The Portland Alliance
Speaking Truth to Power Since 1981
Vol. XXXVI, Number 2 February 2016
Does Bernie Sanders’ Imperialism Matter?
by Shamus Cooke
Critiquing Bernie Sanders from the left can be a lonely project. There is a “hope”-powered hysteria surrounding his campaign, and bursting the “hope” bubble can produce a fierce backlash. The Sanders “hope” explosion is so fierce because capitalism has become a hopeless place.
Hope can be positive by pushing people into political action, but it’s also exploited by the establishment as shiny bait. Obama, for example, fished for votes using “hope” and reeled in the presidency.
He then clubbed “hope” senseless by betraying his promises, continuing war and maintaining the domestic policies of the 1%. Hope was so thoroughly thrashed that a new messiah of hope was needed to cure the Obama-fortified hopelessness.
Bernie’s version of hope is deeper than Obama’s shallow PR electoral campaign, but under capitalism real “hope” isn’t a simple recipe, and Bernie is missing some key ingredients, most notably “anti-imperialism,” which is exemplified in Bernie’s reactionary foreign policy positions…
The Dynamic Influence of Past Patterns on the Present
by S Brian Willson
Cultural historians, philosophers, psychologists, essayists, and scientists caution us to seriously understand the past and its pervasive patterns. Sigmund Freud declared that in psychic life, nothing of what has been formed in the past ever disappears. Everything that has occurred is preserved in one way or another and, in fact, reappears under either favorable or unfavorable circumstances.
“The past never leaves us and the future is already here”. [Lewis Mumford].
“Wherever Western man went slavery, land robbery, lawlessness, culture-wrecking, and
the outright extermination of both wild beasts and tame men went with him’. [Lewis Mumford].
“The West has ravaged the world for five hundred years, under the flag of master-slave theory which in our finest hour of hypocrisy was called ‘the white man’s burden’….
What sets the west apart is its persistence to stop at nothing”. [Hans Koning].
“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. [George
“Those who control the present,
control the past and those who
control the past control the future”. [George Orwell].
Rupert Sheldrake, biochemist, cell biologist and philosopher, describes a theory similar to psychologist Carl Jung’s collective unconsciousness, or concept of a group mind, a kind of inherited COLLECTIVE memory.