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Despre Adrian Ghenie, dintr-o parte, din alta si din centru



Astăzi, 14 septembrie 2017, în cadrul ședinței Secției pentru Arte, Arhitectură și Audiovizual s-au votat premiile Academiei Române pentru anul 2015.

Pentru premiul "Ion Andreescu", la propunerea domnului Eugen Mihăescu, Membru de onoare al Academiei Române, a fost votat Adrian Ghenie pentru expoziția "Darwin's Room" cu care artistul a reprezentat România la Bienala de Artă de la Veneția în 2015. Pentru a-și susține propunerea, Eugen Mihăescu a adresat colegilor săi următoarea scrisoare:


"Dragi colegi,

Așa cum, la sfârșitul secolului al XIX-lea, Nicolae Grigorescu, Membru de onoare al Academiei Române, spunea despre Ion Andreescu: "El este cel mai mare dintre noi", la fel spun și eu astăzi despre Adrian Ghenie — care se află la mijocul vieții creative și a împlinit acum o lună 40 de ani — că este cel mai mare pictor pe care îl are România la ora actuală. Privind retrospectiv anul 2015, pentru că despre el este vorba atunci când vom decerna anul acesta premiul "Ion Andreescu", niciun alt artist nu se ridică la înălțimea stratosferică a acestui tânăr pictor băimărean. Un demn urmaș al școlii de pictură românească pe care trebuie să-l onorăm acum, când e în plină creativitate, și nu când o fi un moș pe care l-au revendicat și premiat alții.

A sosit momentul să premiem tinerii merituoși, nu "amicii de gașcă"! Să nu transformăm un premiu, care ar trebui să fie prestigios, într-un fel de "cutie a milei"!
Eugen Mihăescu
Membru de onoare al Academiei Române


Image result for adrian ghenie

Anca
+1

Ghenie este bun - stapaneste foarte bine tehnica. Bravo lui si profesorilor lui. Dar comparatia cu Andreescu, care a fost un pictor de un talent si sensibilitate aparte nu face decat sa sublinieze diferenta colosala dintre cei 2. Gestul Academiei este, mai mult sau mai putin, asemanator celui prin care i s-a acordat lui Cartarescu premiul Eminescu. Ghenie, fire speculativa si perfect adaptata vremurilor, transpune pe panza oroarea, durerea, frica, distrugerea, schilodirea, golirea de continut - intr-un cuvant, GRIMASA - ele par sa vina dintr-un melanj al simbolisticii oculte cu gustul rafinat al Vestului pentru excentricitatile suferinde ale Estului. Si al taticilor iubitori de arta din Vest pentru baietii din Est. Tocmai pentru ca este bun, m-as bucura ca acest baiat sa se trezeasca. Dar, pana atunci, pe piata de carte nu exista nici macar un album de arta Andreescu publicat recent. Tot ce a fost pare sa se fi stins odata cu Radu Bogdan. Pentru Academie, Andreescu ar trebui sa insemne mai mult decat un nume asezat comod pe un premiu pentru a-i oferi... noblete.

Andrei @ Anca
+10

Nu se face nici o comparatie cu Andreescu, doar premiul ii poarta numele. Ar fi absurd sa il comparam pe Adrian Ghenie cu Ion Andreescu. Ghenie creeaza in secolul 21, Andreescu a fost un pictor de valoare medie din sec. 19. Sa il numiti pe Ghenie, "acest baiat" denota o lipsa de respect fata de un artist care intr-adevar este mult mai apreciat peste hotare decat in Romania. Expozitia lui de la Bienala Venetia a fost de o mare, mare valoare, si Academia a acordat premiul absolut pe merit.


Anca@Andrei @ Anca
+2

Ghenie merge „afara” pentru ca… se vinde, in toate sensurile cuvantului. Eu sunt cea face comparatia - am dreptul sa o fac, asocierea numelor mi-o induce natural. Si, facand comparatie, am ajuns la concluzia respectiva. Nu este lipsa de respect sintagma „acest baiat”, consider ca total lipsita de respect afirmatia „Andreescu este un pictor de valoare medie.” Plecand de la asta, putem sugera Academiei sa schimbe denumirea premiului, doar nu putem afecta un geniu in acest fel – sincer, ar fi o situatie care m-ar multumi si pe mine, si pe dumneavoastra.

Andrei
-2

@Anca Andreescu "geniu"?! Floricele pe câmpii și în vaze pictate pentru domnițe într-o epocă în care au pictat Renoir, Monet, Manet, Deags, Munch, van Gogh and Gaugain?! Să fim realiști și nu naționaliști fără nici o bază valorică.

Anca @ Andrei
0

Se vede ca nu ne intelegem sau citim superficial ce scrie celalalt. Cand am spus ,,geniu'' nu ma refeream la Andreescu...

European Culture in the 21st Century



by LÉON KRIER

European Parliament, Directorate-General for Research, Document

EDUC 107 EN Part 2 (2001), pages 31-33.
To consider "European Culture in the 21st century" as a singular subject denies implicitly its necessarily and inherently plural nature. As a homogenous and unified phenomenon, it is as undesirable and impractical as a single European language. Politically, it is as totalitarian a vision as the sole reign of a single European party.

And yet the ideology of modernism, which has devastated cities, landscapes and minds for half a century, squandered natural resources, wasted private lives and professional careers, continues to dominate the cultural policies of all European countries. It reigns through the extension of intellectual terror in government agencies and academies, and works effectively (if no longer declaredly) at the elimination of traditional cultural differences, styles and techniques.

The new buildings of the European Union (EU) in Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg symbolize if anything the poverty and vacuity of the ideology. Despite the evident betrayal of all its ideological promises and pretensions, the vast majority of government sponsored buildings in all EU countries -- including national pavilions at world exhibitions -- continue to be built as mere variations of the same sterile creed.





The tenets of this ideology are based on the erroneous belief that in an industrial civilization all aspects of life will eventually be dominated by industrial processes, i.e. that "modernity" is and can be truly modern only if imbued with the spirit of industrialization.

This belief assumes that in the industrial city not only factories, but equally houses and schools, public and private buildings, must be and must look industrial. It also implies that all manufactured objects, large or small, will eventually be cloned, serial, repetitive, and exchangeable.

The philosophical fallacy of this ideology lies not in its principles, materials, and technology, however, but in the ambition to uphold these as a new paradigm, apparently revolutionizing, invalidating and replacing all previous artistic and architectural traditions, categories, and knowledge.

In the most advanced industrial countries it is no longer conceivable to promote industrial development to the detriment of crafts. The coexistence of these two production modes, ways of thinking and educating, is now largely recognized as a necessity for a healthy modern economy, society and individuals.

Balanced development requires a profound change of mentality, and the abandonment of outdated creeds that remain anchored in an all-out industrial and collectivist teleology. Modernism after all disqualified traditional building methods and styles as anachronistic, and hence as "historic" and superseded.

Traditional architecture's language and technology were excluded from the industrial future and consequently from training. The immense capital of know-how held by 39 building related crafts and trades -- a monument of practical and aesthetic intelligence, with an enormous potential for production, education and creativity -- is erroneously disparaged as pre-industrial and, as such, it is banned from regular technical training and economic practice. It is retained in universities merely as subject for archaeology, leisure and history courses. Artisan know-how is institutionally treated as an orphan with illegitimate offspring. Thus we are faced not only with a scandalous reduction in the productive capacities of European societies as a whole, but also with the social impoverishment of basic democratic choices relating to vocations and trades, and generally with the means of human self-expression. As a consequence, artisan practices necessary for an architecture of quality are relegated to the status of marginal activities, based primarily on self-training.

The immense demand for traditional crafts and architecture which manifests itself in all free European countries must for the time being be satisfied with products of inferior quality; with ersatz and kitsch.

The development capacity of this market in terms of quality and quantity is seriously curbed by a general lack of adequate training and teaching facilities, and of normal institutional recognition. Even the most directive industrialization policies will not result in full employment. The latter is not and cannot be an objective of industrialization -- it is quite simply not within its competence.

In the future, large amounts of building will not be implemented by further industrialization.

Traditional artisan trades represent now a considerable source of employment and, above all, of self-employment.

The goals of European education policies, which are still essentially concerned with intellectual and scientific education in the service of an all-embracing industrial utopia, need to be revised, albeit partially. Neither the State nor industry will in future provide enough jobs to employ the utterly dependent, disoriented and confused masses released for work after fifteen years of obligatory theoretical and impractical general schooling. Ideally, the goal of obligatory schooling should be to make people independent and reliant on their individual gifts and vocations, rather than transforming them into dependent, passive and depressed masses.

How else can we explain the fact that manual work has become an unaffordable rarity in those very EU countries that count today more than 30 million unemployed hands?

We do well to remember that a few thousand pairs of hands are capable of building the most beautiful cities and the most magnificent cathedrals. The problem of mass unemployment is a problem of industrial ideology, of its outdated political, moral and metaphysical ambitions.

Very few people are gifted enough for the kind of theoretical and epistemological education that is now showered upon the masses; training and apprenticeship in practical crafts and know-how are the natural way to awaken the unique, personal talents of most individuals.

Traditional craft disciplines are expressions of specific human skills and dispositions conditioned by human nature itself, not merely by socio-economic relation at any given historical period.

Even in a global industrial utopia, the apprenticeship of traditional craft skills would have to be considered alongside science and humanities as one of the three privileged ways of awakening and training the mind and the body. The suppression of traditional craft skills represents a catastrophic impoverishment of human self-expression, a limitation of human capacity for independence and liberty.

The quality of the great European villages, cities and landscapes, their original construction, their multiplication and maintenance, the transformation of dull 20th century suburbs and abandoned industries into attractive cities, are and will be dependent on the development and promotion of manual crafts and dexterity at the European level.


The reconstruction and promotion of a broad, highly qualified craft industry is a necessary condition for the revival of a dynamic European urban culture. It appeals to the force of character, talent and initiative of individuals, for the work of a society and culture depends entirely upon the work of individuals.

Personal independence, individuality and responsibility, work which procures satisfaction, identity and autonomy at every level of talent and intelligence, are the guiding values of such a culture. A great many citizens identify strongly with these values, making them absolutely and positively modern.

Fake News on Russia and Other Official Enemies


Edward S. Herman
—Eds.


The New York Times, 1917–2017

The Soviet delegation arrives at Brest-Litovsk. Lev Trotsky is in the center surrounded by German officers
The Soviet delegation arrives at Brest-Litovsk. Lev Trotsky is in the center surrounded by German officers. David King Collection. (The Bolsheviks in Power, p. 152)
Edward S. Herman has written widely on economics, foreign policy, and the media.
It has been amusing to watch the New York Times and other mainstream media outlets express their dismay over the rise and spread of “fake news.” These publications take it as an obvious truth that what they provide is straightforward, unbiased, fact-based reporting. They do offer such news, but they also provide a steady flow of their own varied forms of fake news, often by disseminating false or misleading information supplied to them by the national security state, other branches of government, and sites of corporate power.
An important form of mainstream media fake news is that which is presented while suppressing information that calls the preferred news into question. This was the case with “The Lie That Wasn’t Shot Down,” the title of a January 18, 1988, Times editorial referring to a propaganda claim of five years earlier that the editors had swallowed and never looked into any further. The lie—that the Soviets knew that Korean airliner 007, which they shot down on August 31, 1983, was a civilian plane—was eventually uncovered by congressman Lee Hamilton, not by the Times.
Mainstream media fake news is especially likely where a party line is quickly formed on a topic, with any deviations therefore immediately dismissed as naïve, unpatriotic, or simply wrong. In a dramatic illustration, for a book chapter entitled “Worthy and Unworthy Victims,” Noam Chomsky and I showed that coverage by Time, Newsweek, CBS News, and the New York Times of the 1984 murder of the priest Jerzy Popieluzko in Communist Poland, a dramatic and politically useful event for the politicized Western mainstream media, exceeded all their coverage of the murders of a hundred religious figures killed in Latin America by U.S. client states in the post-Second World War years taken together.1 It was cheap and safe to focus heavily on the “worthy” victim, whereas looking closely at the deaths of those hundred would have required an expensive and sometimes dangerous research effort that would have upset the State Department. But it was in effect a form of fake news to so selectively devote coverage (and indignation) to a politically useful victim, while ignoring large numbers whose murder the political establishment sought to downplay or completely suppress.
Fake news on Russia is a Times tradition that can be traced back at least as far as the 1917 revolution. In a classic study of the paper’s coverage of Russia from February 1917 to March 1920, Walter Lippmann and Charles Merz found that “From the point of view of professional journalism the reporting of the Russian Revolution is nothing short of a disaster. On the essential questions the net effect was almost always misleading, and misleading news is worse than none at all…. They can fairly be charged with boundless credulity, and an untiring readiness to be gulled, and on many occasions with a downright lack of common sense.”2 Lippmann and Merz found that strong editorial bias clearly fed into news reporting. The editors’ zealous opposition to the communists led the paper to report atrocities that never happened, and to predict the imminent collapse of the Bolshevik regime no fewer than ninety-one times in three years. Journalists uncritically accepted official statements and relied on reports from unidentified “high authority.” This was standard Times practice.
This fake news performance of 1917–20 was repeated often in the years that followed. The Soviet Union was an enemy target up to the Second World War, and through it all, Times coverage was consistently hostile. With the end of the war and the emergence of the Soviet Union as a military rival, and soon a competing nuclear power, the Cold War was on. In the United States, anti-communism became a national religion, and the Soviet Union was portrayed in official discourse and the news media as a global menace in urgent need of containment. With this ideology in place and with U.S. plans for its own global expansion of power established, the Communist threat would help sustain the steady growth of the military-industrial complex and repeated interventions to counter purported Soviet aggressions.3

An Early Great Crime: Guatemala

One of the most flagrant cases in which the Soviet threat was exploited to justify U.S.-sponsored violence was the overthrow of the social democratic government of Guatemala in 1954 by a small proxy army invading from U.S. ally Somoza’s Nicaragua. This action was provoked by government reforms that upset U.S. officials, including a 1947 law permitting the formation of labor unions, and plans to buy back (at tax-rate valuations) and distribute to landless peasants some of the unused property owned by United Fruit Company and other large landowners. The United States, which had been perfectly content with the earlier fourteen-year-long dictatorship of Jose Ubico, could not tolerate this democratic challenge, and the elected government, led by Jacobo Arbenz, was soon charged with assorted villainies, based on an alleged Red capture of the Guatemalan government.4
In the pre-invasion propaganda campaign, the mainstream media fell into line behind false charges of extreme government repression, threats to its neighbors, and the Communist takeover. The Times repeatedly reported these alleged abuses and threats from 1950 onward (my favorite: Sidney Gruson’s “How Communists Won Control of Guatemala,” March 1, 1953). Arbenz and his predecessor, Juan Jose Arevalo, had carefully avoided establishing any embassies with Soviet bloc countries, fearing U.S. reprisals—to no avail. Following the removal of Arbenz and the installation of a right-wing dictatorship, court historian Ronald Schneider, after studying 50,000 documents seized from Communist sources in Guatemala, found that not only did Communists never control the country, but that the Soviet Union “made no significant or even material investment in the Arbenz regime,” and was at the time too preoccupied with internal problems to concern itself with Central America.5
The coup government quickly attacked and decimated the new social groups that had formed in the democratic era, mainly peasant, worker, and teacher organizations. Arbenz had won 65 percent of the votes in a free election, but the “liberator” Castillo Armas quickly won a “plebiscite” with 99.6 percent of the vote. Although this is a result familiar in totalitarian regimes, the mainstream media had by then lost interest in Guatemala, barely mentioning this electoral outcome. The Times had claimed in 1950 that U.S. Guatemala policy “is not trying to block social and economic progress but is interested in seeing that Guatemala becomes a liberal democracy.”6 But in the aftermath, the editors failed to note that the result of U.S. policy was precisely to “block social and economic progress,” through the installation of a regime of reactionary terror.
In 2011, more than half a century after 1954, the Times reported that Guatemalan president Alvaro Colom had apologized for that “Great Crime,” the violent overthrow of the Arbenz government, “an act of aggression to a government starting its democratic spring.”7 The article mentions that, according to president Colom, the Arbenz family is “seeking an apology from the United States for its role” in the Great Crime. The Times has never made any apology or even acknowledgement of its own role in the Great Crime.

Another Great Crime: Vietnam

Fake news abounded in the Times and other mainstream publications during the Vietnam War. The common perception that the paper’s editors opposed the war is misleading and essentially false. In Without Fear or Favor, former Times reporter Harrison Salisbury acknowledged that in 1962, when U.S. intervention escalated, the Times was “deeply and consistently” supportive of the war policy.8 He contends that the paper grew steadily more oppositional from 1965, culminating in the publication of the Pentagon Papers in 1971. But Salisbury fails to recognize that from 1954 to the present, the Times never abandoned the Cold War framework and vocabulary, according to which the United States was resisting another nation’s “aggression” and protecting “South Vietnam.” The paper never applied the word aggression to this country, but used it freely in referring to North Vietnamese actions and those of the National Liberation Front in the southern half of Vietnam.
The various pauses in the U.S. bombing war in 1965 and after, in the alleged interest of “giving peace a chance,” were also the basis of fake news as the Johnson administration used these temporary halts to quiet antiwar protests, while making it clear to the Vietnamese that U.S. officials demanded full surrender. The Times and its colleagues swallowed this bait without a murmur of dissent.9
Furthermore, although from 1965 onward the Times was willing to publish more reports that put the war in a less favorable light, it never broke from its heavy dependence on official sources, or from its reluctance to confront the damage wrought on Vietnam and its civilian population by the U.S. war machine. In contrast with its eager pursuit of Cambodian refugees from the Khmer Rouge after April 1975, the paper rarely sought testimony from the millions of Vietnamese refugees fleeing U.S. bombing and chemical warfare. In its opinion columns as well, the new openness was limited to commentators who accepted the premises of the war and would confine their criticisms to its tactical problems and domestic costs. From beginning to end, those who criticized the war as an immoral campaign of sheer aggression were excluded from the debate.10

The 1981 Papal Assassination Attempt

The mainstream media gave a further boost to Cold War propaganda in reporting on the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in Rome in May 1981. At a time when the Reagan administration was seeking to demonize the Soviet Union as an “evil empire,” the shooting of the pope by Turkish fascist Ali Agca was quickly tied to Moscow, helped by Agca’s confession—after seventeen months of imprisonment, interrogations, threats, inducements, and access to the media—that the Bulgarians and Soviet KGB were behind it all. No credible evidence supported this connection, the claims were implausible, and the corruption in the process was remarkable. (Agca also periodically claimed to be Jesus Christ.) The case against the Bulgarians (and implicitly the KGB) was lost even in Italy’s extremely biased and politicized judicial framework. But the Times bought it, and gave it prolonged, intense, and completely unquestioning attention, as did most of the U.S. media.
During the 1991 Senate hearings on the nomination of Robert Gates to head the CIA, former agency officer Melvin Goodman testified that the CIA knew from the start that Agca’s confessions were false, because they had “very good penetration” of the Bulgarian secret services. The Times omitted this statement in its reporting on Goodman’s testimony. During the same year, with Bulgaria now a member of the “free world,” conservative analyst Allen Weinstein obtained permission to examine Bulgarian secret service files on the assassination attempt. His mission was widely reported, including in the Times, but when he returned without having found anything implicating Bulgaria or the KGB, several papers, including the Times, found his investigations no longer newsworthy.

Missile Gap

From roughly 1975 to 1986, much of the reporting on the purported “missile gap” between the United States and the Soviet Union was little more than fake news, with Times reporters passing along a steady stream of inflammatory official statements and baseless claims. An important case occurred in the mid-1970s, as right-wing hawks in the Ford administration were trying to escalate the Cold War and arms race. A 1975 CIA report had found that the Soviets were aiming only for nuclear parity. This was unsatisfactory, so CIA head George H. W. Bush appointed a new team of hardliners, who soon found that the Soviets were achieving nuclear superiority and preparing to fight a nuclear war. This so-called Team B report was taken at face value in a Times front page article of December 26, 1976, by David Binder, who failed to mention its political bias or purpose, and made no attempt to consult experts with differing views. The CIA finally admitted in 1983 that the Team B estimates were fabrications. But throughout this period, the Times supported the case for militarization by disseminating false information, much of it convincingly refuted by Tom Gervasi in his classic The Myth of Soviet Military Supremacy, a book never reviewed in the Times.

Yugoslavia and “Humanitarian Intervention”

The 1990s wars of dismantlement in Yugoslavia succeeded in removing an independent government from power and replacing it with a broken Serbian remnant and poor and unstable failed states in Bosnia and Kosovo. It also provided unwarranted support for the concept of “humanitarian intervention,” which rested on a mass of misrepresentations and selective reporting. The demonized Serbian leader Slobodan Milošević was not an ultra-nationalist seeking a “Greater Serbia,” but rather a non-aligned leader on the Western hit list who tried to help Serb minorities in Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo remain in Yugoslavia as the United States and the European Union supported a legally questionable exodus by several constituent Yugoslav Republics. He supported each of the proposed settlements of these conflicts, which were sabotaged by Bosnian and U.S. officials who wanted better terms or the outright military defeat of Serbia, ultimately achieving the latter. Milošević had nothing to do with the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre, in which Bosnian Serbs took revenge on Bosnian Muslim soldiers who had been ravaging nearby Bosnian Serb villages from their base in Srebrenica under NATO protection. The several thousand Serb civilian deaths were essentially unreported in the mainstream media, while the numbers of Srebrenica’s executed victims were correspondingly inflated.11

The Putin Era

The U.S. political establishment was shocked and delighted by the 1989–91 fall of the Soviet Union, and its members were similarly pleased with the policies of President Boris Yeltsin, a virtual U.S. client, under whose rule ordinary Russians suffered a calamitous fall in living standards, while a small set of oligarchs were able to loot the broken state. Yeltsin’s election victory in 1996, greatly assisted by U.S. consultants, advice, and money, was, for the editors of the Times, “A Victory for Russian Democracy.”12 They were not bothered by either the electoral corruption, the creation of a grand-larceny-based economic oligarchy, or, shortly thereafter, the new rules centralizing power in the office of president.13
Yeltsin’s successor, Vladimir Putin, gradually abandoned the former’s subservience to Western interests, and was thereby perceived as a menace. His reelection in 2012, although surely less corrupt than Yeltsin’s in 1996, was castigated in the U.S. media. The lead Times article on May 5, 2012, featured “a slap in the face” from Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe observers, claims of no real competition, and “thousands of antigovernment protesters gathered in Moscow square to chant ‘Russia without Putin.'”14 There had been no “challenges to legitimacy” reported in the Times after Yeltsin’s tainted victory in 1996.
The demonization of Putin escalated with the Ukraine crisis of 2014 and subsequent Kiev warfare in Eastern Ukraine, Russian support of the East Ukraine resistance, and the Crimean referendum and absorption of Crimea by Russia. This was all declared “aggression” by the United States and its allies and clients, and sanctions were imposed on Russia, and a major U.S.-NATO military buildup was initiated on Russia’s borders. Tensions mounted further with the shooting-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over southeastern Ukraine—promptly, but almost surely falsely, blamed on the “pro-Russian” rebels and Russia itself.15
Anti-Russian hostilities were further inflamed by the country’s escalated intervention in Syria from 2015 on, in support of Bashar al-Assad and against rebel forces that had come to be dominated by ISIS and al-Nusra, an offshoot of al-Qaeda. The United States and its NATO and Middle East allies had been committing aggression against Syria, in de facto alliance with al-Nusra and other extremist Islamic factions, for several years. Russian intervention turned the tide, frustrating the U.S. and Saudi goal of regime change against Assad, and weakening tacit U.S. allies.
The Times has covered these developments with unstinting apologetics—for the February 2014 coup in Kiev—which it has never labeled as such, for the U.S. role in the overthrow of the elected government of Victor Yanukovych, and with anger and horror at the Crimea referendum and Russian absorption, which it never allows might be a defensive response to the Kiev coup. Its calls for punishment for the casualty-free Russian “aggression” in Crimea is in marked contrast to its apologetics for the million-plus casualties caused by U.S. aggression “of choice” (not defensive) in Iraq from March 2003 on. The paper’s editors and columnists condemn Putin’s disregard for international law, while exempting their own country from criticism for its repeated violations of that same law.16
In the Times‘s reporting and opinion columns Russia is regularly assailed as expansionist and threatening its neighbors, but virtually no mention is made of NATO’s expansion up to the Russian borders and first-strike-threat placement of anti-missile weapons in Eastern Europe—the latter earlier claimed to be in response to a missile threat from Iran! Analyses by political scientist John Mearsheimer and Russia scholar Stephen F. Cohen that noted this NATO advance were excluded from the opinion pages of the Times.17 In contrast, a member of the Russian band Pussy Riot, Maria Alyokhina, was given op-ed space to denounce Putin and Russia, and the punk rock group was granted a meeting with the Times editorial board.18 Between January 1 and March 31, 2014, the paper ran twenty-three articles featuring Pussy Riot and its alleged significance as a symbol of Russian limits on free speech. Pussy Riot had disrupted a church service in Moscow and only stopped after police intervened, at the request of church authorities. A two-year prison sentence followed. Meanwhile, in February 2014, eighty-four-year-old nun Sister Megan Rice was sentenced to four years in prison for having entered a U.S. nuclear weapons site in July 2012 and carried out a symbolic protest. The Times gave this news a tiny mention in its National Briefing section, under the title “Tennessee Nun is Sentenced for Peace Protest.” No op-ed columns or meeting with the Times board for Rice. There are worthy and unworthy protesters, just as there are victims.
In Syria, with Russian help, Assad’s army and allied militias were able to dislodge the rebels from Aleppo, to the dismay of Washington and the mainstream media. It has been enlightening to see the alarm expressed over civilian casualties in Aleppo, with accompanying photographs of forsaken children and stories of civilian suffering and deprivation. The Times‘s focus on those civilians and children and its indignation at Putin-Assad inhumanity stands in sharp contrast with their virtual silence on massive civilian casualties in Fallujah in 2004 and beyond, and more recently in rebel-held areas of Syria, and in the Iraqi city of Mosul, under U.S. and allied attack.19 The differential treatment of worthy and unworthy victims has been in full force in coverage of Syria.
A further phase of intensifying Russophobia may be dated from the October 2016 presidential debates, in which Hillary Clinton declared that Donald Trump would be a Putin “puppet” as president, a theme her campaign began to stress. This emphasis only increased after the election, with the help of the media and intelligence services, as the Clinton camp sought to explain their electoral loss, maintain party control, and possibly even have the election results overturned in the courts or electoral college by attributing Trump’s victory to Russian interference.
A major impetus for the Putin connection came with the January 2017 release of a report by the Office of Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Background of Assessing Russian Activities and Intention in Recent US Elections. More than half of this short document is devoted to the Russian-sponsored RT news network, which the report treats as an illegitimate propaganda source. The organization is allegedly part of Russia’s “influence campaign…[that] aspired to help President-elect Trump’s chances of victory when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to the President-elect.” No semblance of proof is offered that there was any planned “campaign,” rather than an ongoing expression of opinion and news judgments. The same standards used to identify a Russian “influence campaign” could be applied with equal force to U.S. media and Radio Free Europe’s treatment of any Russian election—and of course, the U.S. intervention in the 1996 Russian election was overt, direct, and went far beyond any covert “influence campaign.”
Regarding more direct Russian intervention in the U.S. election, the DNI authors concede the absence of “full supporting evidence,” but in fact provide no supporting evidence at all—only speculative assertions, assumptions, and guesses. “We assess that…Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2015,” they write, designed to defeat Mrs. Clinton, and “to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process,” but provide no proof of any such order. The report also contains no evidence that Russia hacked the communications of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) or the emails of Clinton and former Clinton campaign manager John Podesta, or that it gave hacked information to WikiLeaks. Julian Assange and former British diplomat Craig Murray have repeatedly claimed that these sources were leaked by local insiders, not hacked from outside. Veteran intelligence experts William Binney and Ray McGovern likewise contend that the WikiLeaks evidence was leaked, not hacked.20 It is also notable that of the three intelligence agencies who signed the DNI document, the National Security Agency—the agency most likely to have proof of Russian hacking and its transmission to WikiLeaks, as well as of any “orders” from Putin—only expressed “moderate confidence” in its findings.
But as with the Reds ruling Guatemala, the Soviets outpacing U.S. missile capabilities, or the KGB plotting to assassinate the pope, the Times has taken the Russian hacking story as established fact, despite the absence of hard evidence. Times reporter David Sanger refers to the report’s “damning and surprisingly detailed account of Russia’s efforts to undermine the American electoral system,” only to then acknowledge that the published report “contains no information about how the agencies had …come to their conclusions.”21 The report itself includes the astonishing statement that “Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact.” Furthermore, if the report was based on “intercepts of conversations” as well as on hacked computer data, as Sanger and the DNI claim, why has the DNI failed to quote a single conversation showing Putin’s alleged orders and plans?
The Times has never cited or given op-ed space to William Binney, Ray McGovern, or Craig Murray, leading dissident authorities on hacking technology, methodology, and the specifics of the DNC hacks. But room was found for Louise Mensch’s op-ed “What to Ask about Russian Hacking.” Mensch is a notorious conspiracy theorist with no relevant technical background, described by writers Nathan Robinson and Alex Nichols as best-known for “spending most of her time on Twitter issuing frenzied denunciations of imagined armies of online ‘Putinbots,'” making her “one of the least credible people on the internet.”22 But she is published in the Times because, in contrast with the informed and credible Binney and Murray, she follows the party line, taking Russian hacking of the DNC as a premise.
The CIA’s brazen intervention in the electoral process in 2016 and 2017 broke new ground in the agency’s politicization. Former CIA head Michael Morell announced in an August 2016 op-ed in the Times: “I Ran the C.I.A. Now I’m Endorsing Hillary Clinton,” and former CIA boss Michael Hayden published an op-ed in the Washington Post just days before the election, entitled “Former CIA Chief: Trump is Russia’s Useful Fool.” Morell had yet another op-ed in the Times on January 6, now openly assailing the new president. These attacks were unrelievedly insulting to Trump and laudatory to Clinton, even portraying Trump as a traitor; they also made clear that Clinton’s more pugnacious stance toward Syria and Russia was preferable by far to Trump’s leanings toward negotiation and cooperation with Russia.
This was also true of the scandal surrounding former Trump Defense Intelligence nominee Michael Flynn’s telephone call with the Russian ambassador, which may have included a discussion of the incoming administration’s policy actions. The political possibilities of this interaction were quickly grasped by outgoing Obama officials, security personnel, and the mainstream media, with the FBI interrogating Flynn and with widespread expressions of horror at Flynn’s action, which could have allegedly exposed him to Russian blackmail. But such pre-inauguration meetings with Russian diplomats have been a “common practice” according to Jack Matlock, the U.S. ambassador to Russia under Reagan and Bush, and Matlock had personally arranged such a meeting for Jimmy Carter.23 Obama’s own ambassador to the country, Michael McFaul, admitted visiting Moscow for talks with officials in 2008, even before the election. Daniel Lazare has made a good case not only that the illegality and blackmail threat are implausible, but that the FBI’s interrogation of Flynn reeks of entrapment. “Yet anti-Trump liberals are trying to convince the public that it’s all ‘worse than Watergate.'”24
The political point of the DNI report thus seems to have been, at minimum, to tie the Trump administration’s hands in its dealings with Russia. Some analysts outside the mainstream have argued that we may have been witnessing an incipient spy or palace coup that fell short, but still had the desired effect of weakening the new administration.25 The Times has not offered a word of criticism of this politicization and intervention in the election process by intelligence agencies, and in fact the editors have been working with them and the Democratic Party as a loose-knit team in a distinctly un- and anti-democratic program designed to undermine or reverse the results of the 2016 election, on the pretext of alleged foreign electoral interference.
The Times and the mainstream media in general have also barely mentioned the awkward fact that the allegedly hacked disclosures of the DNC and Clinton and Podesta emails disclosed uncontested facts about real electoral manipulations on behalf of the Clinton campaign, facts that the public had a right to know and that might well have affected the election results. The focus on the evidence-free claims of a Russian hacking intrusion have helped divert attention from the real electoral abuses disclosed by the WikiLeaks material. Here again, official and mainstream media fake news helped bury real news.
Another arrow in the Russophobia quiver was a private intelligence “dossier” compiled by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent working for Orbis Business Intelligence, a private firm hired by the DNC to dig up dirt on Trump. Steele’s first report, delivered in June 2016, made numerous serious accusations against Trump, most notably that Trump had been caught in a sexual escapade in Moscow, that his political advance had been supported by the Kremlin for at least five years, under Putin’s direction, in order to sow discord within the U.S. political establishment and disrupt the Western alliance. This document was based on alleged conversations by Steele with distant (Russian) officials: that is, strictly on hearsay evidence, whose assertions, where verifiable, are sometimes erroneous.26 But it said just what the Democrats, the mainstream media, and the CIA wanted to hear, and intelligence officials accordingly declared the author “credible,” and the media lapped it up. The Times hedged somewhat on its own cooperation in this tawdry campaign by calling the report “unverified,” but nevertheless reported its claims.27
The Steele dossier also became a central part of the investigation and hearings on “Russia-gate” held by the House Intelligence Committee starting in March 2017, led by Democratic Representative Adam Schiff. While basing his opening statement on the hearsay-laden dossier, Schiff expressed no interest in establishing who funded the Steele effort, the identity and exact status of the Russian officials quoted, or how much they were paid. Apparently talking to Russians with a design of influencing an American presidential election is perfectly acceptable if the candidate supported by this intrusion is anti-Russian!
The Times has played a major role in this latest wave of Russophobia, reminiscent of its 1917–20 performance in which, as Lippmann and Merz noted in 1920, “boundless credulity, and an untiring readiness to be gulled” characterized the news-making process. While quoting the CIA’s admission that it had no hard evidence, relying instead on “circumstantial evidence” and “capabilities,” the Times was happy to describe these capabilities at great length and to imply that they proved something.28 Editorials and news articles have worked uniformly on the false supposition that Russian hacking was proved, and that the Russians had given these data to WikiLeaks, also unproven and strenuously denied by Assange and Murray.
The Times has run neck-and-neck with the Washington Post in stirring up fears of the Russian information war and illicit involvement with Trump. The Times now easily conflates fake news with any criticism of established institutions, as in Mark Scott and Melissa Eddy’s “Europe Combats a New Foe of Political Stability: Fake News,” February 20, 2017.29 But what is more extraordinary is the uniformity with which the paper’s regular columnists accept as a given the CIA’s assessment of the Russian hacking and transmission to WikiLeaks, the possibility or likelihood that Trump is a Putin puppet, and the urgent need of a congressional and “non-partisan” investigation of these claims. This swallowing of a new war-party line has extended widely in the liberal media. Both the Times and Washington Post have lent tacit support to the idea that this “fake news” threat needs to be curbed, possibly by some form of voluntary media-organized censorship or government intervention that would at least expose the fakery.
The most remarkable media episode in this anti-influence-campaign was the Post‘s piece by Craig Timberg, “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say,” which featured a report by a group of anonymous “experts” entity called PropOrNot that claimed to have identified two hundred websites that, wittingly or not, were “routine peddlers of Russian propaganda.” While smearing these websites, many of them independent news outlets whose only shared trait was their critical stance toward U.S. foreign policy, the “experts” refused to identify themselves, allegedly out of fear of being “targeted by legions of skilled hackers.” As journalist Matt Taibbi wrote, “You want to blacklist hundreds of people, but you won’t put your name to your claims? Take a hike.”30 But the Post welcomed and promoted this McCarthyite effort, which might well be a product of Pentagon or CIA information warfare. (And these entities are themselves well-funded and heavily into the propaganda business.)
On December 23, 2016, President Obama signed the Portman-Murphy Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act, which will supposedly allow the United States to more effectively combat foreign (namely Russian and Chinese) propaganda and disinformation. It will encourage more government counter-propaganda efforts, and provide funding to non-government entities to help in this enterprise. It is clearly a follow-on to the claims of Russian hacking and propaganda, and shares the spirit of the listing of two hundred tools of Moscow featured in the Washington Post. (Perhaps PropOrNot will qualify for a subsidy and be able to enlarge its list.) Liberals have been quiet on this new threat to freedom of speech, undoubtedly influenced by their fears of Russian-based fake news and propaganda. But they may yet take notice, even if belatedly, when Trump or one of his successors puts it to work on their own notions of fake news and propaganda.
The success of the war party’s campaign to contain or reverse any tendency to ease tensions with Russia was made dramatically clear in the Trump administration’s speedy bombing response to the April 4, 2017, Syrian chemical weapons deaths. The Times and other mainstream media editors and journalists greeted this aggressive move with almost uniform enthusiasm, and once again did not require evidence of Assad’s guilt beyond their government’s claims.31 The action was damaging to Assad and Russia, but served the rebels well.
But the mainstream media never ask cui bono? in cases like this. In 2013, a similar charge against Assad, which brought the United States to the brink of a full-scale bombing war in Syria, turned out to be a false flag operation, and some authorities believe the current case is equally problematic.32 Nevertheless, Trump moved quickly (and illegally), dealing a blow to any further rapprochement between the United States and Russia. The CIA, the Pentagon, leading Democrats, and the rest of the war party had won an important skirmish in the struggle over permanent war.

Notes

  1. Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman,Manufacturing Consent (New York: Pantheon, 2008), chapter 2.
  2. Walter Lippmann and Charles Merz,A Test of the News (New York: New Republic, 1920).
  3. On the Grand Area framework, see Noam Chomsky, “The New Framework of Order,” inOn Power and Ideology (Boston: South End, 1987).
  4. Edward S. Herman, “Returning Guatemala to the Fold,” in Gary Rawnsley, ed.,Cold War Propaganda in the 1950s (London: Macmillan, 1999).
  5. Ronald Schneider,Communism in Guatemala, 1944–1954 (New York: Praeger, 1959), 41, 196–97, 294.
  6. Editorial Board, “The Guatemala Incident,”New York Times, April 8, 1950.
  7. Elisabeth Malkin, “An Apology for a Guatemalan Coup, 57 Years Later,”New York Times, October 11, 2011.
  8. Harrison Salisbury,Without Fear or Favor (New York: Times Books, 1980), 486.
  9. Richard Du Boff and Edward Herman,America’s Vietnam Policy: The Strategy of Deception (Washington, D.C.: Public Affairs, 1966).
  10. See Chomsky and Herman,Manufacturing Consent, chapter 6.
  11. Editorial Board, “A Victory for Russian Democracy,”New York Times, July 4, 1996.
  12. Edward S. Herman and David Peterson, “The Dismantling of Yugoslavia,”Monthly Review 59, no. 5 (October 2007); Herman and Peterson, “Poor Marlise: Her Old Allies Are Now Attacking the Tribunal and Even Portraying the Serbs as Victims,” ZNet, October 30, 2008, http://zcomm.org.
  13. Stephen F. Cohen,Failed Crusade: America and the Tragedy of Post-Communist Russia (New York: Norton, 2000).
  14. Ellen Barry and Michael Schwartz, “After Election, Putin Faces Challenges to Legitimacy,”New York Times, March 5, 2012.
  15. Robert Parry, “Troubling Gaps in the New MH-17 Report,” Consortium News, September 28, 2016, http://consortiumnews.com.
  16. Paul Krugman says, “Mr. Putin is someone who doesn’t worry about little things like international law” (“The Siberian Candidate,”New York Times, July 22, 2016)—implying, falsely, that U.S. leaders do “worry about” such things.
  17. A version of Mearsheimer’s article appeared as “Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault,”Foreign Affairs, September 10, 2014. The paper likewise rejected Stephen Cohen’s 2012 article “The Demonization of Putin.”
  18. “Sochi Under Siege,”New York Times, February 21, 2014.
  19. Michael Kimmelman, “Aleppo’s Faces Beckon to Us, To Little Avail,”New York Times, December 15, 2016. Above this front-page article were four photographs of dead or injured children, the most prominent one in Syria. The accompanying editorial, “Aleppo’s Destroyers: Assad, Putin, Iran,” omits some key actors and killers. See also Rick Sterling, “How US Propaganda Plays in Syrian War,” Consortium News, September 23, 2016.
  20. William Binney and Ray McGovern, “The Dubious Case on Russian ‘Hacking,’” Consortium News, January 6, 2017.
  21. David Sanger, “Putin Ordered ‘Influence Campaign’ Aimed at U.S. Election, Report Says,”New York Times, January 6, 2017.
  22. Nathan J. Robinson and Alex Nichols, “What Constitutes Reasonable Mainstream Opinion,”Current Affairs, March 22, 2017.
  23. Jack Matlock, “Contacts with Russian Embassy,” Jack Matlock blog, March 4, 2017, http://jackmatlock.com.
  24. Daniel Lazare, “Democrats, Liberals, Catch McCarthyistic Fever,” Consortium News, February 17, 2017.
  25. Robert Parry, “A Spy Coup in America?” Consortium News, December 18, 2016; Andre Damon, “Democratic Party Floats Proposal for a Palace Coup,” Information Clearing House,” March 23, 2017, http://informationclearinghouse.info.
  26. Robert Parry, “The Sleazy Origins of Russia-gate,” Consortium News, March 29, 2017.
  27. Scott Shane et al., “How a Sensational, Unverified Dossier Became a Crisis for Donald Trump,”New York Times, January 11, 2017.
  28. Matt Fegenheimer and Scott Shane, “Bipartisan Voices Back U.S. Agencies On Russia Hacking,”New York Times, January 6, 2017; Michael Shear and David Sanger, “Putin Led a Complex Cyberattack Scheme to Aid Trump, Report Finds,”New York Times,January 7, 2017; Andrew Kramer, “How Russia Recruited Elite Hackers for Its Cyberwar,”New York Times, December 30, 2016.
  29. Robert Parry, “NYT’s Fake News about Fake News,” Consortium News, February 22, 2017.
  30. Matt Taibbi, “The ‘Washington Post’ ‘Blacklist’ Story Is Shameful and Disgusting,”Rolling Stone, November 28, 2016.
  31. Adam Johnson, “Out of 47 Media Editorials on Trump’s Syria Strikes, Only One Opposed,” Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, April 11, 2017, http://fair.org.
  32. Scott Ritter, “Wag the Dog—How Al Qaeda Played Donald Trump and The American Media,” Huffington Post, April 9, 2017; James Carden, “The Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria: Is There a Place for Skepticism?Nation, April 11, 2017.

Could any one here enlighten me on the range of senses of the German word Technik?

Could any one here enlighten me on the range of senses of the German word Technik? I have been thinking that what seems to me to be Heidegger's thrust in his discussions about technology is more captured by the English "technique" (saying this from a conceptual point of view as I don't know German). "Technology" often gives the confusion that Heidegger is concerned with technological objects. In fact, though modern science is implicated with technological invention, it is really technique, exactitude, method, measure which describes its ontological stance.


Comments
Joaquin Trujillo
Joaquin Trujillo Pre-Socratic Greek. Shares etymological significance with poeisis, history, and entelechy.

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Adam Klein
Adam Klein Right but this is the same for English....
Adam Klein
Adam Klein I'm thinking "applying technique" or "applying a technique" where we take a technical stance, an isolating and exacting vision, surgical technique.

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Joaquin Trujillo
Joaquin Trujillo Here you. But it is a Greek word and not German inceptually. Publication I posted in Heidegger hermeneutic phenomenology group 3 days ago reviews etmology.

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Adam Klein
Adam Klein It will still function differently in different languages. As far as the dictionaries I'm looking at, in some contexts technik translates to technique

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Joaquin Trujillo
Joaquin Trujillo Brother, you can feel what you like but it is not the meaning.

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Luo Ji
Luo Ji I do think he is correct in suggesting that the German Technik is better translated into English as technique than technology.

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Adam Klein
Adam Klein I feel as though "technology" even has a kind of handy quality sometimes, which is also unhelpful

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Joaquin Trujillo
Joaquin Trujillo Poiesis subsumes technē. Lógos standard meaning. A good source for that is father Richardson phenomenology to thought as well as SZ first 60 or so pages.

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Elizabeth Painting
Elizabeth Painting I was taught technik meant technical; involving a method, mathematics, measurements, tools, precision - in engineering that is.

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Susanne Dawn Claxton
Susanne Dawn Claxton "Technology is in its essence something that human beings cannot master of their own accord . . .But above all modern technology is not a “tool,” and it no longer has anything to do with tools . . . Everything functions. That is exactly what is uncanny. Everything functions and the functioning drives us further and further to more functioning, and technology tears people away and uproots them from the earth more and more. I don’t know if you are scared; I was certainly scared when I recently saw the photographs of the earth taken from the moon. We don’t need an atom bomb at all; the uprooting of human beings is already taking place. We only have purely technological conditions left. It is no longer an earth on which human beings live today." -M.H. in Der Spiegel interview

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Susanne Dawn Claxton
Susanne Dawn Claxton "In his essay, “The Question Concerning Technology,” he explains that in understanding the meaning of the Greek word poiesis as “bringing forth,” and Aristotle’s Four Causes are at play in this, we absolutely must distinguish poiesis from the kind of “making” that results from modern technology. Heidegger explains that while the bringing forth that is poiesis is a revealing that involves the moving from concealment into unconcealment (and for the Greeks technē belongs to bringing-forth and thus to poiesis ), modern technology as a revealing is not at all the poiesis of the Greeks. Heidegger says, “And yet the revealing that holds sway throughout modern technology does not unfold into a bringing-forth in the sense of poiesis. The revealing that rules in modern technology is a challenging [ Herausfordern ], which puts to nature the unreasonable demand that it supply energy that can be extracted and stored as such.” The unconcealing that belongs to this “challenging” results in the reduction of all beings and things to mere resources on standby to be optimized ( Bestand ). “The essence of technology lies in Enframing,” Heidegger writes. And ultimately, this Enframing “conceals that revealing which, in the sense of poiesis , lets what presences come forth into appearance.”"
With the above understanding in mind, the poiesis that belongs to the poet is indeed to be distinguished from any and all production that belongs to the 
technē of modern technology. Iain Thomson explains this distinction well in his book He
idegger, Art, and Postmodernity when he writes:
"Just think, on the one hand, of a poetic shepherding into being that respects the natural potentialities of the matters with which it works, just as Michelangelo (who, let us recall, worked in a marble quarry) legendarily claimed he simply set his “David” free from a particularly rich piece of marble (after studying it for a month); or, less hyperbolically, as a skillful woodworker notices the inherent qualities of particular pieces of wood— attending to subtleties of shape and grain, different shades of color, weight, and hardness— while deciding what might best be built from that wood (or whether to build from it at all). Then contrast, on the other hand, a technological making that imposes a predetermined form on matter without paying heed to any intrinsic potentialities, the way an industrial factory indiscriminately grinds wood into woodchips in order to paste them back together into straight particle board, which can then be used flexibly and efficiently to construct a maximal variety of useful objects."
The crucial differences between the two modes of poiesis and technē are clear. Moreover, it is clear also that in the poietic approach to the wood there is an element of theorein in that the woodworker contemplates, gazes upon, and considers what is apparent to him and allows the possibilities of the wood to presence . This is indeed in marked contrast to a technological approach to the wood that would simply impose upon it a predetermined form and meaning. The woodworker, like the poet, is possessed of those characteristics of knowledge ( Wissenschaft ) and tenderness ( Zӓrtlichkeit ) so important to Heidegger and his understanding of the poet."