Author Archives: William T. Hathaway

Trump is the fulfillment of an ancient Chinese curse

“May you live in interesting times” was a curse the ancient Chinese hurled at their adversaries, wishing them strife, oppression, and struggle. For all the uncertainties a Trump presidency holds, it will certainly be an interesting time, filled with opportunities for resistance and perhaps revolution. Continue reading

Burn the flag on inauguration day!

Let’s welcome our new commander in chief by demonstrating how little he knows about the Constitution of the United States. Each incoming president is required on inauguration day to take the oath of office, affirming to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.” But Donald Trump proved his ignorance of this document when he recently wrote, “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag—if they do, there must be consequences—perhaps loss of citizenship or a year in jail!” The Supreme Court, however, thinks otherwise. It has twice ruled that burning the national flag is not a crime but a form of free speech protected by the First Amendment, a legal way to protest government policies. Continue reading

Fight back or go under

The presidency of Donald Trump is going to be a slap in the face of American workers that will wake us up to the reality of social class. The Big T’s pedal-to-the-metal policies will show us clearly that we are one class, the ruling elite are another class, and our interests are diametrically opposed. Our declining standard of living is essential for maintaining their wealth, and they will do whatever is necessary to continue that. They will jail us, deport us, kill us, anything to crush resistance. Continue reading

The karma of terror

Those terrible terrorists are killing our soldiers in their countries and killing us here at home. How can we stop them? Continue reading

The realpolitik of revolution

What will it take to end this ghastly cycle of violence and bring lasting peace, not just end this current war but create a peaceful society in which humanity lives cooperatively and harmoniously? The socialist answer is we must overthrow capitalism, a system that inevitably generates conflict and inequality. And overthrowing it will require a revolution. Continue reading

Germany’s balancing act

Angela Merkel, Germany’s conservative chancellor, is steering a cautious course between two conflicting needs. Continue reading

Understanding Marx

Peter Knapp and Alan J. Spector have written a superb introduction to Marxist thought, a much needed one, since reading Marx can be a daunting task. The grand old man’s prose is often ponderous, abstract, and complex, so many readers can’t discern his full meaning. He wrote a great deal, but he didn’t bring it together and organize it, so it’s diffuse. Continue reading

Forging a Socialist-Islamist alliance

Most western Middle East experts see Islam as a problem for the West—a source of terrorism, religious fanaticism, unwanted immigrants—and they see their job as helping to change the Middle East so it’s no longer a problem for us. Eric Walberg, however, recognizes that this is another instance of the Big Lie. Continue reading

The newest depth of depravity

There it goes, disappearing into extinction, that fine old mark of punctuation, the comma of direct address. Every time I read an email that starts “Hi William,” I wince. Deep within me lurks a reactionary grammarian who insists on a comma separating the name of the person from what is being said to them. At first I tried to convince myself that in the salutation of an email the missing comma isn’t important. After all, the meaning is clear. Continue reading

A postmodern political fable

“The Indian Uprising” by Donald Barthelme is an iconic short story of the 1960s heralding the defeat of the US empire and the end of white male dominance. Written as the USA was mired in a hopeless war, as Native-Americans and African-Americans were rebelling against oppression, and as women were breaking out of the traditional roles they had been confined to, the story predicted the victory of these insurgents over the feeble old order. Its experimental style full of dislocations and dissolutions captured the postmodern zeitgeist. Continue reading

Varieties of violence

Terrorists, serial killers, domestic murderers—their ghoulish deeds fill our news and popular entertainment, interspersed with wars, riots, and brutal repressions. Violence surrounds us. Continue reading

Murder made sexy

The US Special Forces is a bizarrely gendered world, as I found out when I joined it to write a book about war. This all-male bastion is sexualized in a way that can only be called perverted, particularly in its methods for turning young men into killers on command. Continue reading

