. It never appeared. When I questioned Metta about it, she denied receiving the letter, which I then resent. It has never appeared.’(Edwin Daniel to sfpboard@listserv, March 14). [i]
The propagandist slanting the acting president has imposed not only assumes the official enemy designated by the US as evil without any evidence given. It ignores all the evidence proving that the criminal facts alleged by the US are false (here led by the much-documented investigation of Seymour Hersh). In this case, it was the official enemy of Syria’s Assad. In the case of the conference on Ukraine, the issue was immediately mutated to the designated enemy, Russia and Vladmir Putin. All lock-stepped in accord with US-led demonization which became hysterical when US-NATO expansion to Russia was stopped after the US-orchestrated bloody coup in Ukraine. Science for Peace was enlisted into this propagandist framework without notice or Board response, a coup of its own kind.
The acting president claimed that she had been acting on the instructions of the resigned president Jim Turk [former executive director of CAUT] to arrange – in her words – “a conference on Ukraine and Russia”. Yet Turk has advised in his only letter on the topic that he in fact said that the conference was to be on “Ukraine”. Already we know from this shift to Russia as the target that the acting president had planned the conference around the very blame-the-enemy tactic governing the US against all the evidence given to her.
This propagandist structure has been the only constant at work. It was sustained for months through the conference and afterwards, even as ever more evidence became public that refuted it. Most alarmingly to a long-time researcher into the deep structure of war propaganda, this false allegation covered up all contrary facts in every step of operation. It was unilaterally planned as the organising idea of the conference so that Russia led by Putin (whom Metta Spencer hates, in her words, as ‘an immoral thug and the most successful thief in the history of the world’) is held responsible for a US-constructed criminal war by Science for Peace format. Most significantly, there is no reply or even denial of this war-propaganda framing to the present day. As with the ruling propaganda apparatus, so the creature of it assumes the right to big lies and impunity for them.
The pattern continued after the conference with still deeper distortion and reversal of facts. Prefacing her March 4 press report on the conference with the even more provocative lead asserting “the war between Ukraine and Russia”, Spencer abolished the historical facts that the civil war was prepared and orchestrated by the US Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland (as reported in the Bulletin and widely elsewhere, and nowhere denied by even the US State Department); and that the coup government under US direction moved quickly to one-way war-criminal aerial bombing of civilians in Eastern Ukraine and economic strangulation of the population (still going on in June after truce but all blamed on Russia). Far from ending with the conference, the ruling propagandist framework continued to govern afterwards in spite of all written exposure and protest, and became so extreme as to not take into account what even the stacked panelists and interviewees said to contradict it.
Even though numerous attempts were made by others to balance the program, to take into account excluded major facts, to achieve some modicum of scientific integrity, all evidence-based patterns of the documented causal sequence of the civil war and its major atrocities continued to be ignored and erased under executive direction. In accordance with the master propaganda machine, the ‘Science for Peace conference on Ukraine’ was immediately published by NATO’s publication, The Atlantic Council (March 5) with the title lead “Culpability – -”. This article described the conference as advising us that “Russia’s actions are best viewed as opportunistic and reactionary, rather than as part of a grand strategy to dismember Ukraine and destabilize the region” – both sides blaming Russia as the villain, and excluding all evidence to the contrary.
As many others prominent in the peace movement, Metta Spencer prides herself for having helped to convince Gorbachev towards the USSR’s peaceful collapse. This helps to explain why she and others here are so enraged at Putin and Russia who have reclaimed independence and now keep pro-US advocates out of the country.
The Ad Adversarium Fallacy: Behind the Wars Masked as Peace Seeking
Beneath the political bullying and repression, the very bases of reason and science are silently attacked at the roots beneath notice. I have written a lot in refereed journals and texts about the propagandist framing of issues – demonstrating that the underlying logical form is deranged, but not yet flagged in principle by received logic or science.
Whatever the issue or parties involved, reason is always diverted to the accepted enemy of the audience as a diversion from the facts of the dispute or issue. At the general level, this is known in the logic of natural language as an ‘ignoratio elenchi’ or informally ‘red herring’. Yet the specific fallacy involved of diverting to a culturally accepted enemy – away from the causes, facts and inner logic of the issue – is so common across tribes and times that it is still pervasively exploited in ruling propaganda fields into today. This is the ad adversarium fallacy which is the track-switch of the rest.
