Monday, June 28, 2010

On the question of Israel’s “right to exist” and on Israel’s racism

New Visitors READ:
Psycho-biological ... case of Israel"

On the question of Israel's "right to exist" and on Israel's racism

by Denis G. Rancourt

Surely the Israeli government would agree that the right of a nation state to exist is a question of international law.

Under international law, no other country has ever demanded or been granted that another nation state be forced to officially recognize the claimant nation’s “right to exist”, under the threat of military reprisal no less.

But since this is an original and unresolved question of international law and since Israel has forcefully put it on the table, it is relevant to examine whether Israel is following established principles of international law, such as the Geneva Conventions for example, or foreign country assassinations and kidnappings, or international waters commando attacks of civilian ships, etc.

These specific questions of international law are not complicated. The laws and international treaties are written in clear language, and Israel’s actions are also clear. Global civil society (Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Red Cross, etc.) and all independent international law experts that I have heard or read are unanimous in the answer. See HERE.

The absurd “right to exist” posturing of Israel deserves to be ridiculed.
Did Nazi Germany have a “right to exist”? Germany exists today and its criminal behaviour has been stopped. It has no nuclear weapons and its security arises from its respect for international law and for its neighbours. Its internal security arises from respecting human rights. I wish the same for Israel. The right of return is a human right.
No country has the right to extort a statement of “right to exist” from any other country.

Every country has a right to its opinions and official positions about the legal and historic legitimacies of other states. What matters are actions and crimes and these matter in proportion to their magnitudes – the numbers matter, not the rhetoric.

No country has a recognized God-given or otherwise right to exist, only responsibilities under international law and moral responsibilities.

Persons have absolute rights not to be forcibly displaced, occupied, collectively punished by arbitrary sanctions, murdered, etc. – this includes Palestinians and Israelis, all persons. States are criminal states to the extent and to the degree that they violate persons’ rights – the numbers matter.
To compare home-built rocket attacks on desert land to military onslaughts on cities and national infrastructures is a grotesque charade to justify mass murder and collective punishment.
The numbers matter. The numbers result from a large power asymmetry and this asymmetry (in both power and suffering) is the FIRST reality of the illegal Palestinian occupation. A language that does not start with this reality is one which masks and condones state criminality.

Likewise, the religious fanaticism and racism of many Israelis does not matter. What matters are the physical crimes being committed (in the name of “security”) that must be stopped.

World powers and influential organizations and civil society need to become rhetoric and racism insensitive in order to clearly see and gauge the actual physical crimes and to stop them, as the surest way to security for all (and to reduce cultural racism).

Commentators, lobbyists and service intellectuals who emphasize the rhetoric and societal racism of the oppressed work for the oppressor. Let us not have a competition about which side is most racist. Criminal racism is not rhetoric or vehement emotional reaction or hate – it is killing brown people. Leave opinion racism alone. Stop criminal acts. Focus. The cart needs to be put back behind the horse.

Israel needs to be stopped, for the greater safety of the most people – including Israelis.

And the US and Canada need to be stopped in their support of Israel state crimes. The Israel lobby needs to be stopped for the same reasons, exposed and stopped, on campuses, in governments, everywhere.

Security first!

[Photo: ID card of Rabbi Weiss, a Jew not a Zionist.]

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Social activism: Black thug violence must stop (with VIDEO)

Corroborated again at G20-Toronto:
In social activism by far the greatest threat of physical violence against persons is POLICE - dressed in black, faces covered, hard to identify, not answering questions, and bashing people about for no apparent reason.

by Denis G. Rancourt

In our PREVIOUS POST we made the obvious and repeatedly established point that the greatest risk of violence against persons at anti-corruption demonstrations is from police.

Not a single person was hurt or threatened by black bloc demonstrators at G20 in Toronto.

The same cannot be said about police behaviour: See the Real News video below.

They don't make it easy to identify the violent officers either. Here is a picture of G20-Toronto cops with no name tags - No way to identify an individual cop who hits you.

And below is a video with the police chief publicly shrugging off criticism with a suggestion that a bashed journalist can file a complaint... The video shows how small the name tag is when there is one, and there ain't no nice big officer number tag ever.

This video shows a series of disturbing scenes where, for no apparent reason, police run down a pedestrian with their horses, take down a deaf man for not following instructions, punch and throw about several peaceful demonstrators, punch a journalist and steal his microphone, throw back the microphone when other journalists move in, and, last but not least, show the police chief lying to justify the horrendous police behaviour in question.

A nice police state atmosphere with little counter protections: "This is what democracy looks like" - to remix a demonstrator's slogan.

This is the kind of police behaviour that changes one's emotional response to a picture of a police cruiser in flames, especially when it has been made clear that there will not be an investigation.

Partial solution for the immediate danger: The black thugs need big visible reflective officer numbers (front and back), with name lists posted to the web, and all the footage from those surveillance cameras made public every time they come onto the streets with clubs.

Safety first!

Where was the CCLA's Nathalie Des Rosiers in all of this? -Filing an injunction to prevent the use of sound canons and doing a press presentation about the injunction... but clubs, horses, "rubber" bullets and gas canisters fired at close range, and irrational police violence, with no investigations in sight for attacked journalist and peaceful protesters are just part of the decor? Will the CCLA demand an investigation?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Social activism: The violence must stop

In anti-corruption activism by far the greatest documented physical threat to persons is police violence

by Denis G. Rancourt

Never mind property damage to out-of-control corporations, what about actual harm to persons?

Who gets hurt and has their democratic right to protest and civil rights violated?

The protesters do. They get physically corralled, sound cannoned, pepper sprayed, shot at close range with "rubber" bullets, beat to hell with batons, thrown about like rag dolls, tear gassed for just being there, arrested on false pretext, illegally detained, cuffed for hours, and more.

And this is without even analyzing the impact of agent provocateurs, a widespread practice that has not been punished by state prosecutors or denounced by police (HERE).

Sooner or latter the police are going to forcefully cause someone to bang his/her head and die (when they don't kill dissenters and civilians while in custody).

Why the hell doesn't the corporate media report the widespread police violence in proportion to its occurrence...? We need a check and balance on police behaviour.

There is a far greater probability of a person being physically harmed by police at a legitimate demonstration, or being forced through the ordeal of being falsely arrested, than of a person being physically harmed by a 3am lobby fire at a local bank branch.

Let us put the risks to persons and to democracy in perspective.

The Ottawa RBC fire says "pay attention and look at the role of financial institutions in causing misery". The police repression says "activists and critics will not be tolerated".

