Thursday, August 30, 2012

Military's Social Science Grants Raise Alarm

The Pentagon's $50 million Minerva Research Initiative, named after the Roman goddess of wisdom and warriors, will fund social science research deemed crucial to national security. Initial proposals were due July 25, and the first grants are expected to be awarded by year's end.

But the Network of Concerned Anthropologists, which includes professors from American and George Mason universities, said dependence on Pentagon funding could make universities an "instrument rather than a critic of war-making."

In a May 28 letter to federal officials, the American Anthropological Association said that it was of "paramount importance . . . to study the roots of terrorism and other forms of violence" but that its members are "deeply concerned that funding such research through the Pentagon may pose a potential conflict of interest."

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See also:

Social warfare

A news story in today’s Nature notes that the US military are pumping more money into social science research which is considered to be an important ‘game changing’ component of 21st century warfare.

Who Are the Top Social Scientists Consulting the US Military?

"Phantom Control": Israel's Secret Service and the Occupation


Yael Berda's new book The Bureaucracy of Occupation sheds light on Israel's more invisible control over the Palestinians.
www.therealnews.

Women of Togo call for nationwide sex strike

Women from the Let’s Save Togo coalition called Sunday on all females in the country to refrain from sex for a week to force Togolese men into backing the group during their demonstrations.

Let’s Save Togo is an umbrella organisation of nine civil society groups and seven opposition parties and movements that has rallied to demand political reforms ahead of parliamentary elections due in October.

“We call on all women to deprive their husbands of sex for a week from Monday,” Isabelle Ameganvi, a member of the group, told AFP.

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Time for Re-Education? Critics Take on China Labor Camp System

A controversial feature of China’s legal system that allows authorities to ship people off to labor camps without formal arrest or trial is coming under increasing fire inside the country.

In the latest development, 10 lawyers from different cities issued a call for reform of the laojiao — or “re-education through labor” –system in an open letter sent to the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Justice on Tuesday, warning that the punishment can result in abuses of power, according to local media.

More remarkable was the fact that among the newspapers to report on the lawyer’s letter was the state-run China Daily. The central government’s central English-language mouthpiece newspaper, China Daily rarely runs reports critical of sensitive domestic policies without the high-level approval.

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See also:

China Outsources to North Korean Labor Camps

China: Protesters Sent to Labor Camp


Vox Anonymii

Anonymous Project Mayhem 2012 - Leak it ALL! Call to Action


Anonymous\\ War to WARS


Anonymous Rap - Freedom

The Mystics are Gathering in the Streets - Rumi by Duncan Mackintosh


Two short poems from Rumi. Duncan Mackintosh is Britain's best reciter of Rumi!

Gramsci, Black Panthers and Revolutionary Hip Hop


http://blip.tv/brecht-forum-tv/watch

Challenging a Culture of Domination
Gramsci, The Blacks Panthers and Revolutionary Hip Hop
Harmony Goldberg, Donna Murch Shahid Stover

This panel discussion will build upon the Marxist notion of praxis (conscious political and creative active) as seen through the lens of Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci, the development of the Black Panther Party and the creation of hip hop.

The three topics are interwoven by a need on the part of revolutionaries to develop a revolutionary cultire that can challenge the dominate practices of the US capitalist state. How do current organizing practices center culture? How do we connect in the era of Facebook to create new sensibilities for revolutionary practice.

The Flaming Lips: Supermoon Made Me Want To Pee


Goldie (feat Natalie Duncan) - Freedom


Burning Reel and Goldie collaborate to create the video for 'Freedom' - Metalheadz 100th release.

"Worldview Warfare" and The Science of Coercion

Christopher Simpson, Excerpts from The Science of Coercion, Oxford University Press, 1994 www.globalresearch.ca

During the second half of the 1930s, the Rockefeller Foundation underwrote much of the most innovative communication research then under way in the United States. There was virtually no federal support for the social sciences at the time, and corporate backing for the field usually remained limited to proprietary marketing studies. The foundation's administrators believed, however, that mass media constituted a uniquely powerful force in modem society, reports Brett Gary, 28 and financed a new project on content analysis for Harold Lasswell at the Library of Congress, Hadley Cantril's Public Opinion Research Project at Princeton University, the establishment of Public Opinion Quarterly at Princeton, Douglas Waples' newspaper and reading studies at the University of Chicago, Paul Lazarsfeld's Office of Radio Research at Columbia University, and other important programs.

