Category Archives: Staying in power – Struggle for control

This section considers the second of two fundamental ways in which a social system where harm is important differs from a productive one: maintaining control. It is a much more substantial problem for such societies. Threats come from two sources, those who would replace them, while maintaining harm, and those who would reduce harm.  This control takes place in the political, economic and social spheres; in the consideration here, the emphasis is on the political.

I have included three subcategories to bring out important aspects of maintaining control. Harming people – Keeping people oppressed  brings out the often brutal oppression of people by those who control productive + harmful economic systems.

Opposing oppression and injustice illustrates how people have fought against oppression and injustice. This section is perhaps an inadequate appreciation on my part for the struggle that they have waged, but it is something.

Conflict.  This is included because I think conflict is an important part of harm which has not received the attention that it deserves from this point of view.  It is thought of as “national defense” in the pursuit of “strategic self-interest” with some “collateral damage” which minimizes its role as harm.

Oppression and Exploitation News September 10 – September 16

Conflict 2020

At least 37 million people have been displaced by America’s War on Terror John Ismay New York Times September 8, 2020
A new report calculates the number of people who fled because of wars fought by the United States since Sept. 11, 2001. See the full report below.

Creating refugees: Displacement caused by the United States’ post-9/11 wars
David Vine, Cala Coffman, Katalina Khoury, Madison Lovasz, Helen Bush, Rachel Leduc,and Jennifer Walkup Costs of War Project, Brown University September 8, 2020 (30 page PDF file.)

Harm through the government 2020

How a massive bomb came together in Beirut’s port Ben Hubbard, Maria Abi-Habib, Mona El-Naggar, Allison McCann, Anjali Singhvi, James Glanz and Jeremy White New York Times September 9, 2020
Fifteen tons of fireworks. Jugs of kerosene and acid. Thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate. A system of corruption and bribes let the perfect bomb sit for years.

Justice Dept. intervenes on behalf of Trump in defamation case brought by woman who accused him of rape Matt Zapotosky Washington Post September 8, 2020

Control of land and natural resources 2020

In the Amazon, the coronavirus fuels an illegal gold rush — and an environmental crisis Terrence McCoy and Heloísa Traiano Washington Post September 4, 2020

Oppression and Exploitation News September 3 – September 9

Harming people – Keeping people oppressed 2020

‘Kill all you see’: In a first, Myanmar soldiers tell of Rohingya slaughter Hannah Beech, Saw Nang and Marlise Simons New York Times September 8, 2020

Trump administration to tap into frozen Venezuelan government funds to revive efforts to oust Maduro Karen DeYoung and Anthony Faiola Washington Post August 20, 2020

Voices from Kashmir: Inside India’s year-long crackdown Niha MasihShams Irfan and Joanna Slater Washington Post August 4, 2020

Harm through the government 2020

Louis DeJoy’s rise as GOP fundraiser was powered by contributions from company workers who were later reimbursed, former employees say Aaron C. Davis, Amy Gardner and Jon Swaine Washington Post September 6, 2020

Opposing oppression and injustice 2020

Salvadorans walk past a mural of Salvadoran martyrs Aug. 15, 2020, outside Our Lady of Pilar Catholic Church in Zaragoza, El Salvador. The mural includes four U.S. churchwomen slain in El Salvador in 1980; some Catholics in the country consider them part of a long list of Salvadoran saints and martyrs. (CNS/Courtesy Patricia Lazo)

Forty years after killings, Salvadoran city claims Maryknoll Sisters as its own Rhina Guidos Catholic News Service September 4, 2020

Struggle for control – staying in power 2020

Mali coup leaders pledge democracy after deposing president Ruth Maclean, Cheick Amadou Diouara and Elian Peltier New York Times August 19, 2020
The plotters appealed to Malians and foreign powers in a televised address to the nation, and said that new elections would be held to replace the detained president, who had been democratically elected.

Crime 2020

In Haiti, coronavirus and a man named Barbecue test the rule of law Ingrid Arnesen and Anthony Faiola Washington Post August 14, 2020

Oppression and Exploitation News August 20 – 26

Harming people – Keeping people oppressed 2020

Aleksei Navalny hospitalized in Russia in suspected poisoning Andrew Higgins New York Times August 20, 2020
The prominent opposition leader was reported to be in serious but stable condition in intensive care in Siberia after his flight to Moscow was forced to make an emergency landing.

Obtaining income through the government 2020

Steve Bannon is charged with fraud in We Build the Wall campaign Alan Feuer, William K. Rashbaum and Maggie Haberman New York Times August 20, 2020
Mr. Bannon and three others are accused in a scheme to use funds raised for construction to pay for personal expenses.

Juan Carlos, Spain’s former king, quits country amid multiple investigations Raphael Minder New York Times August 3, 2020
The former king’s departure, which comes as he faces financial inquiries, may fuel Spain’s political and social debate over the future of the monarchy.

Struggle for control – staying in power 2020

G.O.P.-led Senate panel details ties between 2016 Trump campaign and Russia Mark Mazetti New York Times August 18, 2020
A nearly 1,000-page report confirmed the special counsel’s findings at a moment when President Trump’s allies have sought to undermine that inquiry.

Trump’s flagrant assault on the First Amendment is disguised as a defense of it Editorial Board Washington Post August 5, 2020