It is no longer an exaggeration to state that Canada has adopted a police state stance and practice. The police intimidate, interrogate, and round up activists on false charges before high-profile demonstrations, to quash democratic expression, and publicly vilify their targets with outrageous propaganda (HERE).

Those who vehemently call for the suppression of activists are those who most feel the need to defend their deference to authority. They are the slaves by choice who vie for the master's recognition and who insist on being oppressed fairly. They advance that one must earn the privilege of being fairly oppressed.

The rest of us want freedom and democracy, the real deal.
BREAKING NEWS - June 26, 2010:
Radio interview: Police violence against journalist Jesse Freeston (Real News Network)
See also these posts about the Dalai Lama and pacifism: HERE.
And this post about hatred: HERE.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Beyond Against Chomsky - Hypocrisy on Israel

by Denis G. Rancourt

In two recent articles [1][2] I described Noam Chomsky as a service intellectual who serves to neutralize his readers by advancing intellectualization instead of concrete opposition to institutional controls.

Beyond this, especially Ghali Hassan has argued [3][4] that the intellectualization itself is US-Israel pro-establishment propaganda that serves to shield Israel and to cloud the mechanisms of power.

In his latest article Ghali Hassan quotes Chomsky from an Israeli TV media interview posted to youTube:

Hassan points out that Chomsky states "I don't regard myself as a critic of Israel. I regard myself a supporter of Israel." Hassan also quotes Chomsky as saying "I think the U.S. should continue to support Israel" [3]. However, I was not able to find the latter statement in the audio of the TV interview.

At 10:02 on the video Chomsky reaffirms his astonishing opposition to the academic boycott of Israel, consistent with his longstanding separation between radical "dissident" writing and reform by action [1][2]; and with his shielding of the Israeli state [3][4][5].

The truest statement in the video is uttered (in error) by the media host at 8:30 "[Israel's] right to exist is questionable."

In the video Chomsky goes to great lengths to explain that he is not a critic of Israel but is only trying to prevent Israel from hurting itself. Chomsky primarily wants to prevent Israel from hurting itself rather than primarily being concerned with stopping Israel's continuous barrage of war crimes against Palestinians.

Chomsky spends most of the 22-minute interview justifying himself and casting his benevolent role rather than explicitly describing and persistently denouncing Israel's murderous interventions and constant disregard for international law. His message is not intended to be effective using needed aggressor self-image leverage tactics [5] but is instead concerned with his own image and standing within the Israeli establishment.

His again expressed conflict with Alan Dershowitz is seen for what it is: Two service intellectuals vying for attention and favour with the US-Israel establishment, vying for preferred recognition of service.

Chomsky's paternalistic stance that he is trying to help Israel away from its most self-damaging behaviour is analogous to explaining to any oppressor that the oppression hurts the oppressor's public image and security. Obviously Israel puts significant resources in making this cost-benefit calculation [5] and does not need Chomsky's opinion in the matter. In my opinion Chomsky can't possibly believe that his explanation of his intentions will make any positive difference to the conditions for Palestinians and his spin must be understood as deference to the US-Israel establishment.

Chomsky states that he views himself as a dissident but I fail to see how he can be considered a dissident. He compares Cold War Russian state treatment of Russian dissidents to his own treatment by "irrational hysteria" from his co-citizens while maintaining his professorship and establishment status in the US.

It appears that with all his book knowledge, Noam Chomsky does not know himself.


[1] "Against Chomsky", July 2008;

[2] "Data in the study 'Against Chomsky'", May 2009;

[3] "Chomsky's Hypocracy", June 2010;

[4] "Protecting Israel: Chomsky’s Way", April 2006;

[5] "Psycho-biological basis for image leverage and the case of Israel", June 2010;

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Who is Allan Rock and why was Denis Rancourt fired?

Analysis of a temper tantrum gone viral

“When Liberal Party heavyweight Allan Rock took over as president at the University of Ottawa this September [2008], many wondered what would be in store for Denis Rancourt.”
--Jesse Freeston, journalist [1]

“We conclude that the charges advanced against Denis Rancourt are a contrived pretext, that they are preposterous as reasons to summarily remove a tenured professor, and that, therefore, the real reasons must lie elsewhere.”
-- Members of College and University Workers United [2]

“I have been following, with interest, the case of Marc Kelly - an under-graduate at the University of Ottawa who appears to be the victim of an outrageous vendetta brought against him by the President of that University, Allan Rock.”
--blogger (sophos) [3]

It is difficult to know how decisions are made because hierarchical institutions do everything they can to hide their true inner workings.

Nonetheless the chronology of events and the leakages of some documents allow one to advance plausible versions.


Until Allan Rock became president of the University of Ottawa in 2008, the previous administration, starting in 2005, was involved only in relatively moderate schemes to contain radical physics professor Denis Rancourt in his incessant applications of pedagogical advances and social justice and community outreach practices.

Pre-Rock containment attempts included [4]: removing the professor from all large first-year courses which he had developed, barring him from reserving an auditorium for his popular weekly documentary film and discussion series, arbitrarily imposing new academic rules in violation of Senate procedures (until overturned via a union grievance), an in-class dean’s intervention for which the university was later forced to apologize, allowing unethical attacks by a departmental chairman until the university was forced to intervene, fabrication of a student complaint (which the university withdrew), multiple contrived disciplinary campaigns that were dropped without explanation, and unjustified discipline for course content that was overturned by a labour law arbitrator.

In all of this tug of war over academic freedom the previous administration did not appear to contemplate outright dismissal and did not ever threaten dismissal. The first threats of dismissal came with Rock.

Only after Rock’s arrival did the administration’s methods become much more severe and physical, to include everything up to denial of due process, complete banning from all teaching, an unannounced laboratory lockout, unjustified firing of a research associate of 12-years (later settled out of court), threatening graduate students with loss of scholarships, banning of the professor from his weekly campus radio show using threat of police arrest, and forceful police arrest with handcuffs and removal while attending a campus event [5][6].


Although the professor had received several disciplinary attempts and internal criticisms for hosting invited speakers who were critical of Israel in his classes in 2005 and 2006 and had widely expressed and published his own criticisms of Israel, and although Allan Rock is a known staunch supporter of Israeli policies and has directly intervened on campus on multiple occasions to impose his views on Israel [7][8][9], the sudden and fast-tracked decision to fire Rancourt may not have been primarily driven by Israel-Palestine politics, as is often the case in high-profile firings in North America [10].

In hind-sight, the chronology of events suggests otherwise, suggests that something suddenly irked Rock at an even more visceral level than his allegiance to the Israel lobby.

For example, renowned critic of Israeli policy and colleague professor Michel Chossudovsky (editor of was not executed by Rock but only pressured into early retirement and retained part-time status.