It silences all reason and inquiry that does not begin by isolating the official enemy as the issue. Who can I find that is “pro-Putin”? – the main question the acting president of Science for Peace posed on the Ukraine conference – is already a complete diversion away from the causation and horrors of the orchestrated war onto the official enemy as the issue. The very same structure of war propaganda frames virtually all of official society’s representations in war and peace. The frame of discourse always constructs an enemy to blame to divert from the war crimes being perpetrated by the US.
At the same time, there is no connective analysis towards underlying common cause. This is known as a fallacy of common cause in primary logic and science. But it is so built into the reigning ideology it goes unnamed. Although these fallacies are more lethal tin the end than the Black Death, they select towards ignorance and catastrophe almost wherever we look.
The common life interest that underlies all peace is also undefined in the fields of official meaning. The common life-ground disappears from the reigning discourses. Private money gains and losses alone preoccupy the value system. Human life need versus market demand is an unknown distinction. Diversions to spectacle, self opinions and the designated enemy are a ritual of ignorance across domains. Selling the story and keeping connective explanation out everywhere displace understanding.
This is the global dumbing down on which the life-blind system depends. Sometimes it reverses the very history of its host. I first came to know Science for Peace as host when its co-founding president and physicist Eric Fawcett invited me to give an evening lecture to Science for Peace on “Terrorism” in the midst of the Reagan era. From then on, I was led to believe that Science for Peace was a rigorously logical and factually grounded organisation at the most advanced level of public affairs understanding including some of the world’s greatest critical thinkers on war and peace. Yet out of this long founding tradition, a conference based in a propagandist frame led by official-enemy assumptions and omitting all contrary basic facts was bully-instituted at the executive level as if run by Victoria Nuland.
When I explained why the Ukraine conference framework was propagandist in principle to organizing president, saying “I can feel Eric Fawcett turn over in his grave”, the propagandist framework I defined was not denied or ever responded to. The issue was silenced by every means available. This is the crucial operation of the global propaganda machine in micro and macro form. As on the wider stage of the politics of power and war, an unseen syntax of mind repression rules (with Harper as Canada’s national enforcer):
- issues of fact and truth are erased from view,
- focus is directed on the unsubstantiated Enemy standing the way of US
- nasty insinuations or droning are launched at critics
- lies build on lies as virtue and truth.
War is Peace and Ignorance is Strength: The Case of Ukraine
The Ukraine conference and aftermath unfolded as the directing propagandist frame had structured it. It crossed political parties, corporate media, collaborating activist organizations, and the occupied minds of citizens.
The central issues were all screened out – the US financing and directing of the destabilization of Ukraine over years into Nazi-led coup d’etat complete with swastikas and murderous overthrow of the governing federalist party elected by the vast majority of people; the NATO push since before 2000 into Ukraine against promises made to Gorbachev, and continuous NATO war-fever claims of Russia invasions; the known division of Ukraine into two in NATO-defense ministers map in 2000, and hundreds of US-led tanks and border build-ups to “stop Russia invasion” without any evidence of it; and crippling embargoes on Russia on the basis of false claims of the violation of international law in Crimea’s vote for re-integration.
In the familiar pattern of the ‘free press’, all such deciding facts were ruled out by the blame-the-enemy structure of assumption. Executive operations of silencing were sustained without a blink. All war and aggression was inverted into Putin “invading the sacred territory of Ukraine”. The official big lie was propagated as first premise by the country’s once leading anti-war and peace organization. In short, whatever did not fit into the propagandist frame of Putin as the plotting villain of expansion and the US and NATO as heroic in collective defense was excluded by the framing. As elsewhere, re-framing the peace movement as war propaganda was the inner meaning. Those still standing for Science for Peace appealed to the executive to set matters straight, but all continued to be ignored by manifold means.
As in the larger world of US-led propaganda, the only executive response was to screen it all the evidence out as if it did not exist. A chair was appointed by the executive for the board of directors meeting who declared he would not read any of the evidence. Official silencing was procedurally prescribed before anything could be discussed at the responsible levels, with political constitutionalist Peter Russell applauding.
