Clues to social reality: part 3
G. S.  <>
initial posting 1 Oct 2010 - last update 25 Jan 2011

[This posting is in progress – still incomplete]

      By “social reality” I refer to the lives of the billions of ordinary every-day people who now mostly suffer through debilitating, destructives lives. This ugly reality is starkly different from the pseudo-reality — the make-believe world — that the super rich and the hyper rich pretend to enjoy, as they bask in the obscene wealth stolen from the rest of us. The purpose of this series of postings is to work towards a global culture of trust, a culture in which we say to each other what we really believe is true, in which lying has become “a dark despised lost black art”.[0]

      Real trust has to start between two individuals — living, breathing human beings. There is no other way. In fact, it is not so difficult to gain mutual trust between two people, if each one is open in saying what he or she believes. That of course is the key: each of them must feel secure that they will not become vulnerable by telling the truth. The goal is utopian, but humanity is faced with the urgency that we opt either 1. for destruction of our world by not changing course, or 2. utopia.

      Symbolic of the struggles of poor people everywhere is that of the two Italian anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti, whose murder by the “respectable” judges, lawyers, academics and financiers who ruled the fatuously-called “Commonwealth” of Massachusetts in 1927 brought anguish to good people around the world.

BartolomeoVanzetti (left) and Nicola Sacco (right)

      Their struggle for “joostice” as Vanzetti pronounced it, with the long Italian ‘u’ (like our ‘you’), continues now, almost a century after their wrongful deaths. Everywhere the “little” people, the humble people, the poor people without money, connections or power, continue seeking decent lives, asserting their humanity. In Paraguay, far from Boston, the indigenous Ayoreo people are threatened with extermination by wealthy landowners who want to profit from commercial agricuture in this region. Everywhere, it’s always the greedy rich against the poor.

Mother and child of the threatened Ayoreo people, Chaco region
of Paraguay, photo by Orin Langelle of the GJEP, March 2009

      This project is an effort to contribute to saving the world and humanity, literally.

      The most formidable intellectual challenge I ever faced was/is that of finding out what is really going on in the world. So here I am, just turned 85, and more certain than ever that I’m still unbelievably ignorant. Ignorant not in the sense that I don’t have a marvelous memory full of factual information (which unfortunately is also true), but rather in the sense that I am very uncertain about the factors that actually determine the evolution of human social structures. On a day-to-day basis my experience with people is totally reassuring. That was true when I lived in the U.S., until 1999, and also since then when Nancy and I decided to live together here in Oaxaca and essentially gave up our U.S. homes in Cambridge, Mass and Boston, respectively. Of course I’ve encountered nasty, angry and hateful individuals on occasion, but they are an almost vanishingly small percentage of the people I experience. It is this fact that provides the basis for my anarchism, my belief that fundamentally human beings are not normally intentionally destructive but rather, as Kropotkin argues in his Mutual Aid: A factor in evolution, naturally helpful and loving towards our fellow humans.

      With today’s additions, there’s now – or soon will be — information about the following good sources — individuals and groups. In each case my contact was through an individual who I came to trust. I largely rely on several dozen people for my understanding of current global reality. I try to follow their thinking on the internet on a fairly regular basis.


            Alan Hart intro  note
            Alliance for Democracy — AfD intro  note
            Antony Loewenstein intro  note
            Axis of Logic intro  note
            Bikes Not Bombs — BNB intro  note
            Bill Templer intro  note
            Bradley R. Smith intro  note
            Carmelo Ruiz intro  note
            Denis Rancourt intro  note
            Eric Wlberg intro  note
            Erosion, Technology, Concentration Group — ETC intro  note
            Global Justice Ecology Project — GJEP intro  note
            Immanuel Wallerstein intro  note
            Israel Shamir intro  note
            James Herod intro  note
            James Petras intro  note
            Jeffrey Blankfort intro  note
            Joe Bageant intro  note
            John Pilger intro  note
            John Ross intro  note
            Jonathan Treat intro  note
            Juan Cole intro  note
            Julian Assange intro note
            Lucy Parsons Center intro  note
            Manuel Garcia Jr intro  note
            Marat Kunaev intro  note
            Mazin Qumsiyeh intro  note
            Oaxaca Study-Action Group — OSAG intro  note
            Robert Fisk intro  note
            Sacco andVanzetti Commemoration Society — SVCS intro  note
            Tony Sutton intro  note


      James Herod I came to know years ago when he was to a large extent the main person keeping the Lucy Parsons Center (it was first called The Red Book Store, alluding to Chairman Mao’s then-ubiquitous Little Red Book) from dying in its space at (Green Street address in Jamaica Plain ?). A good first introduction to both James and the Lucy Parsons Center is the brief history of the project that he and another long-time friend (despite a substantial difference in political perspectives regarding how to bring about the social changes we need), Jon Bekken wrote together. The article, “The History Of The Lucy Parsons Center, by James Herod and Jon Bekken (edited by Betsy Gynn [another good friend of many years] 9/5/2000)”, is at note

      Bill Templer note

      Manuel Garcia Jr note

      Bradley R. Smith note Removed 8 Dec 2010

      James Petras note

      John Pilger note

      Axis of Logic note

      Jonathan Treat note

      Juan Cole note

      Marat Kunaev note

      Lucy Parsons Center note

      Eric Walberg note


[0] In these “Clues to social reality” postings I introduce people whose insights, knowledgeability, and commitment to saying honestly what they think have made them valuable to me.
Part 1 is at
Part 2 is at
Part 3 is at

[1] James Herod. intro

[2] Bill Templer intro

[3] Manuel Garcia Jr. intro

[4] Bradley R. Smith intro Removed 8 Dec 2010

[5] James Petras intro

[6] John Pilger intro

[7] Axis of Logic intro

[8] Jonathan Treat intro

[9] Juan Cole intro

[10] Marat Kunaev writes in English on two sites: East + West Review — Analytics Agency at and The War Among World Centers at intro

[11] Lucy Parsons Center intro

[12] Eric Walberg intro

George Salzman is a former American Jew living in Oaxaca, Mexico, an Emeritus Prof of Physics, Univ of Massachusetts-Boston.

All comments and criticisms are welcome.  <>

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Initial posting of this page: 1 October 2010.
Last update: 25 January 2011