As war approached, the Rockefeller Foundation clearly favored efforts designed to find a "democratic prophylaxis" that could immunize the United States' large immigrant population from the effects of Soviet and Axis propaganda. In 1939, the foundation organized a series of secret seminars with men it regarded as leading communication scholars to enlist them in an effort to consolidate public opinion in the United States in favor of war against Nazi Germany -- a controversial proposition opposed by many conservatives, religious leaders, and liberals at the time -- and to articulate a reasonably clear-cut set of ideological and methodological preconceptions for the emerging field of communication research. 29

Harold Lasswell, who had the ear of foundation administrator John Marshall at these gatherings, over the next two years won support for a theory that seemed to resolve the conflict between the democratic values that are said to guide U.S. society, on the one hand, and the manipulation and deceit that often lay at the heart of projects intended to engineer mass consent, on the other. Briefly, the elite of U.S. society ("those who have money to support research," as Lasswell bluntly put it) should systematically manipulate mass sentiment in order to preserve democracy from threats posed by authoritarian societies such as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union.

One Rockefeller seminar participant, Donald Slesinger (former dean of the social science at the University of Chicago), blasted Lasswell's claims as using a democratic guise to tacitly accept the objectives and methods of a new form of authoritarianism. "We [the Rockefeller seminar] have been willing, without thought, to sacrifice both truth and human individuality in order to bring about given mass responses to war stimuli," Slesinger contended. "We have thought in terms of fighting dictatorships- by-force through the establishment of dictatorship-by-manipulation. 30 Slesinger's view enjoyed some support from other participants and from Rockefeller Foundation officers such as Joseph Willits, who criticized what he described as authoritarian or even fascist aspects of Lasswell's arguments. Despite this resistance, the social polarization created by the approaching war strongly favored Lasswell, and in the end he enjoyed substantial new funding and an expanded staff courtesy of the foundation. Slesinger, on the other hand, drifted away from the Rockefeller seminars and appears to have rapidly lost influence within the community of academic communication specialists.

World War II spurred the emergence of psychological warfare as a particularly promising new form of applied communication research. The personal, social, and scientific networks established in U.S. social sciences during World War II, particularly among communication researchers and social psychologists, later played a central role in the evolution (or "social construction") of U.S. sociology after the war. A detailed discussion of U.S. psychological operations during World War 11 is of course outside the scope of this book. There is a large literature on the subject, which is discussed briefly in the Bibliographic Essay at the end of this text. A few points are worth mentioning, however, to introduce some of the personalities and concepts that would later play a prominent role in psychological operations and communication studies after 1945.

The phrase "psychological warfare" is reported to have first entered English in 1941 as a translated mutation of the Nazi term Weltanschauungskrieg (literally, worldview warfare), meaning the purportedly scientific application of propaganda, terror, and state pressure as a means of securing an ideological victory over one's enemies. 31 William "Wild Bill" Donovan, then director of the newly established U.S. intelligence agency Office of Strategic Services (OSS), viewed an understanding of Nazi psychological tactics as a vital source of ideas for "Americanized" versions of many of the same stratagems. Use of the new term quickly became widespread throughout the U.S. intelligence community. For Donovan psychological warfare was destined to become a full arm of the U.S. military, equal in status to the army, navy, and air force. 32

Donovan was among the first in the United States to articulate a more or less unified theory of psychological warfare. As he saw it, the "engineering of consent" techniques used in peacetime propaganda campaigns could be quite effectively adapted to open warfare. Pro-Allied propaganda was essential to reorganizing the U.S. economy for war and for creating public support at home for intervention in Europe, Donovan believed. Fifth-column movements could be employed abroad as sources of intelligence and as morale-builders for populations under Axis control. He saw "special operations -- meaning sabotage, subversion, commando raids, and guerrilla movements -- as useful for softening up targets prior to conventional military assaults. "Donovan's concept of psychological warfare was all-encompassing," writes Colonel Alfred Paddock, who has specialized in this subject for the U.S. Army War College. "Donovan's visionary dream was to unify these functions in support of conventional (military) unit operations, thereby forging a 'new instrument of war.'" 33

Donovan, a prominent Wall Street lawyer and personal friend of Franklin Roosevelt, convinced FDR to establish a central, civilian intelligence agency that would gather foreign intelligence, coordinate analysis of information relevant to the war, and conduct propaganda and covert operations both at home and abroad. In July 1941 FDR created the aptly named Office of the Coordinator of Information, placing Donovan in charge.

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Ras Kass - Ordo Abchao (Order Out Of Chaos)


Anonymous Rap - Freedom


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