Again the unaccountable macro system of lies and war ruled. The meeting happened so debased of any bearings that Science for Peace’s most fully qualified scientist with both medical and chemistry/neuroscience doctorates, Jim Deutsch, took notes of how the procedures ruled out any knowledge of the issues. Ignorance is strength.
The executive-appointed chair of the meeting prescribed administrative privilege as follows: “I will not read messages” and “I do not think that we should be debating a conference that has already taken place”. In this way, exposure of what is silenced is silenced as well. As in the wider kingdom of lies and erasure of facts and no executive accountability to constitutional objectives, it all continues until publicly named beyond the reach of the corruption.
Re-Grounding in Life Reason against the Corporate Occupation
Propaganda framing for aggression masked as peace does not work easily when qualified voices publicly document the steps. Ignoring and ignorance have a limit. So in her long Easter/Passover message to members, the acting president wedged in her sole public response to the demonstrated dishonesty of her conference’s organizing assumption – Putin’s war on Ukraine. Here as well, outright lies, bluff, and intimidation are the omnibus method so well known at higher executive levels. The US war system masquerading as peacemaker has many faces.
Here the first step was another false claim as an executive order – namely, that “we should only cite evidence that we have personally witnessed. Do not quote another person’s criticisms”. This entails the silencing of any proved report in writing of falsehoods by eyewitnesses and experts to which no counter-evidence exists. Such an edict would put an end to most scholarly work and independent reporting. Again we can see the underlying pattern of repressing whatever evidence does not fit the propaganda story while asserting moral high-ground at the same time.
The second step here is also well known in the higher circles of aggression dressed in peace. The acting president declared she “has been attacked unfairly for the conference that I produced on Ukraine and Russia. I have answered every accusation fully”. I replied to this in open Bulletinpublication as well: “One is obliged to observe that the big lie, absolute denial and false victimhood are very well worn in the wider world of power and war. Is there any good reason for not concluding these devices at work here as well?” There has been no rebuttal or even disavowal of the big lies since they were named. As in the operations of the US-NATO system, high-handed executive dismissal of its lies rules on always pretending the status of being wronged.
Such operations work because of the conditioned perceptual readiness of those who do not think through them. They can be counted on as effective lies so long as they are not publicly outed. Ultimately mendacity and complicity with mass murder can only stand if there is no thinking through of what “peace” or “science” is, and is not. As we have seen, organization and discourse in conformity to a ruling framework of propaganda is a meta program seldom laid bare. The systems understanding which any science for peace requires, and the high standards of reason and analysis it demands, have been ditched without the majority knowing it. It has happened to our universities of higher learning themselves. Understanding of war and peace at the most advanced level has become subjugated and corrupted with no life-value compass whatever, only public relations cover-ups.
Many questions arise which the rest of this analysis answers. How do we lay bare this cognitive and affective pathology that is normal in the corps-world of power, propaganda and war? How do we recover what is true and what is peace in principle? How do we sustain the very constitutional objectives of society’s evolved research and learning institutions against corporate money-sequence occupiers and producers of amnesiac events? How do we counteract unseen rich funding for dissemination of blame-the-enemy narratives that infiltrate even organizations originally formed to expose them?
‘Science’ and ‘Peace’ Are Defined by What They Are Not
We begin by defining what science and peace are not to know what each is. This is an ancient principle of logic found in the universal Latin formula, determinatio est negatio. The truth is known by the negation of other false possibilities..
By this time, we know what science and peace are absolutely not. They are not governed by ultimate assumption of the official enemy as evil, or by erasure of US-led war crimes, or by organizing against basic evidence that does not fit the official story. Neither science nor peace can turn a blind eye to ever recurring US-led wars, civil wars and preparations for wars. No true peace activism can internalize propaganda that suppresses these facts to blame the enemy as the reason for bombing people thousands of miles from US borders.
These principles are not left or right so much as deep centre. They are not anti-US any more than anti-Russian. So we can substitute Russia or China for the US below to discover what is not science or peace at the most general level. The differences are revealing. Russia and China deploy aggressor operations against their own citizens. But they never do it thousands of miles away with long-distance killing machinery calling it “saving human lives” and “freedom”.