It was more than the Israel lobby that drove Rock to his extremes of both urgency and intensity.


Let’s examine the chronology, including key campus events that involved Allan Rock. Here is how it went down.

Physics-mathematics student Marc Kelly (now of youTube fame [11]) took a fourth-year quantum mechanics course that Rancourt gave in the winter semester of 2008. The pedagogical method was unusual for a physics course and involved a non-competitive student-centered approach with an emphasis on in-class discussions. This caused some students in the class to question the pedagogical methods being used in their other courses.

Marc Kelly questioned the nature of the tests and assignments in a statistical physics course that he was taking concurrently with professor James Harden. Harden, was not receptive to the student’s questions and belittled Marc in front of the class and verbally intimidated him out of his office while nonetheless allowing the student to do a project instead of the final examination, only to refuse the project after the course was over and to attribute a failing grade without considering the project.

Student Kelly appealed this first to Harden, then to the physics department chairman Bela Joos, then to the vice-dean of science Leonard Kleine, then to the dean of science André E. Lalonde, then to the vice-president academic Robert Major, and finally to the president Allan Rock. In these appeals Kelly documented every step and put all those concerned and their superiors in cc. The saga is reported in a series of posts on UofOWatch and elsewhere [12].

Rock chose to not acknowledge or respond to Kelly’s emails. So, on Monday November 3, 2008, Kelly went to Rock’s office to chat with him about his ordeal.

That is when things took a nasty turn. Rock went ballistic on Kelly and repeatedly yelled at him to verbally intimidate him away in a disrespectful episode that could be enough to get a professor fired.

Fortunately, Kelly voice recorded the encounter and was therefore able to defend himself. Kelly posted the voice recording on the web and sent the link [13] by mass email to all the students and staff at the University of Ottawa (over 40,000 emails). (Even this exposed culmination of mistreatment did not result in justice for Kelly and his final project in the statistical physics course was never considered.)

Rock in turn sent a message to the university community in which he expressed “regret” by blaming Kelly. What followed was uninterrupted persecution of Mark Kelly. He was arbitrarily barred from his student-nominated position on a key university committee, unilaterally deregistered from a physics project course, pursued on multiple (a dozen or so) bogus criminal charges that were dropped, arrested in a class where he was invited to speak, arrested at an event where he was the main presenter (then let go without charges), barred from registering for all courses required to complete his degree, trespassed from campus, and ultimately pursued criminally again for allegedly violating his trespass. Concerted formal protests from both the student union and the union of teacher assistant have been to no avail. [12]


Following the November 3, 2008, verbal intimidation event in Rock’s office, Rancourt was coincidently invited on a pre-scheduled TV talk show (Talk Ottawa) to discuss his academic freedom struggles at the University of Ottawa. The TV interview was held live on the evening of November 12, 2008 [14]. During the call-in segment of the show, Mark Kelly called the studio and was put on air. The host had heard of the incident with Rock and the recording of Rock’s verbal intimidation was played on air from the web.

Rancourt then commented on air that he was appalled at the president’s behaviour and stated that a professor would be fired for treating a student that way.

Within days of this TV show Rancourt and his eight graduate students and research employee were locked out of their laboratory without any notice or forewarning on November 21, 2008. Following this, Rancourt was banned from campus and removed of all his functions on December 10, 2008, when he was escorted off the grounds by campus police. In an accelerated process like has never been seen at the University of Ottawa, Rancourt was then stripped of his tenure and fired on March 31, 2009, by an executive committee that included the membership of a prominent Ottawa Zionist organizer and Allan Rock himself.

It therefore appears that Rancourt was fired under public Israel lobby pressures because Allan Rock was irked beyond rational response by scholarship and award-nominated student and published scientific author Marc Kelly who remains banned from campus like a dangerous criminal.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) chief, Nathalie Des Rosiers, who continues to receive a salary from the University of Ottawa after serving under Rock as a vice president, has a different opinion about why Rancourt was fired [15].


[1] Opening line in “Dismissing critical pedagogy – Denis Rancourt vs. University of Ottawa”, best of 3 - book, Jenn Watt (Ed.) (First posted on web January 12, 2009.)

[2] Open letter from members of College and University Workers United (CUWU) (

[3] (Posted May 18, 2010.)

[4] List of outstanding and resolved labour law grievances and outcomes:

[5] Background information at

[6] Report by workplace mobbing expert Dr. Kenneth Westhues:

[7] Statement by Denis Rancourt regarding his dismissal:

[8] Allan Rock background and actions at the University of Ottawa:

[9] Allan Rock and the Israel lobby – on and off campus:

[10] Nocella et al. (Eds.), Academic Repression, 2010, AK Press, 590 pages.

[11] youTube videos of Mark Kelly being arrested:

[12] Articles about Marc Kelly on the UofOWatch blog:

[13] The true face of Allan Rock – post on UofOVoice blog:

[14] Talk Ottawa with James Hendricks, Rogers TV (Ottawa), Wednesday November 12, 2008, 9pm to 10pm.

[15] CCLA’s Nathalie Des Rosiers on why Rancourt was fired:

Friday, June 18, 2010

"The Province in its wisdom" -- Marc Jolicoeur explains democracy at the BOG (video)

This is a brilliant video by University of Ottawa math-physics student Marc Kelly.

Marc tracks down the Chairman of the Board of Governors just after the Board approves yet another yearly increase in student tuition fees and asks how this is possible...

Marc questions the democracy of the decision and Chairman Marc Jolicoeur lays it all out for Marc just how it works.

Marc entitled his video "Speaking To The Man".

It's priceless.

Jolicoeur recently was turfed or resigned - LINK.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Psycho-biological basis for image leverage and the case of Israel

by Denis G. Rancourt

Psycho-biological basis for image leverage – General model

Family and friends keep the First World financial-corporate elite bosses from murdering brown people in the developing world. Not directly of course but via a psycho-biological survival reflex: We don’t feel secure living with overt psychopaths.

In other words, for the elite bosses to continue practicing genocidal predation for power and profit it is necessary that the predation be cast in a false cover of humanitarian aid, democratic development, solidarity, progress, and the like, and that the most overtly murderous practices be cast as necessary in a fight against evil.

If sufficient care is not taken to secure this cover of mental imagery, then the bosses’ actions will appear more to be what they are, murderous and psychopathic, and the bosses’ children may not feel comfortable sitting on the bosses’ laps and the bosses’ partners may not feel comfortable sleeping in the same bed…

Actually, this problem is solved within the elite nuclear family with a strong family culture of elitism and racism. And it is solved in the bosses’ communities of friends with a strong community culture of classism, elitism, and racism.