Strategies of containment

Many of us on the left have been kettled at demonstrations: surrounded by a wall of police, herded into a small area, and prevented from reaching our goal. The term is a translation of kesseln, the German military tactic of enclosing an enemy force within a tight cordon of troops and gradually wearing it down rather than attacking it directly. Continue reading

Shattering myths can be dangerous

A review of Gaither Stewart's new novel, ‘Lily Pad Roll’

Gaither Stewart is a shatterer of myths. In The Trojan Spy, volume one of the Europe Trilogy, he shattered the myth that the USA is fighting terrorism and showed instead how our government works in a symbiotic relationship with the so-called terrorists. Now in Lily Pad Roll, volume two of the trilogy, he shatters the myth that America is invading countries and building foreign bases in order to defend the homeland and secure oil supplies. He shows instead that the deeper motive for this slaughter of hundreds of thousands of our fellow human beings and the resulting near-bankruptcy of our country is brutal geopolitics: the desire of our ruling elite to weaken their chief rivals, Russia and China, and to prepare for war with Iran. Stewart’s artistic skills make this case more convincingly than a dozen academic analyses could. Continue reading

You are God. Who? . . . Me?

The statement “You are God” seems an absurd and presumptuous blasphemy, so it needs to be clarified. According to pantheism, it’s not just you who are God; all of us are God. And it’s not just all of us who are God; everything is God. God is the universe in synergy, the whole that is more than the sum of its parts. Continue reading

America is under attack!

Vicious fanatics are trying to kill us and destroy our country. They’re blowing up our soldiers overseas. They’ve infiltrated our country. We must defend ourselves against these mad-dog berserkers before it’s too late. Continue reading

Stemming the tides of protest

As the living conditions of ordinary people inevitably worsen under capitalism and as its wars cause increasing devastation, tides of protest rise up from the population. The ruling elite then seek to stem these tides before they reach flood state. Continue reading

Literature in a locked down land

Working class literature is alive and well and living in prison. It is “well” not in the sense of being contented and happy but rather of being vital and impassioned. And it is imprisoned not just in the sense of being locked behind bars but also of being locked into poverty. Some prisons have walls of iron and stone, others walls of economics and racism. It is their efforts to escape from this second prison that get most inmates incarcerated in the first. As Mumia Abu-Jamal said, “I’ve been in prison my whole life.” Continue reading

Strategies of deception

To get a preview of Obama’s strategies for winning a second term, we just need to read the liberal press. They are giving lip-service praise to the current protests while trying to steer them in a direction that serves the Democratic Party. Seeking to restore the fading illusion that the Democrats work in the interests of the 99%, they imply that if Obama is given a second term, his true nature will emerge and he’ll crack down on the greed and corruption of the 1% and lead the country in a progressive direction. They conveniently ignore that he’s done the opposite during his three years in office. Continue reading

The last days of the Lilliputians

In Gulliver’s Travels the tiny Lilliputians attacked the much larger Gulliver while he was sleeping and tied him to the ground with thousands of threads. In a similar way, the ruling elite have tied the working class in bondage. Continue reading

Einstein’s prescience

Albert Einstein wrote in 1939, “There could be no greater calamity than a permanent discord between us and the Arab people. Despite the great wrong that has been done us, we must strive for a just and lasting compromise with the Arab people. . . . Let us recall that in former times no people lived in greater friendship with us than the ancestors of these Arabs.” Einstein was opposed from the start to the setting up of a Jewish state and to mass emigration into Palestine. He was also one of the signatories to an Open Letter to the New York Times in 1948 denouncing the terrorist activities of Menachem Begin and the massacre carried out in the Arab village of Deir Yassin. Continue reading

Ending an endless war

How do we defuse an aggressive culture? How do we end an endless war? Continue reading

Resurrecting insurrection

Endless war . . . endless despair. The USA finally elects a leader who pledges to bring peace, and he morphs before our incredulous eyes into a war president. We’re still killing thousands of people, manipulating other nations, developing new nuclear bombs, forcing our financial will around the world, and jailing dissenters at home. Continue reading