Sunday, August 30, 2015

Predicting the next juvenile revolution

By Denis G. Rancourt


The establishment, not so very long ago, had a healthy fear of juveniles. In the 1950s:

A thousand conferences, agencies, committees, and newspapers alerted the country [USA] to the danger. Juvenile delinquency was the only rebellion around, and it had to be stopped.
   Articles on teenage delinquency gushed forth. Experts labelled it a "national epidemic," projecting some two and a half million cases. "Unless this cancer is checked early enough," warned one popular book, 1,000,000 Delinqints (1955), "it can go on spreading and contaminate many good cells in our society.... [1]

Although politicians called for it, there was no purge like there was against Communism [2], only a tightening of civil and institutional controls, including city-wide curfews. But the genie was out of the bottle due to changing economic reality and modern technology:

The greater access to money and especially to automobiles, which allowed the young to escape watchful parents, fostered their identities as individuals with specific sexual, musical, and consuming needs. [3]

However, the first modern juvenile revolution did not occur until newly populated campuses exploded in the 1960s. The students rejected being treated like owned children, while being drafted for war.

The students revolted, walked out, demonstrated, and squatted without relenting. They obtained:
  • independence over their personal lives (no oversight of off-campus activities, no curfews, no discipline for non-academic matters)
  • the right to unionize and collectively own buildings and businesses on campus
  • respect of their power when it came to imposing a military draft
  • minority representation on all university committees (including the Senate and Board)
These were lasting victories of a true and bloody [4] juvenile revolution.

While the revolt vehemently and explicitly expressed a desire to be free from the clutches of true legal power over the institution (which resides in the Board), as in Mario Savio's iconic speeches



the furthest success in that direction was to obtain representation on university "governance" committees, which is no small accomplishment if the representatives impose themselves rather than allow themselves to be co-opted tokens.

But the 1960s achievements of partial democracy and partial student liberation in the institution were perceived as threatening and have been systematically eroded by the concerted efforts of establishment forces.

The counter-revolution was already well underway by 1975 when the Trilateral Commission, founded by David Rockefeller in 1973, published The Crisis of Democracy: On the Governability of Democracies. The report recommended restructuring public institutions to address the identified threat stemming from "an excess of democracy". They knew how to fix that...

What followed, starting in the 1980s, was a catastrophe on the scale of a macro-economic and macro-societal restructuring:
  • Reversal of The New Deal and of post-WWII middle-class access to economic independence, 
  • gutting of professional independence of teachers, 
  • gutting of tenure (replacement by contract staff), 
  • complete corporate alignment of the university mission, 
  • codification and confinement of radicalism within allowed "justice and equity" programs, 
  • student-debt slavery extended far into post-studies life, 
  • tighter ideological processing in all the professional programs, and new imposed programs for journalists, etc., 
  • totally institutionalized childhoods including after-school activities, 
  • more grading and performance evaluations than you can shake a stick at, 
  • more homework and "volunteer" work than ever, 
  • "zero tolerances" of drugs, traffic violations, petty crime, payment delays, improper language, etc., 
  • more surveillance than in any novel about a dystopia, 
  • being fired for comments on social media at every corner, 
  • etc.
... the list of post-1970s abuses that most citizens actually celebrate and defend is a long one. All of the "99%" (non-elite) suffered the same fate, to varying degrees.

As a result, more than ever these days, all school pupils are literally in a prison, with locked doors, yard time, prison guards, and parental home visits. College and university students have no time to think, but instead are on a brutal and meaningless treadmill, with periodic PowerPoint torture [5], while being shackled with financial debt, rather than being paid for their labour [6].

What has kept the lid on USA juveniles (except in Canada's province of Quebec, to some extent)? What has stalled the next US-Canada-Europe... juvenile rebellion?

Several factors have contributed, as I see it.

First, juveniles are seriously constrained and corralled in every aspect of their lives, but that alone is not normally enough to suppress vital instincts.

Second, the state, like any police state, is vicious in attacking and punishing student dissidents with police-induced judicial consequences, augmented by punitive measures applied by the educational institutions themselves. This is a strategy to kill any spontaneous or planned emergence of rebellion. 

Third, many students themselves have been largely neutralized in their brains, to be seekers of justice fairly provided to them by the very system that imprisons them, to seek "being oppressed fairly". A mass of students has essentially been zombiefied by the poison of the "radical" "justice and equity" programs, anchored in "critical theory" "at the service of the design of a better society". They have swallowed the myth that liberation is establishment-regulated participation in the design of a "just society".

Fourth, in a divide-and-conquer attack against the mind, students have been turned against each other with manufactured hyper-concern for their own religions, skin colours, genders, sexual preferences, and superficial "privileges", rather than recognizing the common enemy of an oppressive establishment that eats them alive, irrespective of their individual attributes.

Ageism is a unifying psycho-social force that channels a juvenile rebellion against the systemic oppression of youth. There is ageism, but it is presently used as a strategy for survival, rather than a force for rebellion. Ageism and inter-generational solidarity with trusted agents and coalitions with trusted cells are not opposites in a juvenile revolution. The former is visceral motivation while the latter are strategic choices. [7]

Fifth, and possibly most importantly, juveniles are both drugged by their parents and self-medicated to escape and "perform".

The pharmaceutical industry for drugs that optimize the shoolability of children is massive. These potent mood-altering drugs are widely prescribed against the symptoms of repressed childhood (so-called attention deficit disorder, etc.), and are now frequently marketed as "smart drugs". These are the Ritalins, etc., known as nootropics. Nootropics have spawned a pervasive black market among juveniles forced into "performance" work and are widespread among students. [8]

The self-medication to escape meaninglessness and powerlessness is both from substances and from technologically enabled stimulation (personal music devices, social media, communication technology). Much of the needed identity management is authentically communicative, such as YouTube testimonials, status posts, and tweets, and is often supplemented by face to face continuations.

In addition, there is a significant pot culture of escape. While pot (like all drugs) is a helpful personal exploration tool, it is also frequently primarily used to escape the brutal world by creating a safe space, and simply to dull the pain of being violated by the institutions of "education".

Thus, there are many effective avenues of personal identity management that allow long-term survival. The mental space is self-managed away from the visceral impulse of authentic rebellion. This is combined with the fact that students are still able to physically escape the institution, both in separate physical spaces, which can be as small as a student apartment, and via their computer and phone screens in the classroom or elsewhere.

Sixth, although the school and university environments are brutally dehumanizing, in terms of institutional obedience-training and indoctrination, they are also accompanied by a constant brainwashing that the student has merit and high status by virtue of being in school, and that the student has entered a privileged club whose members experience fulfillment and meaning. And, within each program, there is "choice", which some students reason to themselves allows them to personalize their experience.

Seventh, the media and institutional spaces are actively cleansed of any eminent examples of successful rebellions, and of the personal rewards of authentic rebellion. Teachers and professionals are harshly prosecuted for anything that could resemble "corrupting the youth". Instead, professional status and military service are portrayed as providing the ultimate personal rewards.

The May 1968 message "Sous les pavés, la plage!" is both absent and written in a very foreign language. There are no teachers writing re-mixes of the 1969 "the little red schoolbook". You cannot even utter the "N-word", let alone assign unconstrained reading of the 1967 essay "The Student as Nigger" [9].

At my own recent binding arbitration into my 2009 dismissal from my tenured full professorship of more than two decades, after I had been critical of the administration and created a popular activism course which had to be given in the largest auditorium on campus, the hired university lawyers spent the majority of their efforts to argue the propositions that I incited students to violence, had incited students to bonfire the campus at UBC via an invited talk, had connections to fire-bombing domestic terrorists, had publicly called the president a "douchebag", etc., etc. [10], with such "exhibits" as the fact that one of the clips in one of my YouTube-channel playlists is this one, which, for no other reason, was played during the arbitration hearing:



The anarchist video is an example of fringe-culture rebellion connected to anti-globalization demonstrations, not an example of campus rebellion against institutional suppression of student lives.

Eighth, the constant and overbearing propaganda that there are mega-threats to humanity, including global warming, potential health epidemics, etc., that require dedicated collaboration with the establishment and its scientists. Add the threats from "foreign invaders", and homegrown "terrorism", etc. All such research and propaganda also serves US corporate and geopolitical interests. Institutions and governments do not work against themselves, ever. [11][12]

For all these reasons (first to eighth, above), therefore, so far, there has not been a new juvenile revolution against student slavery. You can't even use the word "slavery" because that would be "misappropriation", blah blah blah.

But it is slavery, just as wage-slavery is slavery, and its damage is deep and lasting (see [6]). And as with any slavery, there is a large psychological barrier against recognizing the slavery. Every slave has invested into the system and identifies with the system. To reject slavery would be to vaporize one's identity and could induce massive grief at the prospect of having lost one's past life.

So, will the student-slaves ever revolt again? Will there be another mass juvenile revolution?

I believe it is inevitable. There are constant sparks, and the gasoline of human suppression is just under the corporate facade. Institutional totalitarianism is advancing at a furious pace. The war economy of global exploitation has endless needs... Rebellions are emerging all over the "developing world", and new geopolitical blocs (e.g., BRICS) are emerging that challenge US domination, which breaks the isolation and forces some moderation both abroad and at home.

At any moment, the sight of beach sand from under the broken pavement could cause a frenzy. There could result real physical solidarity against the targeting of the most daring, the emergence of vision, and the organization of a committed juvenile front.

This can only work if the next juvenile revolution goes significantly beyond the juvenile revolution of the 1960s, beyond minority representation on committees, and on towards true power to run the institutions of juvenile imprisonment and make them into institutions for and by juveniles. Students are workers in the economy and must, as a start, be fairly paid for their labour (see [6]), as the first transitional demand.

Never mind tuition, students must be salaried. If society wants juveniles to do the hard work of learning skills, because society wants those skills, then a living wage is an immediate prerequisite. This was understood in the Middle-Ages but has been "forgotten". Youth cannot be used as a pretext to exploit and capture.

Children were taken from factory wage-slavery and put into factory schools. Now juveniles accumulate debt for the "privilege" of being molded into service professionals.

Sooner or later, there will be the next juvenile revolution, and university president salaries will drop. Students will fire and choose their teachers, and will decide what needs to be learned. They will learn how to make all the most important decisions about their own lives, by the practice of making those decisions. And they will learn how to make and re-create powerful institutions made in their liberated image rather than controlled by outside occupiers.


Endnotes

[1] Jacoby, Russell, The Last Intellectuals, 1987 (2000 edition, Basic Books), p. 63
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCarthyism
[3]  The Last Intellectuals, p. 64
[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent_State_shootings
[5] Rancourt, Denis G., "On the sacred space of the university classroom", Activist Teacher, October 3, 2009, http://activistteacher.blogspot.ca/2009/10/on-sacred-space-of-university-classroom.html
[6] Rancourt, Denis G., "Adult Students Please Get Real", Dissident Voice, April 27, 2015, http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/04/adult-students-please-get-real/
[7] The same is true of racism in racial liberation struggles, and of violence in struggles to survive attempted genocides. See: Rancourt, Denis G., Hierarchy and Free Expression in the Fight Against Racism, Stairway Press, 2013. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hierarchy_and_Free_Expression_in_the_Fight_Against_Racism
[8] For example, this 2009 5 O'Clock Train - CHUO 89.1 FM investigative radio interview: "Upper Year Psychology Students on School, Deadlines, Medication and How to Survive University", December 3, 2009 show: http://trainradio.blogspot.ca/2009/12/upper-year-psychology-students-on.html
[9] Farber, Jerry, "The Student as Nigger", 1967, first published in the Los Angeles Free Press. Canadian Union of Students re-publication: http://www.studentunion.ca/cfs/1968/1968-cus-student-as-nigger.pdf
[10] A transcript of the lengthy hearing is fascinating and was published by a former student who attended the proceedings: Cover-article-LINK, Transcript-LINK. The emails of a hired student spy to the university executives, explaining her use of false cyber-identities and covert machinations are most instructive: Spy-emails-LINK.
[11] Rancourt, Denis G., "Climate Stupidity and Human Survival", Dissident Voice, May 26, 2015, http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/05/climate-stupidity-and-human-survival/
[12] In particular, carbon politics is domination geopolitics. The US is branding itself as "the clean-energy superpower", including at the recent G7 parade. Next it will continue to attempt to strangle and extort the energy development of the emerging BRICS global economy, using a combination of green blackmail rhetoric, global carbon-economy monetary instruments, military posturing, covert and direct targeted nation destruction, and sanctions. And, of course, the same folks always suffer the destructive consequences of these global economic instruments that purport to be intended to "save the planet": The Carbon Rush documentary film trailer.