But these gated communities are not hermetic. The elite classes have contacts and interactions with the more vibrant broader society. That’s where things get tricky. If the broader society sees the bosses as being psychopathic then by reflection the gated community will see itself as defective and this will represent a serious challenge to its self-image and to its sense of security.

One reaction is for the gated community to further isolate itself, to deepen its elitism, classism, and racism and to build higher walls around its community but this strategy is not sustainable [1]. Often, just the potential for the broader community to develop a negative impression of the elite bosses is enough to somewhat keep the elite psychopaths in check.

A main battlefield therefore is the mental environment in the broader society. The elite bosses own the media and control the schools and the institutions. They work hard and continuously at branding themselves and their finance-corporate projects in a positive light. Energy extraction giants are “green”, in fact greener than ever. Finance giants bring development to the world – one wonders why we need NGOs. NGOs alleviate any guilt or second thoughts from the rampages of exploitation and wholesale destruction. An elaborate mesh of lies is constantly constructed and maintained in order to keep the bosses hidden and their dirty work clean.

The mental environment therefore is a place where elite forces cross swords in winning over hearts and minds (read impulses and impressions) and where activists can have a counter influence. People talk. Errors get through. Interpretations go wrong. New communication platforms suffer temporary democracy.

An important tool in the activist’s arsenal is to go for the jugular. Call murder murder and genocide genocide. Call it displacement, extermination, and a war crime when that is what it is and name the exploiters and murderers. Find them and name them. Expose it in the broad society and flyer it in the gated community if you can.

Once the blood on their hands starts to show they will want to escape the mess that they have created. They will be more constrained than before. Having to create appearances always caries a real price – a new standard to which the mental environment must conform... Expose expose expose and they will need to spend more resources than ever defending their image. And the more they spin the more obvious it becomes that they are spinning.

So our job is to keep them honest by bold, creative, radical and repeated affirmations about their crimes, in the hope that their partners and children will leave them until they come to their senses and discover inter-class and inter-race civility, in the hope that their desires to be accepted in the broader society will reign them in.

This model of leverage on the powerful via public image is applicable at every level of a given control hierarchy and in relationships between individuals, institutions, corporations, and sovereign nations…

Individual Example – Terrorist vs. Freedom Fighter

The military understands this. An essential step in creating a killing machine that follows orders is to separate him/her from his/her nuclear family and community and to displace all self-worth evaluation in the individual to the sole standard of following orders, to replace community with an isolated squadron of death legitimized by orders and to demonize the enemy.

Following this, the more community-tied and morally constrained individuals, if they don’t escape or rebel, suffer “post traumatic stress disorder” (PTSD), no wonder. The more the war is questioned by the broader society and the aggressor home community, the greater the need for soldier and military-community isolation and the greater the incidence of PTSD. “Support our troops” becomes a military exigency.

Soldiers following orders in geopolitical wars of aggression – even if masked in aggressor-nation “self-defence,” like elite finance-corporate boss predators and “facilitators,” are terrorists.

Similarly, an essential step in making a suicide bomber is to kill his/her family, to separate him/her from his/her original community, to isolate him/her both physically and ideologically, and to replace all self-worth evaluation with liberation through martyrdom. The difference is that the suicide bomber is fighting the perceived killer of his/her actually-murdered family and actually-destroyed community in a desperate act of guaranteed death, not playing a video game from the relative safety of a helicopter gunship.

The freedom fighter on the other hand is a self-defence fighter on home territory [2], relatively integrated with the home community during the fighting. The freedom fighter is motivated by his/her ties with community, rather than artificially isolated from it. As a result, freedom fighters do not suffer PTSD but instead are strengthened by the solidarity of a community struggle for survival. This is why the Viet Cong and Northern People’s Army of Vietnam were unbeatable without massive all-out nation-wide aerial and economic destruction.

This is why US-trained and supported “contra” forces kill community. This is why they are trained to root out and murder all community organizers and visible leaders of civil society, to remove the community from the freedom fighters, to destroy the motivation to resist.

Contrary to Empire soldiers and trained killers, freedom fighters readily move from battle to civil society and from defence to community, without suffering overly debilitating adjustments. I have met former civil war freedom fighters with battle scars (including a bullet hole in the head) that were among the most adjusted, rational and authentic community builders I have ever known, including a village mayor, an independent war museum guide, and a community historian. Where are the former Empire soldiers in these positions? – Few and far between.

Nation State Example – The case of Israel

Take the case of Israel [3][4]. It is the local super power in the Middle East and the uncontested military occupier of Gaza and Palestine. From the evidence available, the only thing keeping it from all out genocide of the Palestinians and nuclear extermination of Muslims in the region is public opinion in combination with Israel’s desire to be accepted as part of the broader community of nations.

This is why Israel considers its branding in the world a military priority, because its image limits its military options. This is why the recent flotilla fiasco [1] was a national emergency, because world opinion can tie Israel’s hands and cause the blockade on Gaza to be lifted. This is why jam and crackers are now allowed into Gaza, in order to alleviate public opinion leverage as the international community demands an impartial inquiry.

This is why Israel wants its ballet dancers to tour the world and its scientists to exchange with international laboratories and its perfumes to sell in supermarkets around the world, because positive image is a prerequisite for colonial occupation and indigenous genocide. Ask Canada. Ask the US. Ask Australia. Ask any First World nation that uses immigration labour and practices finance-corporate colonialism.

This is why Boycott-Divestments-and-Sanctions (BDS) for Palestine is such a big deal. BDS alone cannot hurt Israel’s economy. It hurts its image. This in turn produces real leverage regarding Israel’s treatment of Palestinians because it can affect Israel’s relationships even to its closest allies, thereby significantly putting its military economy at risk.

Israel’s image is so low that it is bringing down the credibility of its allies, the US and Canada. How far can this go before the allies want to distance themselves? This is why the Israel Lobby in the US and Canada is part of the real battle [5]. It must constantly fabricate domestic US and Canadian support for Israel and constantly battle infiltration of negative image and opinion from the rest of the world.

Damn it’s hard to practice a proper colonial genocide these days when the indigenous population does not collaborate and has friends in the broader world! It’s tough being Israel.

Our job is to make certain that all colonial exploiters and elite bosses get the image that they deserve. In the case of Israel the violations are flagrant and the leverage is real (thank God).


[1] "Israelis Celebrate IDF Flotilla Attack" - youTube.
[2] "Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you." Jean-Paul Sartre.
[3] "Rabbi Weiss Criticizes Zionist Occupation of Palestine" - youTube.
[4] Norman Finkelstein on the Israel-Palestine conflict - website.
[5] "The Israel Lobby (Marije Meerman, VPRO Backlight 2007)" - youTube.

* * *

Denis G. Rancourt was a tenured and full professor of physics at the University of Ottawa in Canada. He practiced several areas of science which were funded by a national agency and ran an internationally recognized laboratory. He published over 100 articles in leading scientific journals. He developed popular activism courses and was an outspoken critic of the university administration and a defender of student and Palestinian rights. He was fired for his dissidence in 2009 by a president who is a staunch supporter of Israeli policy. [See]

List of other essays by Denis G. Rancourt:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

America has gone mad

What do you say about a country where a talented and dedicated high school teacher can be fired on a dime because some dimwit parents feel offended on the basis of ideology and psychological insecurity?

That country is called America.

The story was reported HERE.

Pull your fucking self together America. You are the planet's superpower. Your religious fanaticism and over-the-top insecurities and over reactions cost lives and destroy nations. Get a grip. Find some balance. Teachers are suppose to challenge their students (and parents by extension). That is what education is about, a battlefield of ideas not a fucking cabbage patch for growing automatons.

If you don't find a way to put the intellectual discourse and challenge back into your schools and bring the real world and its complexities into your classrooms then you are headed towards fascism and a lot of us outsiders (the rest of the world) are fucked in the ass.

Diversity. Debate. Reasoned responses. Self knowledge. Confidence of self.

Stop this "protect our children from ideas" shit. Otherwise they will not learn to discern ideas and will become pathetic automatons who only discern what is different in order to attack it.

You are taking us straight to hell.

You had a libertarian spirit of great confidence in self and you are pissing it away for outside ideological certainty that must be imposed by force. This is not a bed you want to sleep in.

Wake up America. For God's sake, wake up. Fucking Jesus.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Some Big Lies of Science

by Denis G. Rancourt

“[T]he majority of politicians, on the evidence available to us, are interested not in truth but in power and in the maintenance of that power. To maintain that power it is essential that people remain in ignorance, that they live in ignorance of the truth, even the truth of their own lives. What surrounds us therefore is a vast tapestry of lies, upon which we feed.”
– Harold Pinter, Nobel Lecture (Literature), 2005
The maintenance of the hierarchical structures that control our lives depends on Pinter’s “vast tapestry of lies upon which we feed.” Therefore the main institutions that embed us into the hierarchy, such as schools, universities, and mass media and entertainment corporations, have a primary function to create and maintain this tapestry. This includes establishment scientists and all service intellectuals in charge of “interpreting” reality.

In fact, the scientists and “experts” define reality in order to bring it into conformation with the always-adapting dominant mental tapestry of the moment. They also invent and build new branches of the tapestry that serve specific power groups by providing new avenues of exploitation. These high priests are rewarded with high class status.

The Money Lie

The economists are a most significant example. It is probably not an accident that in the United States at the end of the nineteenth century the economists were the first professional analysts to be “broken in,” in a battle that defined the limits of academic freedom in universities. The academic system would from that point on impose a strict operational separation between inquiry and theorizing as acceptable and social reform as unacceptable [1].

Any academic wishing to preserve her position understood what this meant. As a side product, academics became virtuosos at nurturing a self-image of importance despite this fatal limitation on their societal relevance, with verbiage such as: The truth is our most powerful weapon, the pen is mightier than the sword, a good idea can change the world, reason will take us out of darkness, etc.

So the enterprise of economics became devoted to masking the lie about money. Bad lending practice, price fixing and monopolistic controls were the main threats to the natural justice of a free market, and occurred only as errors in a mostly self-regulating system that could be moderated via adjustments of interest rates and other “safeguards.”

Meanwhile no mainstream economic theory makes any mention of the fact that money itself is created wholesale in a fractional reserve banking system owned by secret private interests given a licence to fabricate and deliver debt that must be paid back (with interest) from the real economy, thereby continuously concentrating ownership and power over all local and regional economies.

The rest of us have to earn money rather than simply fabricate it and we never own more when we die. The middle class either pays rent or a mortgage. Wage slavery is perpetuated and degraded in stable areas and installed in its most vicious varieties in all newly conquered territories.

It is quite remarkable that the largest exploitation scam (private money creation as debt) ever enacted and applied to the entire planet does not figure in economic theories.

Economists are so busy modeling the ups and downs of profits, returns, employment figures, stock values, and the benefits of mergers for mid-level exploiters that they don’t notice their avoidance of the foundational elements. They model the construction schedule while refusing to acknowledge that the terrain is an earthquake zone with vultures circling overhead.

Meanwhile the financiers write and re-write the rules themselves and again this process does not figure in macroeconomic theories. The only human element that economists consider in their “predictive” mathematical models is low-level consumer behaviour, not high-level system manipulation. Corruption is the norm yet it does not figure. The economies, cultures and infrastructures of nations are wilfully destroyed in order to enslave via new and larger national debts for generations into the future while economists forecast alleged catastrophic consequences of defaulting on these debts…

Management tools for the bosses and smoke and mirrors for the rest of us – thank you expert economists.

The Medicine is Health Lie

We’ve all heard some MD (medical doctor) interviewed on the radio gratuitously make the bold proposal that life expectancy has increased thanks to modern medicine. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Life expectancy has increased in First World countries thanks to a historical absence of civil and territorial wars, better and more accessible food, less work and non-work accidents, and better overall living and working conditions. The single strongest indicator of personal health within and between countries is economy status, irrespective of access to medical technology and pharmaceuticals.

It’s worse than that because medicine actually has a negative impact on health. Medical errors (not counting misattributed deaths from correctly administered “treatments”) are the third leading cause of death in the US, after heart disease and cancer, and there is a large gap between this conservative underestimate in the number of medical error deaths and the fourth leading cause of death [2]. Since medicine can do little for heart disease and cancer and since medicine has only a small statistical positive impact in the area of trauma interventions, we conclude that public health would increase if all MDs simply disappeared. And think of all the time loss and stress that sick people would save…

One of the most dangerous places in society is the hospital. Medical errors include misdiagnoses, bad prescriptions, prescriptions of medications that should not be combined, unnecessary surgery, unnecessary or badly administered treatments including chemotherapy, radiation treatment, and corrective surgeries.

The lie extends to the myth that MDs anywhere near understand the human body. And this well guarded lie encourages us to put our faith in doctors, thereby opening the door to a well orchestrated profit bonanza for big pharma.

The first thing that Doctors Without Borders (MSF) volunteers need to do in order to contribute significantly in disaster zones is to “forget their medical training” and get to work on the priority tasks at hand: water, food, shelter, and disease propagation prevention; not vaccinating, or operating, or prescribing medication… Public health comes from safety, stability, social justice, and economic buying power, not MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) units and prescription drugs.

These bone heads routinely apply unproven “recommended treatments” and prescribe dangerous drugs for everything from high blood pressure from a sedentary lifestyle and bad nutrition, to apathy at school, to anxiety in public places, to post-adolescence erectile function, to non-conventional sleep patterns, and to all the side effects from the latter drugs.

In professional yet nonetheless remarkable reversals of logic, doctors prescribe drugs to remove symptoms that are risk indicators rather than address the causes of the risks, thereby only adding to the assault on the body.

It’s unbelievable the number that medicine has done on us: Just one more way to keep us stupid (ignorant about our own bodies) and artificially dependent on the control hierarchy. Economically disadvantaged people don’t die from not having access to medical “care” – They die from the life constraints and liabilities directly resulting from poverty. How many MDs have stated this obvious truth on the radio?


Exploitation via resource extraction, land use expropriation, and wage slavery creation and maintenance are devastating to indigenous populations and to the environment on continental scales. It is therefore vital to cover up the crimes under a veil of expert analysis and policy development diversion. A valued class of service intellectuals here is composed of the environmental scientists and consultants.

Environmental scientists naively and knowingly work hand in hand with finance-corporate shysters, mainstream media, politicians, and state and international bureaucrats to mask real problems and to create profit opportunities for select power elites. Here are notable examples of specific cases.

Freon and Ozone

Do you know of anyone who has been killed by the ozone hole?

The 1987 Montreal Protocol banning chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) is considered a textbook case where science and responsible governance lead to a landmark treaty for the benefit of the Earth and all its inhabitants. How often does that happen?

At about the time that the DuPont patent on Freon(TM), the most widely used CFC refrigerant in the world, was expiring the mainstream media picked up on otherwise arcane scientific observations and hypotheses about ozone concentration in the upper atmosphere near the poles.

There resulted an international mobilization to criminalize CFCs and DuPont developed and patented a replacement refrigerant that was promptly certified for use.

A Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded in 1995 for a laboratory demonstration that CFCs could deplete ozone in simulated atmospheric conditions. In 2007 it was shown that the latter work may have been seriously flawed by overestimating the depletion rate by an order of magnitude, thereby invalidating the proposed mechanism for CFC-driven ozone depletion [3]. Not to mention that any laboratory experiment is somewhat different from the actual upper atmosphere... Is the Nobel tainted by media and special interest lobbying?

It gets better. It turns out that the Dupont replacement refrigerant is, not surprisingly, not as inert as was Freon. As a result it corrodes refrigerator cycle components at a much faster rate. Where home refrigerators and freezers lasted forever, they now burn out in eight years or so. This has caused catastrophic increases in major appliance contributions to land fill sites across North America; spurred on by the green propaganda for obscenely efficient electrical consumptions of the new appliances under closed door (zero use) conditions.

In addition, we have been frenzied into avoiding the sun, the UV index keeps our fear of cancer and our dependence on the medical establishment alive, and a new sun block industry a la vampire protection league has been spawned. And of course star university chemists are looking for that perfect sun block molecule that can be patented by big pharma. And as soon as it is, I predict a surge in media interviews with skin cancer experts…

Acid Rain on the Boreal Forest

In the seventies it was acid rain. Thousands of scientists from around the world (Northern Hemisphere) studied this “most pressing environmental problem on the planet.” The boreal forest is the largest ecosystem on Earth and its millions of lakes were reportedly being killed by acid from the sky.

Coal burning plants spewed out sulphides into the atmosphere causing the rain to be acidic. The acid rain was postulated to acidify the soils and lakes in the boreal forest but the acidification was virtually impossible to detect. Pristine lakes in the hearts of national parks had to be studied for decades in attempts to detect a statistically significant acidification.

Meanwhile the lakes and their watersheds were being destroyed by the cottage industry, agriculture, forestry, mining, over fishing and tourism. None of the local and regional destruction was studied or exposed. Instead, scientists turned their gaze to distant coal burning plants, atmospheric distribution, and postulated chemical reactions occurring in rain droplets. One study found that the spawning in aquarium of one fish species was extremely sensitive to acidity (pH). Long treatises about cation charge balance and transport were written and attention was diverted away from the destruction on the ground towards a sanitized problem of atmospheric chemistry that was the result of industrialization and progress rather than being caused by identifiable exploiters.

As a physicist and Earth scientist turned environmental scientist, I personally read virtually every single scientific paper written about acid rain and could not find an example of a demonstrated negative impact on lakes or forests from acid rain. In my opinion, contrary to the repeated claims of the scientist authors, the research on acid rain demonstrates that acid rain could not possibly have been the problem.

This model of elite-forces-coordinated exploiter whitewashing was to play itself out on an even grander scale only decades later with global warming.

Global Warming as a Threat to Humankind

In 2005 and 2006, several years before the November 2009 Climategate scandal burst the media bubble that buoyed public opinion towards acceptance of carbon credits, cap and trade, and the associated trillion dollar finance bonanza that may still come to pass, I exposed the global warming cooptation scam in an essay that Alexander Cockburn writing in The Nation called "one of the best essays on greenhouse myth-making from a left perspective" [4][5][6].

My essay prompted David F. Noble to research the question and write The Corporate Climate Coup to expose how the media embrace followed the finance sector’s realization of the unprecedented potential for revenues that going green could represent [7].

Introductory paragraphs from Global Warming: Truth or Dare? are as follows [4]:
“I also advance that there are strong societal, institutional, and psychological motivations for having constructed and for continuing to maintain the myth of a global warming dominant threat (global warming myth, for short). I describe these motivations in terms of the workings of the scientific profession and of the global corporate and finance network and its government shadows.”

“I argue that by far the most destructive force on the planet is power-driven financiers and profit-driven corporations and their cartels backed by military might; and that the global warming myth is a red herring that contributes to hiding this truth. In my opinion, activists who, using any justification, feed the global warming myth have effectively been co-opted, or at best neutralized.”
Other passages read this way [4]:
“Environmental scientists and government agencies get funding to study and monitor problems that do not threaten corporate and financial interests. It is therefore no surprise that they would attack continental-scale devastation from resource extraction via the CO2 back door. The main drawback with this strategy is that you cannot control a hungry monster by asking it not to shit as much.”

“Global warming is strictly an imaginary problem of the First World middleclass. Nobody else cares about global warming. Exploited factory workers in the Third World don’t care about global warming. Depleted uranium genetically mutilated children in Iraq don’t care about global warming. Devastated aboriginal populations the world over also can’t relate to global warming, except maybe as representing the only solidarity that we might volunteer.”

“It’s not about limited resources. [“The amount of money spent on pet food in the US and Europe each year equals the additional amount needed to provide basic food and health care for all the people in poor countries, with a sizeable amount left over.” (UN Human Development Report, 1999)] It’s about exploitation, oppression, racism, power, and greed. Economic, human, and animal justice brings economic sustainability which in turn is always based on renewable practices. Recognizing the basic rights of native people automatically moderates resource extraction and preserves natural habitats. Not permitting imperialist wars and interventions automatically quenches nation-scale exploitation. True democratic control over monetary policy goes a long way in removing debt-based extortion. Etc.”
And there is a thorough critique of the science as band wagon trumpeting and interested self-deception [4]. Climategate only confirms what should be obvious to any practicing scientist: That science is a mafia when it’s not simply a sleeping pill.

[Recent development (Macrh 2011): Incisive deconstruction of the dominant climate science narrative - HERE.]


It just goes on and on. What is not a lie?

Look at the recent H1N1 scam – another textbook example. It’s farcical how far these circuses go: Antiseptic gels in every doorway at the blink of an eye; high school students getting high from drinking the alcohol in the gels; out datedness of the viral strain before the pre-paid vaccine can be mass produced; unproven effectiveness; no requirement to prove effectiveness; government guarantees to corporate manufacturers against client lawsuits; university safety officers teaching students how to cough; etc.

Pure madness. Has something triggered our genetically ingrained First World stupidity reflex? Is this part of our march towards fascism [8]?

Here is another one. Educators promote the lie that we learn because we are taught. This lie of education is squarely denounced by radical educators [9][10].

University professors design curricula as though the students actually learn every element that is delivered whereas the truth is that students don’t learn the delivered material and everyone only learns what they learn. One could dramatically change the order in which courses are delivered and it would make no measurable difference in how much students learn. Students deliver nonsense and professors don’t care. Obedience and indoctrination are all that matter so the only required skill is bluffing. Students know this and those that don’t don’t know what they know, don’t know themselves [8][9][10].

Pick any expert opinion or dominant paradigm: It’s part of a racket.

We can’t know the truth because the truth is brutal.


[1] “No Ivory Tower – book” by Ellen W. Schrecker.
[2] Radio interview with Dr. Barbara Starfield: CHUO 89.1 FM, Ottawa; January 21, 2010.
[3] Nature 449, 382-383 (2007).
[4] “Global Warming: Truth or Dare? – essay” by Denis G. Rancourt.
[5] “Questioning Climate Politics - Denis Rancourt says the ‘global warming myth’ is part of the problem”; April 11, 2007, interview in The Dominion.
[6] Climate Guy blog.
[7] “The Corporate Climate Coup – essay” by David F. Noble.
[8] “Canadian Education as an Impetus towards Fascism – essay” by Denis G. Rancourt.
[9] “Pedagogy of the Oppressed – book” by Paulo Freire.
[10] “The Ignorant Schoolmaster – book” by Jacques Rancière.

Denis G. Rancourt was a tenured and full professor at the University of Ottawa in Canada. He was trained as a physicist and practiced physics, Earth sciences, and environmental science, areas in which he was funded by a national agency and ran an internationally recognized laboratory. He published over 100 articles in leading scientific journals. He developed popular activism courses and was an outspoken critic of the university administration and a defender of Palestinian rights. He was fired for his dissidence in 2009 by a president who is a staunch supporter of Israeli policy. [See]

Related articles by the same author:
Are Physicists Smart?
Gradual Change is not Progress

List of other essays by Denis G. Rancourt:

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Helen Thomas has a straight up solution for the occupation of Palestine

Helen Thomas' solution is at least as reasonable as the present occupation. The relocation costs would be a fraction of Israel's military expenditures. Many could immigrate to sovereign Palestine rather than move. So simple.

The idea, as a spirited reaction to Israel's disregard for international law, is a better starting point than the present reality which includes the blockade of Gaza.

Example media coverage HERE.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Need for and Practice of Student Liberation

(A why for and how to guide)

by Denis G. Rancourt

The modern middle-class First World school and university systems are violently repressive [1]. These institutions are designed for replication and obedience training and rob the student of her natural thrust for independent inquiry, free expression, natural influence, and zeal for life [2].

Using the pretext that technical training requires “discipline” (read mindless repetition) and “standardization” (read demonstration of loyalty to imposed doctrine) the institutions of “higher learning” impose a regime of obedience training followed by professional and graduate school indoctrination [3].

The obedience training and whole-person neutralization is accomplished by strict and artificial disciplinal divisions, an authoritative classroom structure, an imposed unnaturally partitioned time use, unreasonable and repeatedly sequenced production deadlines (for assignments, tests, reports, examinations, etc.) that do not allow time to think, rank ordering of students to produce competition, a continuous administration of punishment and reward via grading and accreditation steps, isolation of the student where collaboration is cast as “cheating”, normalization of behaviour and opinion via imposed group think value judgments, liberal applications of double speak, and a myriad of other such methods – all constantly adjusted to the evolving cultural and local conditions.

After the student is broken down by the obedience training, she is ready for the high level indoctrination of graduate and professional schools. This is achieved by the sophisticated process described by Jeff Schmidt [3]. The professional worker must accept, make hers and project the doctrine of her “chosen” profession, in order to participate in the management of the First World Empire.

The repression of the student is real and is violent. The school and university institutions are the greatest forces in the student’s life. The outcome determines the economic and societal status of the graduate and this status in turn is the single most relevant (statistical) indicator of life expectancy and personal health.

The violence is seen in student suicides and assaults, in the widespread use of prescription psycho-pharmaceuticals and their trafficking, in widespread apathy and cynicism, in isolationism and escapism, in the modern array of self-destructive behaviours, and in the apparent relative inability to bond and form community. The root of the violence is maybe best explained by Paulo Freire [2]:
“Any situation in which “A” objectively exploits “B” or hinders his and her pursuit of self-affirmation as a responsible person is one of oppression. Such a situation in itself constitutes violence even when sweetened by false generosity; because it interferes with the individual’s ontological and historical vocation to be more fully human. With the establishment of a relationship of oppression, violence has already begun.”

“If people, as historical beings necessarily engaged with other people in a movement of inquiry, did not control that movement, it would be (and is) a violation of their humanity. Any situation in which some individuals prevent others from engaging in the process of inquiry is one of violence. The means used are not important; to alienate human beings from their own decision-making is to change them into objects.”
There is therefore a need for student liberation.

But the first barrier, as explained by Freire [2], is that the slave does not recognize that she is a slave. “We need the master because he organizes the work, feeds us, protects us…” (see also [1]).

Activist students prefer to fight for reduced tuition fees to ensure access to the oppression and its rewards. The slave should not have to pay with her future life (student debt) for the privilege of serving the master – fair enough. Slaves want to be oppressed fairly. I have known many activist students to leave demonstrations, actions, and teach ins, in order to hand in assignments for deadlines and to obediently return to an oppressive classroom on Monday morning after a weekend of “solidarity action”.

What can the student do to liberate herself?

Following Freire, I have come to believe that the answer is praxis, the “praxis” of Freire [2]. Only such action fighting one’s own oppression, in a cycle of repeated action and reflection informed by the oppressor’s backlash, leads to both a deepening understanding of the oppression and an exhilarating liberation. True solidarity in battle then arises from the coalescence of these individual revolts and builds the culture of resistance essential to any societal liberation.

At the heart of this praxis lies “authentic rebellion”. In what is perhaps the most profound statement ever made about education and learning in a hierarchical society, Freire puts it this way [2]:
“If children reared in an atmosphere of lovelessness and oppression, children whose potency has been frustrated, do not manage during their youth to take the path of authentic rebellion, they will either drift into total indifference, alienated from reality by the authorities and the myths the latter have used to ‘shape’ them; or they may engage in forms of destructive action.”
How does this look in practice? How does praxis start and develop?

Students already resist a lot. Resistance is widespread and takes many forms. “Work to rule” is common, to the dismay of baffled teachers. Most students refuse to adopt an artificial interest in the horse shit that is downloaded on them in the guise of intellectual discourse and that will be “on the exam”. Students know when they are being spoken to rather than engaged with. And what would it mean to engage when the other side has a gun to your head?

Students turn off and regurgitate on command to appease the oppressor. Teachers see the result but must grade satisfactorily (with an emphasis on factory) rather than confront the system’s generalized failure and their part in it. Actually, we must conclude that this universal outcome is a desired feature of the school factory [4]. It ensures apathy and compliance and guaranties suppression of participation.

In addition, students secretly (among themselves) ridicule and criticize the professor, in a healthy expression of sanity-preserving resistance. Only at the higher levels of indoctrination, when the student emulates the teacher as role model, does this behaviour subside to be replaced with ass kissing adulation.

Students also make heroic attempts to sabotage the obedience training by challenging the deadlines, workloads, grading schemes, work conditions, and atomization. They individually and collectively negotiate for extended deadlines, reduced production, mitigated punishments, etc. They challenge the isolation and imposed competition by forming workgroups and by sharing output – they find ways to cooperate at the risk of being banished via the system’s ultimate charge of “academic fraud”. In the words of David F. Noble “When did cooperation become cheating?”

More frightening are the students who are able to feign interest and to self-indoctrinate and who aggressively defend the system by punishing dissidence in their colleagues. These students want their special efforts to be recognized, rewarded, and not questioned by alternative behaviours. They want to “excel” and aspire to joining the club.

All forms of resistance are healthy and preserving if the resister sees herself as resisting and acts in defiance of the oppressor rather than succumbing to negative self-talk and negative self-image along the lines of the oppressor’s imposed ideology. Authentic rebellion is where it’s at.

More direct and satisfying forms of rebellion, that have greater potential to empower the resister, might include the following: Speaking out in class to question aspects of imposed discipline, such as the deadlines, grading scheme, relevance of the material, imposed methods, disciplinal perspectives, etc.

Such direct interventions have the benefit that the teacher will react and thereby inform the class about real aspects of the system that it would be impossible to learn otherwise. Professors will show their true colours. The students will see them deflect, misinterpret, quash, impose, negotiate, etc.; a highly instructive experience.

Start small and see if you want to push it a little further. Ask to clarify the professor’s response. Maybe ask “Why not?” Maybe state that you do not understand the reasons given? See which colleagues side with you after class or express similar questions or opinions during class. Build on that support by developing ties with potential supporters and co-resisters.

Never accept overt intimidation or abuse from the professor. Stand your ground in such violent attempts to repress your agency in the classroom. Explain the nature of the unacceptable behaviour and request an apology. Do this either privately with a witness or publicly in the classroom. If the potential for escalation of the repression exists, consider using modern technology to voice record the encounter for your protection. Such recordings of conversations that you are party to can be done secretly and are not illegal. No one needs to know and you have the benefit of knowing that you have physical proof if you ever need it for protection.

Only you can decide how far to go and how much to risk. The main point is that the lesson NOT be that you are powerless and must be subservient. Find a way for the lesson to be that you have power and can defend yourself. Find a way to win. The victory is not necessarily a policy change but rather your liberation.

In finding a way to win consider that making things public and exposing the institution’s in-class behaviour is a powerful way to both exert influence and protect yourself from further reprisals. Consider a blog and speaking to the student media or distributing flyers, etc.

A formal complaint to hierarchical authorities can also be useful, in that it will allow you to press further, to expose mechanisms of institutional cover up, and will show that you are not to be messed with. Keep your head up high knowing that you are right, that the violence against you is illegitimate, and that you need not fear the thugs that enforce the slavery from which you seek liberation.

You can always come back into the fold and power will be relieved to take you back in. This can be a good way to rest, reflect, and regroup, as you plan your continued liberation.

Eventually, you may find allies that will allow you to practice “academic squatting” of an entire class [5]. I have found this practice to be highly rewarding, even life-changing [5].

If the professor is not an ally, groups of students can consider “academic hijacking” of credit courses in which a professor is told how it is going to be and that he can either stay and participate or leave.

Students with squatting and hijacking experience have what it takes to impose reforms on the curriculum. And liberated students are independent thinkers that do not practice immoral exploitations of others. They continue their liberation into the workplace.

Such a program of liberation activism is consistent with Paulo Freire’s much repeated mantra that one can ONLY fight one’s own oppression. Individuals that accept their own oppression cannot help liberate others. They only replicate, defend, and adjust the hierarchy of oppression that they inhabit.

I wish you a joyful and intense liberation full of self discovery and learning. Kick ass, don’t kiss it.


[1] “The student as nigger - essay” by Jerry Farber.
[2] “Pedagogy of the oppressed - book” by Paulo Freire.
[3] “Disciplined Minds - book” by Jeff Schmidt.
[4] “Canadian education as an impetus towards fascism – essay” by Denis G. Rancourt.
[5] “Academic squatting – essay” by Denis G. Rancourt.

List of other essays by Denis G. Rancourt: