Sunday, September 1, 2013


Please comment here on any article, and say which article you are commenting on, since this page is used for all articles. Also, do not comment anonymously (because spam uses anonymous posting and I--the editor of all emails notifying me of an anonymous comment directed to my spam folder where I won't see it.)

To avoid spam comments I moderate these comments, which means that until I approve your comment it won't appear here. I try to approve within 24 hours but I cannot guarantee that, of course.

Thanks for your comment.

John Spritzler


John Spritzler said...

Unfortunately, Blogger only displays comments ordered from earliest on top to most recent on the bottom. Sorry.

John Spritzler, blog owner

layla said...

Hi John, My comment is about the Christian Zionism article. Darby spread right wing Christian Philosophy in Engaland then in the 19th century in US. According to the late Father M. Prior the Christian Zionists are closer to 40 millions in US. Another writer from the Biblical Studies in Belmont agrees with many that Christianity has fostered Zionism in the way the Protestant churches read the old Testament as truths in isolated out of context segments. They use it as a historical text. I have several books by Peter Miano from BS society and by Prior.

Lee Kaplan said...

Lee Kaplan

Mr. Spritzler,
Your article about why BDS should fight back was pure sophistry in excusing anti-Semitism and then again promoting it again as the fault of the "rich Jews" who really deserved it and the "poor Jews" being victims of Zionism.

First, you know nothing about Zionism nor about the history of the Jews. You attack Zionism as an exclusiveness of some Jews that is separate, yet ignore the Islamic and Christian and Islamic exclusiveness that led to so many pogroms during history.

Israel today is actually a giant concentration camps for the world's Jews who want refuge from persecution. The only difference is this time the camp is armed for self-protection.BDS is a means by which to starve that group of Jews who can protect themselves out from their camp to expose them to final annihilation by a world that has for all intents and purposes committed genocide against them continually
Israel Shahak is not a reliable source, a pseudo-historian like yourself who built a career on anti-Semitism much like Shomo Sand, a tenured Tel Aviv U professor for French cinema who sells a "history" book where he claims the Jewish people does not exist and is in fact a construct of only the last 100 years to create Israel. It's a runaway best seller in an anti-Semitic world.
I write about anti-Zionist academics for a living at I suggest you visit the site, for it's clear your article in support of BDS does more the to promote the need to combat it that the "fight back" as you say.
As for you being an anti-Semite, you aren't fooling anybody. Let me close by pointing out that anti-Semitism was not a justified response to Jewish abuses as you try to imply. Judaism was competition for a Catholic Church as the world turned to monotheism and the Church didn't like the competition. Jews also were forbidden to own land so went into money lending and to be a pawnbroker. If you couldn't pay your debt, a handy tale of blood libel could get your problem killed by an angry mob that believed Jews used the blood of Christian children in their rituals. YOour tale of exploitive "rich Jews" (another stereotype) taking advantage of peasants and poor Jews is nonsense. Jews were usually forbidden to serve in the army or to own land which is why they lived in shtetls for minimal protection. Israel today is a shtetl but one that has an air force and military and should remain so. BDS is a fancy way for the Arabs and enemies of the Jews like yourself to starve the Jews out while claiming falsely one is being a humanitarian. It's bunk.

John Spritzler said...

Lee Kaplan,

I'm happy to publish your "defense" of Zionism because it shows you have no argument other than accusing me of "excusing" antisemitism. I invite anybody to read my writing on this topic and judge for themselves whether I am defending or attacking ordinary Jewish people. They will see that I defend them against powerful Zionists who have and still are attacking them.

Sunny said...

Hi John / Dave

I note your comments and articles on problems with our current democracies. I have some ideas on a new process on how democracy could be reformed to be more representative, dissolve power of the few, etc. Please visit my blog at

Thanking you in advance for your time


rob kall said...

My comment is on your article about me.
First, grow up and stop name calling. it's what people do when they don't have good arguments.
As far as my article and your article go, I would agree with much of what you say. It sounds like egalitarianism, whatever that is, would be better than a capitalist system that produces massive inequalities. But there is no such existing system in existence in developed worlds. So I write about what we have now, what we've had recently and we are likely to have in the near future. You write about what could be, and that's a good thing. We need to do that. And you write about the realities of the motivations behind Roosevelt's policies and that's useful information.

Bottom line, I appreciate meaningful feedback. But your name calling is nasty and unnecessary. If you want to post an article, without namecalling, that still calls me out for the issues you raise, I invited you to do so on my site, We need voices envisioning better, more equal futures, but can do without name calling.

rob kall

John Spritzler said...


What "name" did I "call *you*"?

If you note, I called "this" (meaning your ARGUMENT) "wrongheaded to the point of being just plain stupid."

That's not "name-calling." Name-calling is about criticizing the person making an argument. I negatively characterized an argument--not the person making it. Can't you tell the difference?

You can defend capitalism as FDR and Eisenhower "sculpted it" if you want, and you can call for a "hybrid" capitalism, but you can't correctly say it is "name calling" when people say that your defense of capitalism is "wrongheaded to the point of being just plain stupid."

Bob Cable said...

I have just read the letter of admonition to Secretary of State John Kerry and want to leave a courtesy comment (for the first time). I regret that there are so few comments--after so much work on the articles--but I most regret that two writers (Spritzler & Kall) whom I read and admire and expect to be comrades in the struggle for truth, justice, and a better way, are objecting to each other. "Can't we all just get along?"

John Spritzler said...

Pro-capitalists who write articles expressing admiration of FDR and Eisenhower, and anti-capitalists who want equality in the "no rich and no poor" sense, will inevitably sharply disagree, as I do with Bob Kall.

Since our goals are in sharp disagreement, it would be a disservice to the public for either one of us to pretend our goals were the same. And I know you're not suggesting I switch goals.

If Bob wants to switch, then we will indeed "get along." But "getting along" on the basis of pretending to agree when we don't really agree--who does that serve?

Carol Rae Bradford said...

EXcuses, excuses, Israel! You ARE a apartheid state. You haven't included in your letter to Kerry the entire truth, i.e., truths about the occupation. We've followed your insidious actions against your neighbors since 1948, and will continue to watch you. Just remember what Helen said, please! You've taken so much away from the Palestinian people. Wait until your turn!
Carol Rae Bradford, Author

alex said...

Sorry that I haven't commented earlier on your article on White Skin Privilege.
First let me say I agree with the point that such an analysis often either dilutes or eliminates the class aspect of oppression.
However regarding your article its approach is static where it should be more dynamic (dialectical).
Why? Because it the case of Israel and the Palestinians there are two dynamic systems at play:
Class and National Struggle.
And so while it is true from the class perspective
all other variables held equal, the apparent 'benefit' in higher wages and better working conditions for light skin workers(of Russian descent vrs Sephardic Jews from Spain and Arab countries) who are discriminated against, is not a real advantage.Both groups could gain substantially more if they presented a united front against the ruling class.In other words they could exact more real benefits by acting in solidarity.
But the situation is more complicated. Besides the groups mentioned, there are Ethiopian Jews whose African culture and darker skin color makes them, along with immigrant Migrant Workers from Africa, targets of discrimination by even the Ethiopian Jews because they are not Jewish. Here we have a national element playing a prominent role.
This complex system of oppression that exists in Israel (also in education,access to land and other resources,etc) amounts to what Gramsci called a system of Hegemony. Functioning for the purpose of maintaining class rule in the interests of local and international capitalist groups. Hegemonic structures operate in addition to the more direct (violent) oppression provided by the Army and Police.
What about the Palestinians? No question they are oppressed as a national group. And their interests lie in self determination. Liberation from the oppression of the Jewish State of Israel.
In the abstract,theoretically, the solution for the Palestinians would be to link their liberation with the fight of the oppressed Israeli workers, for the goal of replacing capitalism with socialism. (Capitalism must be overcome before the oppressed groups mentioned above can free themselves).
All this begs the question: "Should the Palestinians wait for the Israeli workers to organize a revolutionary movement and overthrow its ruling class, before they make their moves?

John Spritzler said...

Hi Alex,

Thank you for your interesting comment.

Regarding being more dynamic (dialectical), I'm not sure what your point is in connection to the concept of "privilege." You mention many different sub-groups of the working class in your comment. Some are oppressed by the Israeli ruling class more than or worse than others. The point of my article is that this is properly called "discrimination" against the more oppressed, not "privilege" of the less oppressed group. Do you agree?

Regarding your conclusion: 'All this begs the question: "Should the Palestinians wait for the Israeli workers to organize a revolutionary movement and overthrow its ruling class, before they make their moves?' My answer to this question is, "No." The real question, however, is not when, but HOW, the Palestinians go about organizing a revolutionary movement. I wrote an article about this called, "What Would it Look Like if Hamas and Hezbollah Fought a Class War?" at . I would be interested in your thoughts about it.

alex said...

Its dialectical because due to false consciousness, 'privilege' appears to be a benefit or a gain in the context of class struggle,
when in essence its really a means of insuring the inequality between capitalist and workers..
things turn into their opposite, workers become agents of oppression in relation to groups they have been conditioned by the system of hegemony to view as' threats', and by acting to divide rather than unite the 'privileged' workers help forge the chains that prevent them from overcoming the limits to their liberation.

Somervillein said...

Bravo, John. Your illuminated, illluminating, dedicated, inspiring analyses deserve universal dissemination.

Two teeny notes: I have no recollection of my comment (only 8 months ago) on your exchange with Rob Kall. What does that mean? (Gulp!) (2) Twice, in paragraph #8, you use the colloquial phrase "for good" (meaning "permanently," "enduringly," or "long-term" when you write about "how to stop the wrong-doings for good." At first glance, this juxtaposition of "wrong" and "good" is confusing. (At least, it caused me to do a double-take, because there are many instances of "wrong-doing" which is done "for good" (i.e., in the name of doing good things.)

Keep up your good work, John. May it be widely read and approved, fruitful, and enduring!

Vernon Huffman said...

Your analysis of Sanders is spot on. Unfortunately, many people are unable to hear it. Here's what I tell them:
"If you're inclined to support Sanders in the primary, please do so. When the DLC again makes a mockery of democracy among Democrats and the super-delegates select Hillary, immediately change your voter registration to the Green Party to send a clear message. Vote for Jill Stein for POTUS, but know that real change begins at the grassroots. Local organizing to nonviolently resist corporate rule will make more difference than voting."

bumblebee53 said...

If I didn't read Op-Ed news, I would have missed this analysis of Bernie Sanders, his stance on Palestine and Israel, and the sham of voting in an oligarchic state, for anyone who can effect real reforms. Thank you for the link to this. We can't effect any real grassroots change without first admitting how bad and corrupt things really are within our system. Unfortunately, most people are unwilling to see and critically look at the issues you bring forth in your blog. You are spot-on in saying that it doesn't make a damn bit of difference WHO gets elected. The slaveowners-in-charge who bought our politicians only give breadcrumbs to the masses, to prevent a real grassroots revolution. I'm with you on the dream of creating an egalitarian society. Occupy started to try to do this. Occupy is not dead. It will rise again, bigger, stronger. I think for me, just side stepping the whole steaming pile of shit and starting to build what makes sense seems to be the only path to sanity.

Roger Tucker said...

John, there's that expression "working class" again, turning up like a bad penny. The times they have been a-changing. 19th Century discourse no longer cuts the mustard. There isn't even an App for it. And there's a new, trendy term for the people we are talking about (aka the people) - it's called the 99%!

John Spritzler said...


There's a time and a place for both "99%" an "working class," in my opinion. There is such a thing as a "working class culture" that has very different (and better!) values (such as equality and mutual aid) than the ruling class culture (that values inequality and pitting people against each other.) But not all layers of the 99% embrace working class values, and some do much more than others. The phrase "working class" can be used to mean, essentially the 99%, but it also conveys an emphasis on the ones who do the useful work of society, and less so the highest paid people in the 99%. Also, I suspect that about 15% of the American population will side with the 1% against the "99%" and this 15% will not be mainly the kind of people one thinks of first when one reads of "working class people." All that being said, if this is the biggest disagreement between us, then we're in pretty good shape!

John Spritzler said...

Note to readers: Roger asked me to include in his comment above that he was referring to my recent article, The Dangerous Naiveté of the American Left at . (I cannot edit (only delete) other people's comments.)

Roger Tucker said...

Re: Naiveté two posts ago - I'm still not getting my point across. It's not a matter of what you mean by the expression, it's about what readers hear, how they process it. "Working class," whatever your view, is going to mean something different to most of them. It's guilty by association with its foundational Marxist usage, referring to 18th Century industrial workers and thus likely to sound musty and quaint, out of date. Marxists would relate with it positively, but there are few of them, methinks.

Maybe I'm being linguistically picky, but I think it's quite important in terms of how your audience perceives you and what you're saying? Does Bernie S. use the term? I don't know but my guess is that he would have put it in the circular filing cabinet decades ago.

Y'r friend,

John Spritzler said...


I think you are wrong about how people perceive the meaning of the word "working class" as something that only comes from Karl Marx and long ago. If this were true, then how come a paper like the Washington Examiner uses the phrase in a manner that shows clearly that its editors know their readers will understand it correctly: .

How come David Brooks uses the phrase with no sense of its being "out of date"? See .

John Spritzler said...

Here Bernie Sanders himself uses the phrase "working class": .

Roger Tucker said...

Oops! I meant the 19th Century, not the 18th which in my view was the apex of the Empire. Obviously I don't mean the British Empire (that was the 19th C.), nor the USraeli or Anglo-Zionist Empire (the 20th C.), but the European Empire, ca the 15th C. through the 18th C., culminating with the promise of the Scottish Enlightenment and then descending in a steady decay into the sad spectacle of this era.

What form things will take in the next 50-100 years is not discernible, at least to me, but it's certain that a new hierarchy will form. Even a successful Egalitarian movement would evolve sooner than later into a system where there are those at the top and those at the bottom of a triangular shape - or perhaps more like a bell curve - in terms of power and wealth. That is the nature of things, as any stout Taoist could tell you. The real trick is to see to it, somehow, that those who manifest wisdom and compassion are at the apex. Plato tried to imagine it but failed miserably. But there have been reigns where such a condition existed, at least for a while. Ashoka's India was one such example.


Roger Tucker said...

Just because some of the literati make the same mistake doesn't validate the notion that the term remains meaningful outside of that small circle of people. And Sanders is an old Trot. I'm just suggesting that it's well on the way out. I doubt very much that many of the Millennials can relate with it. They can all relate with terms like "ordinary people" or the 99%. A humanist or universalist point of view transcends such limited notions as class war or dialectical materialism. It's not really about money and power - it's more profound; it's about sanity.

I suppose that this is enough discussion of what is perhaps an arcane semantic point. Just hope that you'll bear what I've said in mind. I think it would help in disseminating your interesting ideas.


Bob Cable said...

I vote for New Democracy World over the New York Times, and I vote for John Spritzler over all the current Presidential candidates. How is THAT for "real democracy"??? Now everything will be better, right?

-- Somervillein

ARTlicious said...

Try walking like a Jew in a neighborhood made up of the people from the Gulf regions,
Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, plus others
from Eygpt, Jordan & Lebanon etc and you wouldn't be so glib.
Intolerance and ignorance, is not just learned "over there", but flourishing with your smug
misunderstanding of an issue that you can not fathom because you haven't walked in a Jew's shoes.
I dare you to walk in these neighborhoods in France, London, Holland or the USA in Hassidic garb or wearing a

BDS is neo-nazism, yellow star and all.

Roger Tucker said...

Hi John. I'm commenting on 'Proof the Ruling Class DELIBERATELY Manufactures "Social Issues" to Divide and Rule Us.' It's well written and well argued, as usual. I just added it to the front page of my site,

It's in the second tier of links because it doesn't address the most potent and destructive element of the Powers That Be; to whit, what James Petras calls the ZPC, the Zionist Power Configuration. If we could crack that nut then what you propose might just have a chance.

Broadlands said...

A comment on "climate change". There is no denial that after over 200 years seven billion "carbon feet" have added more than 120 ppm CO2 to the atmosphere...up more than 40%. This has resulted in a rise in global temperature of less than one degree C. and has caused sea level to rise less than 12 inches. This "dramatic" rise has given rise to models projecting a "catastrophic" future unless "we" stop/lower carbon emissions to zero and then lower atmospheric CO2 back to 1987... 350 ppm. What is overlooked? is the solution. The fact that CO2 is now at 400 ppm means that an untested negative emission technology must be invoked. Under the most optimistic scenario this is impossible! Why? because 50 ppm is 100 BILLION metric tons of oxidized carbon. To lower atmospheric CO2 by just ONE ppm (back to 399 ppm) would require the capture and permanent safe storage of two billion metric tons. The estimated cost of capturing one ton is ~$130 US dollars. That's 260 billion $$ for one ppm. And 100 billion tons? The costs are clearly? out of sight and the technology is not ready, globally, nor are the storage sites large enough and safe enough. And, all this because of model projections that were unable to forecast the last 20-30 years. History will look back on this as it has since the "global cooling" frenzy of the 1960s and 70s and wonder who was really paying attention. Fortunately, the "urgent" solutions offered to stop that climate from changing were never adopted. When will "we" wake up now?

Greg Bacon said...

At the same time we have to eradicate poverty and erase the divide between the haves and the have-nots

TRANSLATION: Take money away from the shrinking middle-class and bring them down to the level of the poor.

DON'T make dental insurance mandatory. I don't have it and can afford to pay out of my pocket my dental bills. Make it mandatory and the costs will sky-rocket.

anglohistorian said...

I like your article and your appreciation of the situation.
Come to some of the same conclusions myself.
Good to see you are doing OK.
Remember you from 45 or so years back.
All my best wishes to you John.

Herman Johnson said...

All this is total bull shit. None of what you mentioned will happen until Greed and Jealousy are gone from mankind. As far as sharing the wealth, I live off of $14,000 a year. I am sure you have an income a lot greater than that, so how about you share some of your wealth with me and practice what you preach.

John Spritzler said...

Herman Johnson:

It is not bull shit. Egalitarianism requires that the large majority who value equality and mutual aid remove the small minority who have the opposite values from power. It does not require that the small minority who value greed and inequality change their minds, just lose their power.

John Spritzler

Unknown said...

My comment is on progressive or revolutionary. I believe Revolution connotes violence to the average person. It is scary for most and brings up images of civil war. As for the semantic meaning, it connotes orbit and therefore returning to the beginning. My concept of an egalitarian movement is one that is evolving, equal so conserving and respectful of all others. Egalitarian connotes harmony and a horizontal, as opposed to vertical existence. I'm groping for the fitting word, but we think of revolutionary as new, but it is going in a circle?

Unknown said...

I particularly like your stance on affirmative action.
something I have been saying all along for 42 years now and have been called a racist. My involvement with the left goes back to 1970. I started out as an ideological teen-ager turned revolutionist and then turned off by all the repugnancy on the left. I have my own ideas on how the left changed. However it is too much to go into at this time. I also like your opinions on Israel. Israel was looked upon as the lap-dog of the U.S. It has now changed to owning the U.S. I also have an idea of how that happened.

John Spritzler said...

Hi Dorothy, Thanks for your nice comment! I hope you stay in touch. My email is . --John Spritzler

John Spritzler said...

This is just a test of the comment blog. May 13, 2020