Dr. Denis G. Rancourt is a former tenured and Full Professor of physics at the University of Ottawa, Canada. He is known for his applications of physics education research (TVO Interview). He has published over 100 articles in leading scientific journals, and has written several social commentary essays. He is the author of the book Hierarchy and Free Expression in the Fight Against Racism. While he was at the University of Ottawa, he supported student activism and opposed the influence of the Israel lobby on that institution, which fired him for a false pretext in 2009: LINK.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The classic political theories of socialism, capitalism, and anarchism are unrealizable

By Denis G. Rancourt

Three brilliant political theories on how to optimally organize and maintain society's economic and power structures were described by Karl Marx, Adam Smith, and anarchists such as Michael Bakunin and Peter Kropotkin, which are, respectively:
None of these models can result in a stable large-scale society because spontaneous creation and growth of dominance hierarchies will always occur, and the resulting dominance hierarchies continuously consume or destroy all the groups, associations and institutions that might enable democratic frameworks and islands of liberty.

The classic models can never be permanently implanted. At best, these political theories serve solely to provide tentative guiding principles to organize and actuate the constant push-back against the dominance hierarchy's always-increasing attacks that target individual freedoms, communities, and free associations.

The same political theories (including anarchism) also serve to construct the useful illusion -- maintained by the institutions, the service intellectuals* and the propaganda -- that a fair system is achievable, and that we are not simply played in a violent and oppressive hierarchy of dominance.

If we understand that there is no ultimate victory, that there will be constant assaults against the individual and community, and that political theories are merely potentially useful conceptual aids in combat against the voracious monster that is the occupying dominance hierarchy, then we can best choose how to utilize elements of the classic models in our active struggle for freedom and meaning.

But the most useful model of all is the realization that there is a constant systemic driving force towards a more authoritarian and more powerful societal hierarchy of dominance, and that its target is the individual (and authentic communities) precisely because the essential element of push-back against hierarchical encroachment is that very individual, which naturally seeks liberation and meaning.**

That is why, from the perspective of the rulers, the individual must be incapacitated [see video, below, and note**]. The main project of the occupying hierarchy of dominance is to constantly neuter and align individuals, and not allow authentic communities or competing internal hierarchies to arise. The education and wage-employment systems are the main components of this control, with the law-and-order instruments as the main "corrective" apparatus.

Freedom seekers would benefit from not limiting themselves to any particular textbook ideology, in favour of a realistic understanding of the nature of human societies, which always proliferate dominance hierarchies, to the limit of available technologies. The undeniable reality on the ground must inform our actions, rather than any particular theoretical idealization. Ideals and values, yes, but canned invented systems of wishful idealism, no.

*The meaning of the term "service intellectual" was introduced here: "Gradual Change is not Progress" by Denis G. Rancourt, Global Research, May 3, 2006, http://www.globalresearch.ca/gradual-change-is-not-progress/2377
**Rancourt, Denis G., "Hierarchy and Free Expression in the Fight Against Racism", Stairway Press, 2013. https://fightagainstracismbook.wordpress.com/
 



Criticism of Israel is not antisemitism -- Letters in legal brief


Ontario lawyer ED CORRIGAN was sued for defamation in relation to criticisms of Israel and Zionism.

THESE 2005-2011 LETTERS (LINK) (PDF) were written in Ed's support. The 160-page collection has 80 letters, including from noted academics and lawyers from around the world.

The claim was abandoned.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The individual must be incapacitated -- video interview with Denis Rancourt

Julia Tourianski interviewed me about my book. This is a short summary statement captured at the end of the long interview.



Brave The World also put out this meme on Twitter, which features a quote from my book:


Monday, July 6, 2015

Alwaght News interview with Denis Rancourt -- Every Day Must be Quds Day

http://www.alwaght.com/en/News/13315/Everyday-Must-Be-Quds-Day-We-Must-All-Be-Palestinians-Prof-Denis-Rancourt
Monday, July 6, 2015, 5:22 PM

Alwaght - Professor Denis Rancourt, a Canadian scholar who was fired from the university where he was teaching under Israeli lobby pressures, is of the opinion that everyday should be marked as the International Quds Day, stressing that world’s nations ought to close ranks against the arrogant powers’ murder campaigns and support popular resistance movements.  
“Any country that serves US geopolitical machinations is protected by the US regime, and is thereby shielded from war crime prosecutions, no matter how horrendous and obvious its mass murders may be. The history of this pattern is unambiguous, and the protection typically extends to the economic, diplomatic, and military spheres. This is especially true for Israel which is in a symbiotic relation with powerful Israel lobbies in the US, France, Canada, Australia, … In the UK the domestic Israel lobby is somewhat kept in check by strong popular activism that impacts electoral politics,” Dr. Denis Rancourt said in an exclusive interview with Alwaght news website.
He also said that the Saudi regime, by its actions and alliances, is an integral part of the empire that is attempting to exterminate Gaza’s life and spirit, and the Saudi regime’s war crime of aggression against the people of Yemen is most despicable. Israel is not the only active war criminal aggressor in the region. All will enjoy immunity under the empire’s disproportionate influence on world institutions until the newly balanced emerging world has sufficiently matured. 

Alwaght: In August 1979, the late founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Khomeini declared the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan as International Quds Day, calling on Muslims across the world to mark the annual occasion by holding street rallies. Millions of people around the world take to the streets on this day in a show of support for the people of Palestine, demanding an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands. What's your take on International Quds Day?

Rancourt: The International Quds Day is an important statement of recognition and of profound gratitude towards all occupied Palestinians who fight back and reject collaboration with the occupying force. We must honour and celebrate their inspiring, courageous and tenacious endurance, resistance, and dignified self-defence. Quds Day is a vital link to the extraordinary spirit and strength of occupied Palestinians, who are a world treasure in the global fight against organized oppression and evil. The world desperately needs Palestinians, and Palestinians need a conscious and moral world that respects itself enough to actually fight for justice. Every day must be Quds Day, and we must all be Palestinians. Our personal actions involving risk must oppose domination in every area of society, starting close to home in priority, and extending to all the peoples against which enslavements, genocides and wars have been and are being perpetrated.

We, free people of the world, owe much to Palestinians for their stellar and heroic resistance against a most brutal empire. That empire, which includes my country (Canada) as a participant in these global crimes, is vicious and immoral. It has enslaved and exterminated millions and millions of victims on all inhabited continents, in its insatiable quest for power and material gain. It strives for and imposes total and uncompromising dominance -- not just dominance over territory and national administrations, but over peoples and peoples’ minds and spirits also.

Quds Day is a statement that the dominant global empire will be stopped, and is being stopped, by the actuated will of people, who do not want to be dominated, by the actuated will of people who want freedom and influence over their own communities. Through widespread resistance, a new world is emerging as a mosaic of collaborating nations that control their own destinies and associations, and that do not want to be a plantation and killing field for a global empire. As this new reality is achieved, we must not allow Israel’s on-going genocide project to be continued any further, and we must not allow any more nations to be annihilated by total destruction. We must always stand against the empire’s brutal plans, most visibly, the on-going murder campaigns against Gaza, Palestine, Yemen, and Syria in the immediate, while continuing to support resistance in every region that it is manifested.

Alwaght: Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, East al-Quds (Jerusalem), and the Gaza Strip, and are demanding that Israeli regime withdraw from the Palestinian territories occupied in the 1967 Six-Day War. Despite pressures by international rights bodies, it seems that Tel Aviv doesn't plan to put an end to the blockade of the Gaza Strip and in fact is benefiting from the prolongation of the siege. Do you believe that Tel Aviv needs to keep the siege in place in order to safeguard its own existence and legitimacy?  

Rancourt: Israel’s blockade against the Gaza Strip, in combination with Israel’s periodic military massacres of Palestinians in Gaza and all-out destruction of public infrastructure, is an international crime of the highest order. There is no rational justification for the blockade against Gaza, unless the ultimate Israeli goal is progressive genocidal extermination and evacuation of Gaza. Israel’s policy and practice of periodic military slaughters and destruction of public and housing infrastructures, combined with an effectively permanent blockade, can only be objectively understood as a long-term Israeli goal to annihilate Palestinians. This is the on-going, systematic, and long-term Israel genocide that is clear for everyone to see, and that is explicitly managed by Israeli political and opinion leaders.