The ruling meta program of peace propaganda for war-criminal aggression is not conscious any more than a mental illness is. It is instituted into the dominant political field of meaning as ‘normal’, and it silences what exposes it by its locked-in nature. Amnesty International, Avaaz, Science for Peace and supposedly peaceful states and citizens may all be dupes in the Grand Game. Yet they are also pro-active agents of the deep war against life and life reason by collaboration with its murderous lies. This propagandist syntax towards war versus its real peace alternative form the repressed choice space none name. Yet they decide for or against every causal sequence towards the wars of our era. Here as always, scientific reason and logic always seek disconfirming instances to test general claims, and so everyone is invited to find any such counter-evidence here.
Principles of Science and Peace against War Propaganda
All of us have a foundational choice of whether we think though or not, and whether we stand for reason and peace or ignorance and war. The US permanent war against designated enemies does not fool anyone unless they allow it. It only succeeds at bottom so far as people have no principled understanding of war and peace.
But how can we tell them apart when even anti-nuclear and activist media like Peace Magazine do not name or track any US-caused civil war in sovereign countries – from Ukraine to Venezuela, Libya to Syria, Russia-Chechnya to the once unified Yugoslavia. The very concepts of peace and war, aggression and terror, despotic and democratic have been collapsed into mindless trigger slogans with no generic life bearings.
Consider since 2000 Iraq and the 9-11 Wars, the US-orchestrated war crimes in Ukraine as stopping aggression, the non-stop destabilization of Venezuela and overthrow of democracy for death squad dictatorship in Honduras and Haiti before and after that – where not that has a civil war? In every case it seems, the war and horror are orchestrated by the US covert and propaganda state, but always projected onto the Enemy shifting with the territory marked for takeover.
US ‘full spectrum dominance’ is admitted in public proclamation, but erased from the mind in understanding the world’s continuous wars behind which this objective is invariably evident.
The following principles go underneath the mass-murderous lies and reverse projections. They lay bare the choice between peace and war, between reason and propaganda which is always before us. They are self-evident once seen, but not yet defined to provide the life-value compass and ground. Together they provide an impartial and foolproof framework to out the war-party in any guise and (in italics below) what peace and truth always stand for instead. They define the missing lines of the ultimate war on the level of the mind itself:
- ultimate assumption of the official enemy as evil
Any designation of Enemy is examined for justifications relevant to military war under international law
- in erasure of US-led war crimes as an issue to consider;
Historical record of war crimes and crimes against humanity by US (or other state as relevant to crisis) is taken into account, especially as the pattern is repeated.
- ignoring and overriding scientific standards and evidence wherever they conflict with or falsify the official story;
Recognising that exclusion from account of any relevant basic fact is indicator of distortion/falsehood/lie in proportion to the flagrancy of omission (especially re. 1 and 2)
- eliminating critical questions by organizational blocks and insinuating smears,
Recognize that any failure of (1) through (3) is likely to be carried on however much it violates the evidence and truth, and so re-apply the same standards at a second-order level of evaluation and action in refusal to submit to lies towards war.
- within a wider context of justifying US-led wars and preparations for wars
Always keeping in mind the documented historical record of crimes against peace and war crimes under law as relevant to the present that repeats them, truthfully opposing rather than omitting or rationalizing them
- by internalized operations of US-led propaganda,
Understanding that we live within pervasive communication fields of intense pressures to internalize global selling of lies for self-maximizing returns, especially in US foreign affairs where the declared objective is ‘full-spectrum dominance’ while pretending ‘peace
- whose master operation is reverse projection onto the designated Enemy
Being able to spot the ‘blame-the-enemy’ operation – the ultimate ideological source of armaments build-ups and wars – by rigorous examination of edited-out issues and facts
- of what the dominant force is doing at far higher levels.
Reverse projection is the most maliciously deceitful but successful form of war propaganda and aggression – blaming the designated Enemy for what the invading armed aggressor is itself doing as the reason for attacking the weaker society to death.
Professor John McMurtry is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. whose work is published and translated from Latin America to Japan. He is the author and editor of the three-volume Philosophy and World Problems published by UNESCO’s Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), and his most recent book is The Cancer Stage of Capitalism/ from Crisis to Cure.