Israel’s mass crimes cannot be justified as part of any legitimate political or military tactic. There is no realistic existential threat to the Jewish State. Israel is the regional superpower, with one of the most powerful armies in the world. Israel’s fabricated myth of an existential threat is untenable in the face of its history and of the hard evidence. On the contrary, if anything it is Israel’s power, predatory designs, and influence and interference in the interest of empire that are a sustained threat to stability in the region.

There is no sign that enough will ever be enough. Israel could choose to respect human rights and the right of return, in negotiating reparations and resource sharing, or it can continue to practice its criminal campaigns. It has the power to make those decisions. There is every sign that Israel will never make just reparation decisions without sufficient global pressure.

Quds Day is one manifestation of a desire of world citizens to pressure their governments to bring Israel in line with international norms of decency. Quds Day should not be solely an expression of “hope” or solely an occasion for spiritual reflection. In my view, Quds Day also needs to be an affirmation of a moral contract to act and speak-out to exert needed political influence for good. When I have been honoured to be a speaker at Quds Day celebrations, I have expressed this view.

Alwaght: Israeli regime warplanes pounded residential areas in the Gaza Strip during Tel Aviv's 51-day war, killing and injuring thousands of civilians, mostly women and children. International rights bodies and the so-called advocates of democracy and human rights such the US and some Western countries are privy to the fact that the massacre of innocent people is a crime under international law. What has turned Israel into an immune regime while it has repeatedly violated international law by its ongoing atrocities?  

Rancourt: Any country that serves US geopolitical machinations is protected by the US regime, and is thereby shielded from war crime prosecutions, no matter how horrendous and obvious its mass murders may be. The history of this pattern is unambiguous, and the protection typically extends to the economic, diplomatic, and military spheres. This is especially true for Israel which is in a symbiotic relation with powerful Israel lobbies in the US, France, Canada, Australia, … In the UK the domestic Israel lobby is somewhat kept in check by strong popular activism that impacts electoral politics.

The UK is an example where represented active citizens can moderate some of the attempted excesses of the US regime. In response to such a democratic threat, the US and Israel have been using regional tensions and hired-thugs such as ISIS to attempt nation annihilation and dismantling through proxy wars, in targeted countries where collaborating elites cannot easily be installed, such as in Iraq and Syria. These fuelled proxy wars are the most despicable mass crimes imaginable, without declarations of war, without UN approval, and without the protections of the Geneva Conventions.
The Saudi regime, by its actions and alliances, is an integral part of the empire, the same empire that is attempting to exterminate Gaza’s life and spirit, and the Saudi regime’s war crime of aggression against the people of Yemen is most despicable. Israel is not the only active war criminal aggressor in the region. All will enjoy immunity under the empire’s disproportionate influence on world institutions until the newly balanced emerging world has sufficiently matured. 

A similar scenario of empire-supported fractioning and destruction was partly actuated in the Ukraine recently. The US regime is enthusiastic about fermenting war in such a way as to attempt to halt the inevitable global economic development of independent blocks, such as BRICS. Here and elsewhere, the empire’s now-common duplicitous use of economic “sanctions” is both morally criminal, in the potential harm caused to ordinary citizens, and geopolitically irresponsible, in the potential instability that is knowingly created. By any objective standard, the empire’s “sanctions” are mass criminal aggressions.

In view of the emerging world economic realities, the US regime is a failing empire with disproportionate military strength, which is a most dangerous situation. The best we can do in this transition period is to stop the ongoing nation destructions and genocides. And the best way to do that is to support the freedom fighters and resistors as much as we can by taking our governments out of the murderous US-led campaigns of destruction. We must impose domestic democracy as much as we can, in such a way as to protect Gaza, Yemen, Syria, and our own oppressed domestic populations that are needed in the unified struggle for actual democracy. This is why the present wave of US-empire campaigns of terror and proxy wars are currently accompanied by the most aggressive attacks against civil liberties in the US-aligned world seen in many decades, from criminalizing BDS and criticisms of Israel, to prosecuting thought crimes of every variety. Independent thought and democracy are the new undeclared enemies of satellite administrations such as France and Canada, and in the US itself. Even in Israel now, a world bastion of freedom of speech, Palestinian national politicians are being summarily imprisoned. These are all clear signs of a failing empire, and of an emerging generalized will to resist. More and more, every day is Quds Day.

Soon, I hope, in my naïve view, the Muslim world will find a way to unite and become the independent and powerful world leader that it deserves to be. It will further and effectively reject US regime interference, and any emerging interference, and it will negotiate and collaborate as an equal in the world, in the interest of its citizens and their diverse democratic ambitions. The fall of absolute US domination need not be a hell of destruction. It can be an occasion for unity and new possibilities. It can occur as an emergence of justice, with inspired and principled new and renewed leaders. This can even occur in the US and its satellite countries if we show these governments the way. Gaza is already eminently showing the way by its resourcefulness, determination, and pure courage; by its Sumud [Steadfastness]. Gaza calls for our involvement every day, which must be Quds Day.

Alwaght: Some certain Arab and Western countries have been always seeking to deflect world's attention away from the Palestinian Cause which tops the priorities of the Muslim world. What's your perspective on the issue of Cause of Palestine and the attempts to put it on the road of oblivion?

Rancourt: The Zionist project has shown itself to be an expansionist and genocidal project, rather than a benign national emancipation project. This has been more than clear to all observers for a long time. Israel is now seen for what it is: a criminal and rogue state deeply motivated by racist exceptionalism, with a majority population that apparently wants to exterminate Palestinians. Israel’s hate is the hate of a genocidal campaign. It can only be stopped by resisting the campaign and shunning the murderers. A sufficiently firm treatment of Israel can constrain it to follow international law, and to accept the needed reparations and equal-party justice-based negotiations regarding illegally occupied land and the right of return.

The US regime will continue to protect Israel’s immunity, even while the genocide is perpetrated, until the US itself sees Israel’s crimes as an intolerable liability. As the US Empire fails to maintain absolute dominance, even in its own backyard and over its own domestic population, it may come to see Israeli crimes as an intolerable liability. At that point, the US Israel lobby will also see the light. Therefore, this is a race for the survival of Palestine. Israel will do everything it can to steal and break Palestine before the circumstances of the faltering US and an awakening world put a definitive stop to the genocide. If Israel succeeds, the world will have lost Palestine, and we all will share responsibility for this greatest catastrophe. I just don’t know that Palestine can survive without our own real contributions to the global struggle, but I hope that Palestine can overcome even our cruel indifference if we cannot be moved beyond “remembering”.

Dr. Denis Rancourt was a professor for more than 20 years at the University of Ottawa, up to the highest rank of Full Professor, until 2009. In the fall of 2008, he was removed from all teaching duties under the pretext that he had granted A+ grades to 23 students in one course during the winter 2008 semester; however, it's quite clear to everybody that his outspoken criticism of Israel and his pro-Palestinian activism had triggered his dismissal from the university. Professor Rancourt's classes were always attended by tens of students and he was considered as one of the popular university professors at the Faculty of Science.
He has authored more than 100 articles published in leading peer-reviewed scientific journals, in the fields of physics, and environmental science. He is currently an independent social theorist and science critic, author of several social analysis articles posted on internet venues, and the author of the book “Hierarchy and Free Expression in the Fight Against Racism” (Stairway Press, 2013). He is an active volunteer with the Ontario Civil Liberties Association, and an experienced self-represented litigant.
Interview by Javad Arab Shirazi

Sunday, June 7, 2015

AT list of remarkable professional persons -- v2.0

Note: For older and newer versions of this list, click on the label "AT List". Newest additions are marked "*". Please make suggestions in comment.


This is version-2.0 of a tentative list of outstanding persons who have used their professional status to fight injustice, and who have thus disturbed power and suffered significant consequences.

Based on living professionals, these are folks who stand for what they believe, in the face of powerful and organized opposition.

Wesley Clark*

Yanis Varoufakis* (Reevaluating as per: LINK)


I welcome your suggestions (in comment below!) of those who should be prominently added to such a list.

And, from recent history: