News flash: Capitalism has no answer for 50 million jobless people

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July 11, 2020

News flash: Capitalism has no answer for 50 million jobless people

by Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker Blog

Oh – did you have one?

Well… we’re waiting.

But we will certainly be waiting in vain because the “best” US economic minds, journalists, professors and pundits got nuthin’. Even God’s gift to American society – CEOs and bankers – are hoping nobody calls on them for an answer.

This is an era of not just total economic disaster in the US but also an era of complete intellectual disaster. The chicken’s head has been cut off, yet the body (the American system/ideology, which is undoubtedly based upon capitalism-imperialism) still runs around.

I’ll skip to the end: whatever solution they come up with WILL DEFINITELY be some form of socialist-inspired policy… but the US will, true to form, remain totally untruthful about obvious truths (and thus mired in societal chaos).

The only solution to 50 million unemployed people is the redistribution of wealth downwards (first pillar of socialism) and the redistribution of political power downwards (second pillar of socialism); the latter is achieved via creating governmental institutions – staffed from all levels and sectors of society but especially at the upper management level – which establish the bureaucracy required to actually implement and sustain said redistributions intelligently, efficiently and in an egalitarian manner.

Those aren’t opinions but facts. Capitalists not having any solutions is another fact and not an opinion. These truths are so self-evident that I don’t even feel like arguing about it, so let’s argue about something else.

Why is the US talking about banning the Atlanta Braves and the Cleveland Indians but not the Minnesota Vikings or the Notre Dame Fighting Irish? It’s ok to have ethnic mascots, as long as that ethnicity has white-coloured skin? Seems rather inegalitarian to me, and bound to backfire into resentment and nihilism. And surely some sensitive hillbillies object to the Indiana Hoosiers, while the New York Mets (Metropolitans) clearly venerates urban citizens to an unfair degree. On this subject I constantly read the anti-non-White-mascot view, but nobody seems to analyse the intellectual weakness of their argument from a leftist point of view, and the reason for that is: the US economic and intellectual 1% sure as heck don’t want to talk about their total inability to deal with serious stuff, so they thrilled to talk instead about Cleveland’s smiling Chief Wahoo.

Easy solution: don’t decrease the number of “people” mascots but increase them. As an Iranian I’d love to see the Boston “Baluch” take the field, any field. Even a rink. After all, the Baluch are an ethnic tribe in the southeast who are certainly as tough as any Metropolitan. Truly, this is a socialist-inspired solution: venerate and protect ethnic identities equally one and all, and that’s why Armenians, Jews, Assyrians and Zoroastrians have guaranteed seats in Iranian parliament and affirmative action for the non-Han is all over China. The inequality of this latest identity politics battle is obvious to every American and only increases everyone’s stress level, but the only solution remains either to ban all ethnic mascots or make every ethnic tribe a mascot. Isn’t the latter more interesting and informative – had you ever even head of the Baluch until today? Both me and the kids would much rather see and could possibly learn a lot about Maoris, Zulus & Fighting Bretons than lame cardinals, dolphins and other totally unintimidating mascots (I’m looking at you, Utah Jazz).

What a nice, useless and rather immature diversion that was! Unfortunately for the US 1% I have solved this fake problem, so back to awful July 2020 reality:

France’s new prime minister/Macronian puppet has ruled out a second lockdown even if there is a second wave, saying that the economic and social cost was just too much. If you wouldn’t try something again, doesn’t that mean you rather wish you had never tried it at all? Europe’s economic chaos won’t become clear until they come back from vacation in September and things get back to “normal” – that will be the “economic 2nd wave” for the Western bloc, while the US part of that bloc is taking all their economic lumps in their still-ongoing first wave. Medically, the incredibly overweight, overstressed and governmentally-neglected US is also, predictably, having a longer first wave of Covid-19 than anyone else.

Cases are currently increasing in the entire southern half of the US, but deaths are not. This seems rather important, no? Check the chronometer – it is not April anymore: deaths are about 60% of what they were back then, proving times do change even if hysterical people do not. Check also those spring predictions: the Imperial College of London promised 100,000 deaths in non-Lockdown Sweden by June, but today there are only 5,500; incredibly, we still have London’s Daily Telegraph still quoting that discredited model as late on July 5th as though it was gospel. I would think that these realities – which are not “callous” but actually quite good news – should at least get a bit of discussion, but if you bring it up be prepared to have a single mother throw her shoe at you. Said Karens apparently have total confidence that the US can keep locking down into 2021 and that 75 million unemployed is no problem for the superbly-functioning US system?

Sure….

Again, the problem is that rabidly capitalist places like the US and UK have dismantled/never built the culture & bureaucracy needed to employ a nationwide lockdown – as I have said from the beginning: make the switch to socialism in economics and democracy and you can Lockdown all you want!

What’s that? I’m beating my head against the wall so it’s time for another diversion? Agreed: How about the Confederate flag controversy?

Here’s the thing: No Western nation, no matter how imperialist or fascist, has been asked to give up entirely the symbols of their past. Nobody is tearing down de Gaulle statues even though he was an imperialist who immediately bombed places like the Levant and Algeria after said peoples died en masse to save France from Germany. But the US South is being asked to entirely relinquish their past, and that’s just never going to fly because it’s unparalleled: it’s like asking Mongolia to give up Genghis Khan, whose success mainly rested not so much on fine horsemanship but upon his willingness to murder women and children en masse, and yet they built him the world’s biggest equestrian statue. No matter how big a Non-Mongolian Lives Matter movement gets – that’s not coming down.

While brutality and oppression did exist in 1864 the ideology of fascism simply did not, no matter how loudly a teenager incorrectly insists. The Confederate flag needs a socialist solution which respects the Southern US ethnic minority (which is exactly what they are), because eradicating the historic rebelliousness of the Confederate rebels will never be accepted by them.

It’s quite simple: just add a small Christian cross to differentiate to differentiate this new flag from the previous Confederate flag. Or add a huge cross and color it black to give slavery even more prominence – that gives the rare Black Cross of Texas flag. Christianity unites Southern Whites and Blacks, after all. This also shows that the Confederate flag is not the same as before and has been given a moral updating – that’s progress, not eradication from history, and furthers the goal of modern patriotic unity. Furthermore, from a socialist point of view there simply MUST be a way to separate White Southerners from slavery – poor whites were powerless class victims, of course – because castigating all Southern Whites is patently unfair and obviously fake-leftist identity politics. Of course, denying the primacy of class and claiming instead that skin color/ethnicity is more important is what capitalist-imperialists always do.

Another diversion and faux problem capably solved with a bit of socialist unity and modernity! Well, I admit that adding a Christian cross is a rather Islamic Socialist solution and not an Atheistic Socialist one, but to hell with them.

Ok, capitalism does indeed have a solution to 50 million jobless – massive domestic suffering combined with massive foreign deaths. Let’s examine the latter:

Can we crank up the war machine? Sorry, the US has too many allies now – Germany and Japan are part of a Western bloc that is totally governed by a colluding bankocracy and 1% which is totally united against their socialist-inspired enemies; but those enemies (China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela) have become too strong to fight; they couldn’t beat the Muslims, Vietnamese or Koreans, so they’re no longer candidates for opponents; who in Black Lives Matter will agree to be drafted to go fight some new, fabricated opponent in Africa? Anyway, the Pentagon is already the world’s biggest employer, so you mean crank it up even more? Thus, there is no militaristic solution – no WWIII for their Great Depression II.

Now let’s examine the former:

Can we take any more lands from Indians? Sorry – frontier done run out.

Can we steal any Black people’s wages? Sorry – that’s no longer a thing.

Can we debt enslave the average White Trash? Sorry – they are paying back their credit card debt at record rates, they are so scared about the future.

No, there is no capitalist solution to 50 million unemployed people. The true capitalist solution is massive suffering until things get so very, very bad that said things have no choice but to start to work out again, finally (i.e., following unregulated market forces).

There is, however, the old standby: “socialise the losses of the rich but keep calling it capitalism”. This worked out great for the 1% in 2008 and it’s working out just fine now… but it ain’t capitalism, and you are 1) dumber than a box of rocks, 2) fanatically indoctrinated to hate socialism, or 3) can’t be bothered to learn basic political definitions if you think that bailing out the 1% with taxpayer money/newly-printed money is somehow still capitalism.

But do a Google news search: even though socialism is the only economic and political ideology which can provide a solution to 50 million jobless people there are painfully few news articles discussing socialism, with the majority of them frantically warning against it. You can’t only blame Google’s anti-socialist algorithms for that.

You see now why this article was half stupid diversions? That’s the way America likes it… or, rather, that is what they are forced to like.

I originally planned to have this article’s headline to be, “Hey dummy: Capitalism has no answer for 50 million jobless people”. For those who still have faith that capitalism does have an answer – let’s just end it here.

*********************************

Corona contrarianism? How about some corona common sense? Here is my list of articles published regarding the corona crisis.

Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience? – March 22, 2020

Corona meds in every pot & a People’s QE: the Trumpian populism they hoped for? – March 23, 2020

A day’s diary from a US CEO during the Corona crisis (satire) March 23, 2020

– March 25, 2020

Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s? –

March 26, 2020

If Germany rejects Corona bonds they must quit the Eurozone – March 30,

2020

Landlord class: Waive or donate rent-profits now or fear the Cultural Revolution – March 31, 2020

Corona repeating 9/11 & Y2K hysterias? Both saw huge economic overreactions – April 1, 2020

(A Soviet?) Superman: Red Son – the new socialist film to watch on lockdown – April 2, 2020

Corona rewrites capitalist bust-chronology & proves: It’s the nation-state, stupid – April 3, 2020

Condensing the data leaves no doubt: Fear corona-economy more than the virus – April 5, 2020

‘We’re Going Wrong’: The West’s middling, middle-class corona response – April 10, 2020

Why does the UK have an ‘army’ of volunteers but the US has a shortage? – April 12, 2020

No buybacks allowed or dared? Then wave goodbye to Western stock market gains – April 13, 2020

Pity post-corona Millennials… if they don’t openly push socialism – April 14, 2020

No, the dollar will only strengthen post-corona, as usual: it’s a crisis, after all – April 16, 2020

Same 2008 QE playbook, but the Eurozone will kick off Western chaos not the US – April 18, 2020

We’re giving up our civil liberties. Fine, but to which type of state? – April 20,

2020

Coronavirus – Macron’s savior. A ‘united Europe’ – France’s murderer – April 22, 2020

Iran’s ‘resistance economy’: the post-corona wish of the West’s silent majority (1/2) – April 23, 2020

The same 12-year itch: Will banks loan down QE money this time? – April 26,

2020

The end of globalisation won’t be televised, despite the hopes of the Western 99% (2/2) – April 27, 2020

What would it take for proponents to say: ‘The Great Lockdown was wrong’? – April 28, 2020

ZeroHedge, a response to Mr. Littlejohn & the future of dollar dominance – April 30, 2020

Given Western history, is it the ‘Great Segregation’ and not the ‘Great Lockdown’? – May 2, 2020

The Western 1% colluded to start WWI – is the Great Lockdown also a conspiracy? – May 4, 2020

May 17: The date the Great Lockdown must end or Everything Bubble 2 pops – May 6, 2020

Reading Piketty: Does corona delay the Greens’ fake-leftist, sure-to-fail victory? – May 8, 2020

Picturing the media campaign needed to get the US back to work – May 11, 2020

Scarce jobs + revenue desperation = sure Western stagflation post-corona – May 13, 2020

France’s nurses march – are they now deplorable Michiganders to fake-leftists? – May 15, 2020

Why haven’t we called it ‘QE 5’ yet? And why we must call it ‘QE 2.1’ instead – May 16, 2020

‘Take your stinking paws off me, you damned, dirty public servant!’ That’s Orwell? – May 17, 2021

The Great Lockdown: The political apex of US single Moms & Western matriarchy? May 21, 2021

I was wrong on corona – by not pushing for a US Cultural Revolution immediately – May 25, 2021

August 1: when the unemployment runs out and a new era of US labor battles begin – May 28, 2021

Corona proving the loser of the Cold War was both the USSR & the USA – May 30, 2021

Rebellions across the US: Why worry? Just ask Dr. Fauci to tell us what to do – June 2, 2021

Protesting, corona-conscience, a good dole: the US is doing things it can’t & it’s chaos – June 3, 2021

Why do Westerners assume all African-Americans are leftists? – June 5, 2020

The US as Sal’s Pizzeria: When to ‘Do The Right Thing’ is looting – June 6, 2020

The problem with the various ‘Fiat is all the problem!’ (FIATP) crowds – June 9, 2020

Politicisation of Great Lockdown result of ‘TINA’ economic ignorance & censorship – June 14, 2020

Trump’s only hope: buying re-election with populist jobless benefits – June, 16 2020

US national media is useless – so tell me the good local news sources? – July 4, 2020

Hamilton movie: central banker worship & proof the US has no left – July 8, 2020


Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books Ill Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the NEW Socialisms Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism.

Hamilton movie: central banker worship & proof the US has no left

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July 08, 2020

Hamilton movie: central banker worship & proof the US has no left

by Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker Blog

I wonder if Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda will ever understand the real truth about why his play is so popular…?

Miranda probably believes that if he had written a play about Eugene V. Debs (America’s greatest socialist) his talents, approach and techniques would have produced a spectacle of similarly spectacular success, LOL….

The believers of Broadway are nothing if not wilfully naive (i.e. stupid), unsinkably optimistic and totally oblivious to the jingoistic propaganda which is self-centeredly, brayingly warbled at the top of everyone-on-the-stage’s lungs in the vast majority of Broadway musicals, Hamilton included. Non-Americans often roll their eyes at the inevitably absurd “Hollywood ending” of many US movies, but what can a viewer do when confronted by the endless fake cheer and perpetual smiling of Broadway besides beg for temporary blindness?

Indeed, one of the great results of the coronavirus is the shuttering of Broadway’s lights – may it always be dark inside that incredibly empty-headed art. I find very few things as physically disagreeable as all musical theatre (Bertolt Brecht and Monty Python are exceptions which proves the rule). Opera is just as atrocious, and may I give you a news flash: nobody cares about opera. It is a totally outdated art, and yet the vast majority of public arts funding in much of the West is directed towards opera. Why? The answer is also linked to the success of Hamilton – elitism and 1%-er domination of Western governance.

Musicals are not so very elitist as opera, but the average American man only sees a Broadway play after constant arm-twisting from the missus. And yet… we have had this broad success of Hamilton. How can we explain it? Why must we endure it? When will the American musical finally die, ending their assault on our ears and especially the ears of those poor, suffering parents of high school drama club members?

The answer is clear: the US is a bankocracy, and Hamilton is its unparalleled propaganda

I have not seen Hamilton and I never will – if I hate musicals already, why would I like one which is built around mythologising, propagandising and lying about the greatest central banker in American history?

The popularity of Hamilton is completely attributable to the total domination of corporate media in the 21st century. My last articleUS national media is useless – so tell me the good local news sources?, thus had to be published before this one: it discusses how ever since the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which allowed the rise of monopolistic media conglomerates, to watch one national US media is to watch them all – there is total uniformity. I also discussed how in music there used to be such a thing as a “local hit” within different US regions, but since 1996 a banal song can be a #1 for as long as 5 months because the conglomerates decide to support it and replay it, replay it, replay it, replay it.

The same goes for Hamilton: advertising works, and the conglomerate media saw a “pro-central banker” play, squealed with delight, and decided it should be bigger than The Bible.

So five years of corporate-ordered omnipresence of Hamilton coverage was not just in the pro-Broadway New York Times (Five Years and 100-Plus Stories: What It’s Like Covering ‘Hamilton’ – that’s 100-plus stories from just one Times journalist, mind you!), but across the nation: “It goes unspoken that ‘Hamilton’ is now available everywhere, for a $6.99 monthly Disney Plus subscription”. It “goes unspoken” precisely because in the US the corporate media has obviously ordered Hamilton to be atop the cultural agenda for years. It is now available as a movie for this Fourth of July weekend, thus the “news peg” for this article.

This omnipresence explains why I truly do not need to see Hamilton to write about it intelligently (though I did interview people who have seen it – hey, I’m not a bad journalist who doesn’t do homework) – the US has been OBSESSED with it for years.

But nobody seems to realise why because in all of the drooling, gushing reviews nobody gets at the economic aspects inherent in a play about a central banker. Nobody seems to make the link between the economic program of Western central banker collusion (Quantitative Easing), the reality of a US & Western “bankocracy” (a 10-part series I wrote on this issue can be found here) which has been crystal-clear since 2008 to anyone with half a brain, the elevation of central bank policy over democratic votes in the Eurozone, and then this absurd adoration of Hamilton?

How can it be a mere coincidence that at a time when central bankers have become more powerful than ever we also cannot – still – turn anywhere without being exhorted to love Hamilton? Just as rap music is the musical propaganda of modern Western capitalism, Hamilton is clearly its musical propaganda.

The pro-central bank propaganda is apparently overt during this 3+ hour show: a large part of the show is dedicated to showing how the US central bank was created, and of Alexander Hamilton persuading them of the worth and necessity of a central bank. Hamilton may not use the phrase “QE”, but how can anyone fail to see the link between inequality-creating, 1%er enriching, 99%er impoverishing QE and this stupid play? Like all great art Hamilton apparently does indeed capture the moment – too bad it is the “moment” of ravenous, society-destroying elite bankers.

Since 2015 I have said that the proof that there is no true left in the US is that I have not read of even one stink-bombing of a Hamilton performance. That the US left has not been able to mount any counter-attack on this neoliberal propaganda shows how appallingly clueless they are. Ishmael Reed Tries to Undo the Damage ‘Hamilton’ Has Wrought from The Nation was so notable because it stuck out so very much – it’s the exception which proves the rule.

The US left has been steamrolled by Hamilton and provided (as usual) so very, very little resistance, but Hamilton is a perfect example of just how easy it is to propagandise the US public – such is the extent of the dominance of their corporate media. Media concentration in the US is so absolute that if they decide something or someone or some concept should be promoted – one simply cannot escape it. And, I am sure, talking about Hamilton in this way at a US dinner party is to ensure that you are not invited back, LOL.

How was this central banker propaganda so effectively repackaged into suitable American jingoism?

In July 2020 even the World Socialist Web Site is decrying the attacks on statues of Lincoln and Jefferson; after decades of trying, corporate sponsors are going to force the rabidly anti-American Indian Washington D.C. to finally give up their “Redskins” football mascot/slur – so why on earth aren’t they coming for Hamilton?!

Alexander Hamilton bought and sold slaves, he married into a wealthy slave-owning family – it’s a no-brainer. If you support Hamilton and have some stupid liberal sign up in your front yard YOU are part of the problem (as much for liking awful Broadway as for being an obvious fake-leftist).

However, when we actually consider the economic ideology all over Hamilton we should easily grasp that the corporate-dominated US media is not about to permit sustained attacks on this spectacularly successful pro-central banker propaganda piece. What they are going to do is what places like The Washington Post just did, print lies about how Hamilton “despised slavery”.

Why would Miranda care – he did the same whitewashing. Of course he wasn’t going to talk about how the central banker Hamilton was all about debt slavery (no corporate media gushing in that case), but it’s pretty artistically opportunistic and cynical to make Hamilton some sort of abolitionist just to sell out his stupid musical. Tellingly, Miranda was forced to publicly admit he was wrong to be silent for so long regarding the George Floyd protests, but the guy adores Alexander Hamilton in the QE era – did you really think he was anti-establishment, LOL?

Reading drama reviews always produces plenty of eye-rolls – they are full of hyperbole and purple prose worthy of the biggest off-off-off-Broadway ham; everybody is just so very, very, VERY SPECTACULAR and AMAZING and TALENTED – but The New York Times lead movie critic writing that he “can’t escape tears” when watching Hamilton… how can we explain that?

Like I said, I’m not going to watch Hamilton to find out. I’m not even going to read its plot summary on Wikipedia. I have been unwillingly forced to acquire adequate Hamilton knowledge via cultural osmosis, but I also did ask around.

Part of its appeal, per reports, is undoubtedly based on jingoism and revisionist history – we’re all just so proud to be American (and to be led by heroic bankers in our wonderful bankocracy).

However, what is more shocking is how the play apparently significantly plays up the anti-monarchical, republican roots of the American Revolution for Independence by… upholding the pro-monarchy Alexander Hamilton? Jefferson said of Hamilton: “Hamilton was not only a monarchist, but for a monarchy bottomed on corruption.” I hear Miranda’s next play is about the great abolitionist Robert E. Lee.

So the apparently underlying theme of Hamilton is how revolutionary and cool the anti-monarchy stance was (way back in the late 18th century), and it is these ancestor worship-heartstrings which produce tears in fake-leftist pseudo-intelligensia like A.O. Scott. How could they possibly pick Alexander Hamilton as a leader of the fight against aristocratic privilege? Answer: in a bankocracy bankers are the vanguard party, so they simply must be whitewashed as spotless leaders.

Thus we can refer to Scott’s headline – ‘Hamilton’ Review: You Say You Want a Revolution – to get at the heart of what helped draw in so many American males to willingly watch Hamilton: make being conservative “revolutionary”. The play does what Westerners always do – try to end history long before 1917 by perpetuating the false belief that Western liberal democracy is somehow still “progressive” and not fundamentally aristocratic (bourgeois); the play obviously perpetuates the false Western belief that the summit of democracy’s reach is Western liberal democracy and not 20th century socialist democracy. However, with every passing corona hysteria day it’s more and more obvious that in the 21st century the latter is vastly outperforming the former, which did nothing but replace monarchy with bankocracy (thus it was merely a bourgeois/aristocratic revolution).

There are secondary propaganda bases for the success of Hamilton, mainly how it successfully espouses 21st century US liberal (fake-leftist) identity politics. But a huge part of this is merely technical and based entirely on what I can easily prove is the fundamentally reactionary nature of Broadway itself, because absolutely nothing is “Whiter” than Broadway in US culture.

Musicals like Our Town, Oklahoma, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, The Sound of Music, Music Man, Carousel – these are all whiter than Wonder Bread on a styrofoam plate in a snowstorm in themes, composition and musical styles. How can The Unsinkable Molly Brown be played by a Latina, after all? There are no Hindus in Our Town. Finding a young Black girl who can sing, act, AND has red hair is going to make staging a production of Annie difficult, but making Depression-era Daddy Warbucks Black is historically impossible. This is why playgoers have remarked how they have been thrilled by the mere presence of non-White actors in this type of a musical, but also in any musical. All of this supports my assertion of what a fundamentally reactionary institution Broadway is.

The use of rap was also another mere technical – and not intellectual or artistic – pseudo-achievement of Hamilton; that fundamentally reactionary Broadway required 40 years to finally use rap music and Hamilton was the first – big deal? The good news is: nobody over 50 can keep up with such rapid-fire spoken word poetry, and thus many of the elder showgoers surely missed out on the undoubtedly fascinating rap lyrics about the meetings to build the US Treasury.

(Of course, does every rapper think his or her every word is totally fascinating and worthy of your complete concentration and attention? Rappers dominate whatever music they sit in on – in jazz this is the sin of “overplaying” and overplayers are not invited to the next jam session. Sadly, US corporate media rams rap down our throats and refuses to broadcast jazz music literally anywhere, probably because jazz cannot proselytise for individualism and capitalism like rap does with seemingly every breath.)

Western democracy does indeed have two classes: Bankers and everyone else

Making central bankers “cool” – which seems impossible – is the greatest achievement of Hamilton in its effort to propagandise the American public into accepting QE, ZIRP and the post-2008 policies which have gutted the US and left it poised to plummet into prolonged socio-economic chaos following the hysterical corona overreaction.

By portraying Alexander Hamilton as an outsider who worked his way to the top the play undoubtedly allows viewers to maintain a certainly outdated belief in the fiction that the US is a “classless” society; this is just as the election of Barack Obama allowed the creation of the myth that the US had progressed to a “post-racial society”. If that was true – why the George Floyd protests? Miranda thinks Hamilton is a hero mainly because he knows nothing about QE, economics, the class struggle, and because he obviously admires the gangster/bankster values of rap.

If Miranda knew any of those crucial leftist analyses he would have known that in order to maintain this fiction of a “classless” American society absolutely everything must be burned before it: What is identity politics but an endless assertion that absolutely anything – from race to religion to gender to sexual to preference to party affiliation to ___ – is more important than class? Anything to not focus on class!

This explains the reactionary, divisive words of Hamilton as found in the play’s popular song, “Immigrants— we get the job done”. I’m not going to listen to it because when is Broadway very truly funky or cool? However, it surely seems to be an insult to the hard-working capabilities of White Americans – are how is that leftist or progressive? Due to Miranda’s political ignorance and obviously reactionary beliefs he was only too happy to write a song which seeks to divide the worker class based on their country of birth. What’s his next divisive attack, one wonders? May I suggest: “Left-handers do the job a bit differently but still get’er dun”. A pro-immigrant song can be a fine thing, but not coming in the context of banker worship, LOL – it’s an obvious contradiction, and obviously an attempt to distract from Hamilton’s overall capitalist-imperialist ideology with divisive identity politics.

So… not a single stink bomb at a Hamilton performance? Not a single call to take slave-dealer Hamilton off the $10 bill amid these rebellious times? Idiots will deface a statue of Cervantes (the Arab-loving “Multicultural Dreamer”), and steal a Frederick Douglass statue, but the Alexander Hamilton statues outside the US Treasury, in NYC, in Chicago and elsewhere remain standing because he’s apparently “that cool leftist guy from the cool leftist play”?

Alexander Hamilton – cool? Broadway – cool?!?! Hamilton – a leftist play?!

Clearly, the US left has no idea what they are doing, and that’s why we still don’t hear any leftist demands for media discussion about the links between QE, central banker dominance over Western liberal democracies, and the endless corporate promotion of Hamilton.

For all the wrong reasons Hamilton is popular – but they’re dead wrong, I know they are, as the song goes.

*********************************

Corona contrarianism? How about some corona common sense? Here is my list of articles published regarding the corona crisis.

Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience? – March 22, 2020

Corona meds in every pot & a People’s QE: the Trumpian populism they hoped for? – March 23, 2020

A day’s diary from a US CEO during the Corona crisis (satire) March 23, 2020

– March 25, 2020

Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s? –

March 26, 2020

If Germany rejects Corona bonds they must quit the Eurozone – March 30,

2020

Landlord class: Waive or donate rent-profits now or fear the Cultural Revolution – March 31, 2020

Corona repeating 9/11 & Y2K hysterias? Both saw huge economic overreactions – April 1, 2020

(A Soviet?) Superman: Red Son – the new socialist film to watch on lockdown – April 2, 2020

Corona rewrites capitalist bust-chronology & proves: It’s the nation-state, stupid – April 3, 2020

Condensing the data leaves no doubt: Fear corona-economy more than the virus – April 5, 2020

‘We’re Going Wrong’: The West’s middling, middle-class corona response – April 10, 2020

Why does the UK have an ‘army’ of volunteers but the US has a shortage? – April 12, 2020

No buybacks allowed or dared? Then wave goodbye to Western stock market gains – April 13, 2020

Pity post-corona Millennials… if they don’t openly push socialism – April 14, 2020

No, the dollar will only strengthen post-corona, as usual: it’s a crisis, after all – April 16, 2020

Same 2008 QE playbook, but the Eurozone will kick off Western chaos not the US – April 18, 2020

We’re giving up our civil liberties. Fine, but to which type of state? – April 20,

2020

Coronavirus – Macron’s savior. A ‘united Europe’ – France’s murderer – April 22, 2020

Iran’s ‘resistance economy’: the post-corona wish of the West’s silent majority (1/2) – April 23, 2020

The same 12-year itch: Will banks loan down QE money this time? – April 26,

2020

The end of globalisation won’t be televised, despite the hopes of the Western 99% (2/2) – April 27, 2020

What would it take for proponents to say: ‘The Great Lockdown was wrong’? – April 28, 2020

ZeroHedge, a response to Mr. Littlejohn & the future of dollar dominance – April 30, 2020

Given Western history, is it the ‘Great Segregation’ and not the ‘Great Lockdown’? – May 2, 2020

The Western 1% colluded to start WWI – is the Great Lockdown also a conspiracy? – May 4, 2020

May 17: The date the Great Lockdown must end or Everything Bubble 2 pops – May 6, 2020

Reading Piketty: Does corona delay the Greens’ fake-leftist, sure-to-fail victory? – May 8, 2020

Picturing the media campaign needed to get the US back to work – May 11, 2020

Scarce jobs + revenue desperation = sure Western stagflation post-corona – May 13, 2020

France’s nurses march – are they now deplorable Michiganders to fake-leftists? – May 15, 2020

Why haven’t we called it ‘QE 5’ yet? And why we must call it ‘QE 2.1’ instead – May 16, 2020

‘Take your stinking paws off me, you damned, dirty public servant!’ That’s Orwell? – May 17, 2021

The Great Lockdown: The political apex of US single Moms & Western matriarchy? May 21, 2021

I was wrong on corona – by not pushing for a US Cultural Revolution immediately – May 25, 2021

August 1: when the unemployment runs out and a new era of US labor battles begin – May 28, 2021

Corona proving the loser of the Cold War was both the USSR & the USA – May 30, 2021

Rebellions across the US: Why worry? Just ask Dr. Fauci to tell us what to do – June 2, 2021

Protesting, corona-conscience, a good dole: the US is doing things it can’t & it’s chaos – June 3, 2021

Why do Westerners assume all African-Americans are leftists? – June 5, 2020

The US as Sal’s Pizzeria: When to ‘Do The Right Thing’ is looting – June 6, 2020

The problem with the various ‘Fiat is all the problem!’ (FIATP) crowds – June 9, 2020

Politicisation of Great Lockdown result of ‘TINA’ economic ignorance & censorship – June 14, 2020

Trump’s only hope: buying re-election with populist jobless benefits – June

16, 2020

US national media is useless – so tell me the good local news sources? – July 4, 2020


Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books Ill Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the NEW Socialisms Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism.

The other side of darkness: Towards an understanding of the roots of the Western right-wing politics

The other side of darkness: Towards an understanding of the roots of the Western right-wing politics

By Ken Leslie for The Saker Blog

1. A bit more on the protests

Again, I’d like to thank the Saker for publishing my essay. I also want to thank the commenters—criticisms inspire me and encouragement inspires me even more! I think we both agree that the public needs to be better informed about the roots and antecedents of the current US protests which have spread to most of the world. In a sense, this is a continuation of my previous polemic which received mainly negative reactions. Although I had anticipated this, I was still puzzled. Not only is the case for protests solid but all the counter-arguments (George was a criminal, Soros is funding the dreaded Antifa etc.) sounded hollow and contrived. The reasons for supporting the uprising (however ephemeral it might turn out to be) are overwhelming. If you empathise with the predicament of the Black Americans, you will see this as a genuine cri de coeur and demand for change (see recent pronouncements by Angela Davis, Cornel West, Black Agenda Report and Spike Lee). If you don’t and have been on the receiving end of the Empire’s benevolence for the last 70 years, you will appreciate the irony and the sight of the mighty Exceptionalistan (with apologies to Mr Escobar) stumbling around, riven to the bone by internal strife and hatred, for once focussed on its own misery and less able to inflict pain on the rest of the world. In the immortal words of Nancy Pelosi, “it is a wonderful sight to behold”.

So, why are most of the alternative media (with the honourable exception of Caitlin Johnstone and Saker) completely silent about such a momentous event. Moreover, media such as RT are actively engaged in smearing the protesters and bolstering the official right-wing narrative (in contrast to the Russian officials who have criticised the US posture). Is it possible that all the years of anti-imperial “struggle” have been a propaganda sham? It felt like I woke up inside a bad-ish dream in which the people around me turn into strangers. How could I be so disconnected from my friends and people I’ve been following and cheering on for years? Have I turned into a SJW overnight or have they all become raging racists? After a few days of pondering the strange situation, it occurred to me that neither interpretation was correct. Rather, the strange reaction that caused such a surprise was due to something else.

This is about reassuring the frightened white people that their status will not be threatened by the unruly unwashed masses. Everywhere, I see unproductive and uncreative white people hiding behind great inventions and works of art a la: What have the blacks invented/written/etc. Well, the black people have never done me any wrong and their music has enriched my life beyond measure. It was the white imperialists, racists and supremacists who have destroyed countless lives and nations. I feel no allegiance to these soulless people and am siding with the younger generation, black and white, which is tired of hypocrisy and psychopathy of power. In the meantime, several black men were ruthlessly killed by the police—and no, they were not career criminals.

To my Soros-hating friends: If you think that Soros is capable of organising and co-ordinating mass protests around the world so skilfully that none have been drowned in blood thus far, I sincerely believe that you are mistaken. By accusing Soros and the Illuminati of controlling the universal call for the end to neoliberal dictatorship, you are removing all sense of agency from a large proportion of humanity. You think they are stupid and incapable of recognising injustice. You in turn are condemned forever to bend your knee before brute force and false idols of the West. We live in a world governed by three unproductive parasite businesses whose profits dwarf GDPs of large states. Soros is targeting your democracy? Look at the state of the Western media – it is much worse than it was in the reviled Soviet Union. Your “culture”? Again, the USSR and the socialist block countries’ culture and education are still the envy of the world. The West did everything in its power, including pretending to be democratic, in order to destroy them. Forgive me if I don’t cry bitter tears over the legacy of slave owners and murderers. You are so afraid of change and so wedded to the rotten system that you are prepared to suffer countless indignities in order to feel superior to less fortunate human beings.

2. Ideological roots of US conservatism

This part will seem only tangentially relevant to the above section. Yet, I believe it is crucial for a better understanding of the current crisis in the United States. With the gradual revival of the right-wing politics in the West, there was some expectation that the nationalist politicians in Europe and the US would gradually defuse and dismantle the neoliberal order advanced by the United States and Great Britain ever since the 1980s. The fact that during this period both countries have been ruled by reactionary right-wing regimes leveraging patriotism and profit in order to squash any dissent or attempt at improving economic and social justice (and no, the Catholic convert war criminal Tony Blair does not count as a leftist).[1] You heard it right – it was the great anti-communist “patriot” Ronald Reagan who launched the United States on the road to perdition. A B-list Irish-American actor of questionable cognitive abilities, he was also one of the spiritual fathers of the alt-right. The irony must not be allowed to escape us—neoliberalism came from the right which has now morphed into fake “new nationalism” and anti-liberalism. That was the same Ronald Reagan who named April 10th (the founding of the Independent State of Croatia) a national holiday in California and laid flowers on the graves of SS butchers at Bitburg.

I am starting to believe that the exaggerated focus on and demonisation of Soros and his fake-left initiatives is a plan hatched by the fascist right aimed at hiding its dark purposes. This is not to say that Soros is innocent or God forbid—good. It simply means that in order to understand the current situation, we must reach beyond the platitudes served by people whose nefarious plans affect the entire world.

The topic I am trying to introduce here is vast and fascinating. It requires thousands of pages and it is utterly impossible to do it justice within a couple of thousand words. Yet, try I must. And although the subject matter is somewhat removed from the current focus on race, its understanding is crucial for a full appreciation of the roots of the current predicament of the US empire. The thesis I wish to develop is that far from being some kind of benign force whose aim is to liberate people from the yoke of evil Zionist Marxists, the Western right in all its forms is a reactionary, fascist, criminal cabal whose Drang was briefly interrupted in 1945 by the victorious Soviet army. This criminal enterprise which transformed the United States into the most powerful empire in history has many faces and hides behind many guises—anti-communism, conservatism (I consider myself a conservative with a small “c”), struggle for “freedom”, traditional family etc. None of these ideals is wrong in itself but is doubly invalidated if touted by liars, murderers, paedophiles and supremacists.

This is precisely what happened to the right in the West after 1945. It was hijacked by the Vatican and its agents. Their unctuous pronouncements on the sanctity of the family and nation hid unmentionable crimes against individuals and nations. My understanding of the pernicious role of the Roman Catholicism in world politics is so far removed from the current “Marxist Pope” alt-right blabber that I feel compelled to say something—and pronto. By the way, Jesuit Francisco Bergoglio was deeply involved in the dirty war in Argentina in which tens of thousands of innocent people were tortured and disappeared by the bloodthirsty fascist regime. So please, think twice before repeating the “Marxist Pope” trope. His “traditionalist” predecessor beat that by joining Hitler Youth. And what about his predecessor (the “holy” one)? There is evidence that he worked as a salesman for IG Farben, selling Zyklon B to the Nazis. And what about his predecessor? By all accounts a good and caring man intent on exposing the Vatican’s banking empire, pope John Paul I was dispatched after only 33 days on the throne. In this context, perhaps Pope Francis IS a raving Marxist.

It is important to state here that I do not wish to bash Roman Catholics, many of whom try to follow the teachings of Christ as best they can and many of whom have fought valiantly on the side of good. On the contrary, I am aiming to expose the nefarious role of the Vatican in the creation of the post-war quasi-fascist “West”, the role which has disgraced it forever and condemned it to increasing irrelevance. Nor am I trying to say that no other denominations/ethnicities have contributed to the rise of the US empire. I am simply shedding some light on a topic that has been largely neglected by Washington watchers in their blind focus on the “Jewish peril”. I see my essay as a belated attempt at “glasnost” and “perestroika” sorely needed by the West. It is a kind of catharsis that has been long time a-coming but like in the case of the USSR, it might have come too late.

Of course, here, I can only offer a brief sketch of how Roman Catholic networks underpin the current “Anglo-Saxon” hegemony. It was said by many that Adolf Hitler’s government was the most Catholic in German history (Himmler, Goebbels, Hitler and many others). It is interesting that the “patriotic” governments of Ronald Reagan were the most Catholic in the US history. Some of the RCs employed by Reagan (all Irish-American) included William Casey (Director of the CIA), Richard Allen (National Security Advisor), Judge William P. Clarke (National Security Advisor), Robert McFarlane (National Security Advisor), Alexander Haig (Secretary of State), Vernon Walters (Ambassador-at-Large), William Wilson (Ambassador to the Vatican State), Donald Regan (Secretary of the Treasury), Raymond Donovan (Secretary of Labour), Margaret Mary Heckler (Health and Human Services secretary), Joseph Biden (Subcommittee on European affairs), Daniel P. Moynihan (Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs), John Kerry, Terrorism (Narcotics, and International Communications), Christopher Dodd (Western Hemisphere and Peace Corps Affairs). Note the presence in the sub-fascist Reagan regime of two fake RC democrats—Biden and Kerry. This is just a further illustration of the point I made earlier that the “Democrats” are nothing but Repub light. The two faces of (the Roman god) Janus might disagree on abortion but never on the need to expand the empire and subdue/cleanse/convert the heathens. Why then would people anywhere in the world support either option is beyond me.

Thus, the ruling elites of the two most powerful empire states in the modern history were stuffed full of Roman Catholics at the point at which the destruction of the Soviet Union was on the cards. Of course, as shown on Saker’s website, the Roman Catholic hatred of Orthodox (and Protestant) Christianity goes back centuries and has little to do with stopping communism. The best proof of this is the fact that the cardinals in the Vatican jumped with joy on the news that the Orthodox Empire was overthrown (see works of Hansjakob Stehle). For a decade, they tried to co-opt the Bolshevik regime into giving the Church the religious primacy within the new state. When the Bolsheviks refused to play along, The Vatican suddenly discovered “the men of destiny” Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler, both of whom bent over backwards to please the Church. Here, president Putin explains once and for all who has been the principal enemy of Russia (he did not go as far back as the times of Alexander Nevsky).https://www.youtube.com/embed/F0g07j4HohU?feature=oembed

The question arises here—why has Donald Trump (himself a Jesuit pupil) surrounded himself with Roman Catholics? Many people are so obsessed with the Jews (the Zionist half of the Anglo-Zionist equation) that they are blind to the massive revival of political Catholicism under Trump. Given the predominance of (mainly Jewish) neocons in the previous governments and the synchronised attack on the paedophilia in the Catholic Church, Trump’s victory could be viewed as a mini Reconquista—return to the acme of late 1940s and early 1950s when under the guidance of Cardinal Spelman and Jesuit geopolitician Edmund Walsh, Joseph McCarthy hunted down (mainly Jewish) leftists. That was the time when the Catholic James Forrestal who had funded and co-ordinated the political cleansing of Italy jumped from a hospital window in a bout of anti-communist paranoia. That very same creature funded the Uniate Ukrainian Nazi rebellion inside the Soviet Union. The Vatican’s freedom fighters called their unit “Nightingale” after the notorious Ukrainian Nazi extermination battalion Nachtigall. Look no further if you wish to understand the current tragedy of the fake (Vatican-created) Ukrainian nation.

This was the golden time when the icon of Mary was taken from the Vatican to the US Embassy in Moscow to inspire the fight against “godless communism” and the Catholic fanatic Secretary of the Navy Francis Matthews advocated a nuclear first strike against the Soviets. It was the time when the Roman Catholic dictator Ngo Dinh Diem ruled South Vietnam with an iron fist, working hard to extinguish the Vietnamese Buddhists (almost 90% of the population) in a manner similar to that employed by Ante Pavelic in his Civitas Dei called the Independent State of Croatia. It was also a wonderful time when the Roman Catholic zealot William Donovan created the CIA and began work on the creation of the (Roman Catholic) EU. Those were the halcyon days of Jim Crow and the Nazi-loving Dulles brothers.

What has this got to do with Trump, you’ll ask? Well, the warmongering Russophobe Spellman’s private secretary was one Roy Cohn, a despicable “communist hunter” of McCarthy infamy and the prosecutor at the trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. As a Jew, Cohn worked very hard to ingratiate himself with the fascist Catholic underbelly of America which became equated with American “patriotism” mainly thanks to a clever propaganda campaign by the Church (remember hundreds of maudlin Hollywood renditions of Father Donovans, sergeant Kowalskis and constable O’Haras). Cohn leveraged his pathological anti-communism to become one of the great “power brokers” of US politics (both closeted gays and homophobes, Spellman and Cohn hid their true preferences behind a macho, patriotic façade). He was a popular guest at the court of Ronald Reagan and mentored a number of young conservative politicians before cosmic justice reasserted itself by granting him a painful death in 1986. One of Cohn’s mentees was young Donald Trump whose stellar rise to fame and power owed much to the machinations of a Roman Catholic fixer and Cohn’s protégé, Roger Stone.

The second “fixer” whose work was crucial in engineering the unlikely electoral victory for Trump is Steven Bannon. Although self-evidently Irish and RC, Bannon has flown below the pope-dar. All that most people remember about Bannon is his dissolute appearance and the fact that he used to work for Goldman-Sachs. And yet, Bannon is as close to an ideologue/geostrategic thinker as it is possible to get in the modern US. Bannon is the inheritor of the Roman Catholic geopolitical line which sees the United States as the bastion of Christianity that has to assert complete dominance over the world in order to defend the “civilisation” against the onslaught of socialist or more generally, non-Catholic powers. The progenitor of the “Christian” geopolitical school was Fr. Edmund Walsh, an Irish Jesuit whose views on the role of the United States in world affairs were and remain very influential. The (Jesuit) Georgetown University has a School of Diplomacy bearing Walsh’s name. This elite school sets the tone for the US global supremacist doctrine and has been the home to a number of RC war criminals including Kurt Waldheim (the patron of the Austrian-born “gobernator” of California Arnold S.), Lev Dobriansky and Madalene Albright.

Walsh’s co-religionist and successor, Zbigniew Brzezinski was instrumental in co-ordinating the joint Vatican-US offensive on the USSR which resulted in a decade of untold misery for the peoples of the USSR and Eastern Europe. He also played a critical role in the (s)election of Karol Wojtyla to the papal throne by (again) co-ordinating the work of US, Polish and German cardinals under the auspices of the CIA and US government. Compared with such “achievements”, Brzezinski’s role in fomenting the war in Afghanistan hardly deserves a mention.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, the geopolitical situation changed drastically and a dying Russia ceased to be seen as the primary enemy for a while. Focussing on Israel’s geopolitical needs, the ex-Trotskyite neocons schemed to destroy the possibility of a thriving and progressive Middle East. Like their RC patron Brzezinski, they zeroed in on the Islamist infrastructure and used it to destroy the region. Although this strategy seemed unconnected with Russia, it was conceived as a way of surrounding Russia with US Islamist proxies and weakening China by putting pressure on its western Muslim-inhabited regions. This strategy failed ignominiously with the entry of Russia into the war in Syria. At the same time, the economic slide of the United States accelerated and despite fake stock market interventions, Trump was faced with a difficult choice. Instead of fulfilling his anti-imperialist election promises, he tried to distract his supporters by blaming China for all America’s ills. This “last-chance saloon” strategy required an ideological firebrand who would provide necessary ammunition.

From Haaretz (2018): “Stephen Kevin Bannon was the third of five children in a Catholic family of Irish descent, born in 1953. His mother was a homemaker and his father a telephone technician. They sent young Steve to a Benedictine-Catholic military high school for boys. It was in Richmond, Virginia, the former capital of the Confederacy. There he received a classical education.”

Bannon’s rise was funded by among others Robert Mercer, the tech billionaire, who has a penchant for supporting right-wing Catholic politicians (Ted Cruz, Kellyanne Conway etc.). The symbiosis between right-wing WASPS and Roman Catholics in American political life is nothing new. A more interesting question is—how did Bannon manage to smuggle his right-wing Catholicism past the ever-vigilant Jewish-owned “liberal” media? By calling himself a Christian Zionist and a defender of the “Judeo-Christian” civilisation, Bannon skilfully shifted the US geopolitical doctrine from the failed neocon PNAC to the Antemurale Christianitatis (the bulwark of Christendom) model. This narrative sees the US in the same way that the above-mentioned RC fascists of the Eisenhower era viewed it—as a Panzerfaust of Western civilisation whose primary task is to destroy its (non-Catholic) enemies. In Bannon’s case, these enemies are Shia Islam and Communist China. This time around, the Jews are viewed as equals (at least for the time being). This shift from targeting Russia might be baffling but is easily explainable—again from Haaretz:

What the U.S. needs to do, he believes, is avoid pushing the Russians into the arms of the Chinese (which is critical for Israel with regard to the Iranian problem, where Russo-Chinese collusion could prove very problematic). Just as Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon wanted to improve relations with China in order to isolate Russia, Bannon wants to improve relations with Russia in order to isolate China. That’s something Trump understands deeply, he says.

So, part of the reason why Russia-friendly commenters are reluctant to criticise Bannon and Trump is because ostensibly, the dynamic duo are treating Russia as an equal—a potential partner in a new Yalta-like carve-up of the world. This of course is a complete sham—a cheap and incredibly arrogant red herring. US politicians and experts understand very well that American empire is fading fast and that in order to maintain its grasp on the world, it must split its enemies and attack the more dangerous one first. By focussing on Russia, Bannon would have had to shed the mantle of a freedom fighter and concede that the underlying reason for American belligerence is a Crusade against non-Catholics. In the eyes of the Vatican, Orthodox Christians remain heathen barbarians. Hence the sanctions, murders of Russian diplomats and soldiers, theft of diplomatic property, ramped up threat of a nuclear attack, the ripping up of all nuclear agreements—all under Trump. At the same time, China, that last bastion of freedom from Roman Catholic imperialism, is thus a natural target for Bannon and Trump. Not only would Its destruction inject some badly-needed blood into the weakening body of the empire, it would also guarantee an instantaneous revival of Roman Catholicism as the most powerful religion in the world. The Vatican employed the same tactic against the Russian Empire and Soviet Union and its struggle for world domination continues apace. Bannon is simply their plausibly deniable pawn.

Attacking China is easy, especially for an RC ideologue. China is one of three countries that does not have formal relations with the Vatican (the United States succumbed under Ronald Reagan). China is “godless”, communist and authoritarian—all the tired tropes once used against the Soviet Union have been taken out of the closet only to be wielded by the bibulous Crusader knight to little effect. No mention of the Vatican’s genocides (at least three in the 20th Century), of the destruction of three Slav federations and the reunification of Germany under an RC camarilla (Kohl, Genscher, Kinkel etc.), the bloody concentration camp called Latin America—Roman Catholicism, even though completely discredited as a political force, is the last hope of the dying empire. Placing any false hope in the benevolence of this arch-criminal institution is dangerous and self-defeating. Russia and China must work together for a new world purged from imperialism and supremacism.

As can be seen from the actions and pronouncements of the Russian government, Russia is well aware of the Bannonite trap and is highly unlikely to fall for it. Why? Simply because Trump’s actions have been as anti-Russian as those taken any one of his hard-line predecessors. Instead of elaborating on this, I wish briefly to outline the mechanism behind the Bannon-inspired Hong Kong riots. The British (and the French) have been very adept at using religion in order to maintain their imperial possessions. The last governor of Hong Kong was Chris Patten—a zealous Roman Catholic who distinguished himself not only as a sworn enemy of the PRC but also as a notorious Serbo- and Russophobe. Although he ruled Hong Kong as an outpost of the empire, after the handover he became inordinately interested in the state of “democracy” there. In the shorthand of RC imperialism, “democracy” equals the takeover of institutions and media by the RC-friendly agents who then actively undermine the state’s ability to fight CIA-orchestrated colour revolutions. The principal RC agent in Hong Kong has been Cardinal Joseph Zen who has been fighting the “godless” communists for half a century. Patten ensured that a large number of RC-friendly agents remained embedded in the Hong Kong apparatus of government and that many West-friendly oligarchs were supported in their piratical activities.

The Patten-Zen nexus was behind the British involvement in the “umbrella revolution” of 2013 as well as the more recent unsuccessful protests. Hiding behind religion is an old imperialist ruse and the Chinese government had to be careful in order not to trigger a manufactured global outrage. The fact that they succeeded in dealing with the protests suggests that they are very much aware of the above points. Patten’s dark scheming received a significant boost with the election of Trump. To many of us, it was strange to see giant posters of Pepe the frog and US flags all over Hong Kong. The explanation was simple—the protests were directed by CIA cut-outs (e.g. NED) through RC (but not only RC) churches, institutes and schools. Bannon’s incendiary rhetoric was complemented by the conspicuous (shamelessly so) presence of right-wing RC senators (Cruz, Rubio etc.), US “diplomats” and “charity workers” who directed the riots convinced that the Chinese government would fold and admit defeat. Consequently, there was no attempt to hide the orchestrators’ symbols.

For his failure to sever Hong Kong from China and for thwarting the BBC Jimmy Saville enquiry, Patten was rewarded with a chancellorship of the University of Oxford. His last media appearance was a couple of days ago when he criticised the protesters who were trying to topple the statue of the notorious colonial buccaneer and racist, Cecil Rhodes. Bannon on the other hand has doubled down on replacing the EU with a slew of “nationalist” fiefdoms subservient to the US and trying to topple the government of the PRC by lobbying for an exile ex-football player(?) billionaire who is supposed to rule the great nation on behalf of Bannon’s masters. Hopefully, this will distract from the renewed attempts to weaponise Roman Catholicism in order to overthrow popular governments in Bolivia, Venezuela and Cuba. The greatest irony of all (and the subject is replete with them) is that a rabid exponent of the most universalist, globalist and imperialist religious ideology has been trying to sell himself as a nationalist and nativist patriot.

On a personal note, I must state that like many anti-imperialists, I supported Trump against Hillary Clinton. Although hugely disappointed with his actions I don’t believe that Trump is a racist in the sense in which the warmongering fake left aims to portray him. At the same time, he is presiding over the most massive blowback in US history. Having leveraged US power in order to stem the bleeding, he is living a nightmare predicted by many—a United States eating itself from within thanks to massive class and racial inequalities. My humble submission is just a small part of a complex mosaic which can nevertheless help explain why despite the attempts by Soros and various others to co-opt the cause of racial, social and international justice, we must not uncritically run to right-wing politicians and ideologues as potential saviours.

  1. It is interesting and not inconsequential that Tony Blair was converted by the same priest who later converted Bannon’s right-hand man, the Englishman Benjamin Harnwell. The priest’s name is Michael Seed. 

Weimar 2020

 BY GILAD ATZMON

weimar 2020.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

Have you noticed the peculiar fact that despite the lockdown, the economic crisis, tens of millions unemployed and multiple corporations filing for bankruptcy, Wall Street is having a ball? CNBC‘s Jim Cramer examined this anomaly earlier a few days ago, his verdict:  “we’re looking at a V-shaped recovery in the stock market, and that has almost nothing to do with a V-shaped recovery in the economy. What is going on is one of the greatest wealth transfers in history.”

Jim Cramer: The pandemic led to ‘one of the greatest wealth transfers in history’ https://youtu.be/15pFQxG9wko

 How can the market rebound when the economy has not?  Cramer’s answer is so simple. “Because the market doesn’t represent the economy; it represents the future of big business.”

 Cramer points out that while small businesses are dropping like flies, big business—along, of course, with bigger wealth, is coming through the crisis virtually unscathed.

 Cramer projects that the transfer will have a “horrible effect” on the USA. We are already seeing a tsunami of bankruptcies. The economic fallout is inevitable. Federal data shows that the nation faces a 13.3 percent unemployment rate. The fortunes of U.S. billionaires increased by $565 billion between March 18 and June 4 while the same 11-week period also saw 42.6 million Americans filing jobless claims. The results are devastating, if hardly a news item: while the American people are getting poorer, the rich are getting richer.

 One would have thought that the American Left and progressive political institutions would be the first to be alarmed by these developments. We tend to believe that tempering the rich and their greed, caring for working people and fighting for equal opportunities and justice in general are the Left’s prime concerns.

The American reality,  however, suggests the opposite. Instead of uniting us in a fierce battle against Wall Street and its broad daylight robbery of what is left of American wealth, the American Left is investing its last drops of  political energy in a ‘race war.’ Instead of committing to the Left’s key ideological values, namely: class struggle that unites us into one angry fist of resistance against this theft and discrimination, and without regard to our race, gender, or sexual orientation, the American Left makes us fight each other.

 The  silence of the Left on the current Wall Street “wealth transfers” is hardly an accident.  American Left and Progressive institutions are supported financially and by Wall Street and global financiers. This funding means that, in practice, the American Left  operates as a controlled opposition. It maintains its relevance by sustaining social and racial tensions that draw attention away from Wall Street and its crimes. The so called ‘Left’ is also reluctant to point at  Wall Street and its current theft,  as such criticism, however legitimate,  would immediately be censured as ‘antisemitic’ by the Jewish institutions that have appointed themselves to police Western public discourse.

 There is plenty of  history of such divisive politics from the Left and the way it often ends up betraying the Working Class. The collapse of the German Left in the early 1930s is probably the most interesting case-study of this. 

 Prior to the 1929 economic collapse, Germany’s fascist movement was a relatively marginal phenomenon consisting of various competing factions. In the 1928 elections the Nazi Party received 2.8 percent (810,000 votes) of the general vote. But then the 1929 crash led to a rapid and sharp rise in unemployment;  from 1.2 million in June 1929 to 6 million in January 1932. Amidst the crisis, production dropped 41.4 percent from 1929 to the end of 1931, resulting in skyrocketing poverty.  Like millions of Americans at the moment, in the early 1930s millions of Germans spent many days and nights in food queues.

 One would assume that the collapse of capitalism would have been politically celebrated by the German Communists and Marxists as the Germans lost hope in ‘bourgeois democracy’ and capitalism alike.  The German Communist Party (KPD), like the Nazi party,  increased its power exponentially following the economic meltdown. Yet the German Left missed its golden opportunity. Despite the poverty and the austerity measures, it was Hitler who eventually won the hearts and the souls of the German working class. By the September 1930 election Hitler had won 18.3 percent  and then in July 1932 37.4 percent. In just four years the Nazis increased their support by 13 million votes.

 A lot has been written about the failure of the German Left, both Marxists and Communists, to tackle Hitler and Fascism. Some Marxists are honest enough to admit that it was actually the KPD, its authoritarian and divisive politics that paved the way for Hitler and Nazism.

 Like Stalin, the German KPD was quick to employ the term  ‘fascist’ to describe any and all political opponents. In an act of gradual self-marginalisation, the German Left reduced itself into irrational political noise that finally lost touch with reality. The KPD were so removed from understating the political transition in Germany that on January 30, 1933, the day Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany, the KPD foolishly declared: “After Hitler, we will take over!”

 Like the American radical  Left today, the KPD fought in street battles against the Nazis from 1929 to 1933.  These battles cost the lives of  hundreds of Nazis and KPD members. But in 1933 no political group paid as high a price in blood as the KPD. Nearly  a third of KPD members ended up in prison.  

 It is notable that one of the most concerning aspects of Left politics is the peculiar fact that agitators who claim to be inspired by ‘dialectics’ appear blind to their own ideological past. Consequently, they are detached from the present and totally removed from a concept of ‘future.’

 I have been saying for some time that Trump often makes the right decisions if always for the wrong reasons. For instance, he declared ‘a war’ on social media authoritarianism in the name of the 1st Amendment. Though this is clearly the right result, Trump is not motivated by any genuine concern for ‘freedom of speech’ or ‘human rights’ he is simply upset that his tweets are subject to ‘fact checks.’ The Left, peculiarly enough, tends to make the wrong decisions if usually for good reasons. Fighting racism is, no doubt, an important goal; Combating America’s police brutality or racial discrimination is a major crucial battle, however, fuelling a race conflict is the worst possible path toward eliminating both racism and discrimination. Such a tactic will only deepen the divide that already splits the American working class. I wonder whether this divide is exactly what the American Left is trying to achieve: is this possibly what it is paid to do?

 Today as American progressives and leftists  gear up for a long relentless battle, I have a little advice to offer. History teaches us that Fascism always wins when the conditions for a Marxist revolution are perfect. When you push for a race conflict and further fragmentation of the American society, bear in mind that you may end up facing a real Trump character (as opposed to Donald) that may be able to unite America and make it great for real, but you won’t find your place in it.   


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August 1: when the unemployment runs out and a new era of US labor battles begin

August 1: when the unemployment runs out and a new era of US labor battles begin

May 28, 2020

by Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker Blog

TITANIC LARGEST SHIP IN THE WORLD SINKING

personally I am not sure that the twelvehour day is bad for employees especially when they insist on working that long in order to make more money

— John Dos Passos, The 42nd Parallel, part one of the U.S.A. trilogy

What if the bailouts actually work?

Naturally, socialists aren’t inclined to explore this question, but what’s so interesting is that the Western Mainstream Media doesn’t want to admit the truth: the US bailouts for the lower classes have been hugely effective.

Too effective, they fear, and their fears are entirely correct. Make sure to circle August 1 on your calendar because that will be something of a US class war D-Day.

The Mainstream Media does not want to touch this issue with a 10-foot pole, so we cannot find much coverage of the reality that the Great Lockdown payouts to the lower classes have been – by US standards – incredibly generous. (Note: this article was written last week. The latest Fed Beige Book came out yesterday and addressed this issue, so I bumped this column up in the queue.)

2020 saw the very first “People’s QE”, with $1,200 in direct payments and a $600 increase per week in unemployment insurance until July 31.

Even if the bureaucracy sometimes moved too slowly and there were inevitable issues with this enormous and unprecedented redistribution, the verdict was in immediately: this was a hugely popular success with the lower classes. And why wouldn’t it be? It’s the most generous unemployment payout since the 1930s. For the first time in recent memory governmental policy favoured the lower class worker instead of the upper-middle and upper classes.

The average worker went from $378 per week in state unemployment benefits to $978 per week – a jump of 160%. You ever get a 160% raise before? I haven’t. Indeed, a socialist had to have gotten a lump in their throats when this was announced. One study showed that a whopping 68 percent of unemployed workers who can receive benefits are eligible for payments that are greater than their lost earnings. That number seems a bit high, but the massive desire to support the stay-at-home orders was surely a reflection of a desire to support this radically different approach to poverty prevention.

For the incredibly stingy US system the payout was unexpectedly generous and even based on good sense: the payout was $978 per week because the national average salary for unemployment recipients is $970 per week. It passed the smell test, too: $4,000 per month is a pretty good salary in the US… if you have no kids. However, if you have a very good upper-middle class job then it’s a pay cut, but democratically orienting policy to the needs of the lower classes and not the upper and upper-middle classes in the US? Since when?!

This is when socialists had to think – maybe these bailouts will actually work?

But it’s not as if they pulled the plug on capitalist-imperialist culture, so I think the US 1% made a major mistake in suddenly growing a conscience – they have unwittingly done more to raise class consciousness than any union or socialist party has done for many decades.

Buy some popcorn and watch the show – August 1 is going to see public labor-related rage for the first time since the 1930s.

Big, big problems in almost too many ways to count starting August 1

Michiganders demanding their constitutional right to fish was interesting, courageous and an example of ancestor worship any East Asian would be proud of, but let’s talk turkey about why in May – when it became clear that comparisons of coronavirus with the Spanish Flu of 1918 were obviously tabloid journalism – polls showed so many people refused to go back to work:

The early reopening of the economy was shot in the foot by this “unemployment bailout” – why on earth would the lower classes want to return to their low-paid jobs, where they could contract huge corona-related health care costs, when they can be totally safe and paid better to boot?

Don’t get it twisted for even a moment: the problem was NOT an excessive government handout but the TERRIBLE wages lower class workers have to endure since 1980. What “shot the recovery in the foot”, therefore, was capitalist greed and decades of stagnant wages, not “overly-generous government programs”. If the US had paid proper wages, and had shown proper skepticism to the now-unproven claims of corona hysterics, then they wouldn’t have so many employees telling bosses to take their job and shove it.

And the anger will seethe long-term, because the long, long, LONG overdue payout only sowed the seeds of future class discontent: it took a deadly pandemic for America’s most abused workers to finally get a living wage of above $15/hour. How can the lower classes – who are totally denied class consciousness by the US education system and pop culture – now ever forget that money for them really is there, but it is unfairly redistributed?

The US already has 41 million unemployed officially – given that the median weekly income in the US is $865, we are conservatively talking about 20 million workers who will only go back to work grudgingly on August 1.

The long-term cultural ramifications of that should not be underestimated.

Equally necessary to not underestimate: after August 1 many millions of workers won’t have these proper unemployment benefits nor a job either – at least 25% to up to over 40% of jobs aren’t coming back. So, conservatively, 20-30 million workers are going to get a huge pay cut as they have to survive on the “normal” benefit of just $378 per week.

Again, the cultural ramifications add up to massive discontent.

I think there is no chance that the US 1% authorises an extension of the $600 per week extra past August 1 – it was totally out of keeping with US ideology to begin with, and yet another indicator of the hysteria which swept the US regarding coronavirus. If unemployment benefits remained that high the only choice would be for bosses to raise wages to attract workers, and 40 years of recent shows that simply won’t be allowed to happen in the US.

Congress will, however, likely extend the number of weeks workers can live on the inadequate $378 wage (usually around 6 months in the US) but that will hardly be viewed as sufficient. They are talking about giving a $450 back to work bonus to get workers to accept jobs, and this only shows what a huge mistake the US 1% made amid the corona hysteria (thankfully!) and how they are now scrambling to erase it by offering crumbs.

The Democratic leadership has proposed extending the $600/week until 2021, but that’s typically-empty Democratic electioneering: if they really wanted to protect the lower classes and not corporations then they would have included that proposal in the first bailout package. Democrats waited until they knew extending $600 plus had no chance of getting passed

The cultural discontent will also be amplified and extended by the upcoming US elections in November.

Should we expect on August 1st the media to “play ball” with the 1%, like they normally do, and shepherd the masses to go back to work? Not hardly. I think it’s staggeringly unpatriotic to have “played politics” during this pandemic but nobody would doubt that many journalists, politicians and governors have done and are doing exactly that – why would they stop just a few months prior to Trump’s re-election vote?

(Indeed, whereas pre-corona I viewed Trump as a near-lock to be re-elected the odds of him winning amid such economic depression now seems rather illogical. As he is an extreme narcissist Trump views absolutely everything as being all about him, but I can see why he said back in February that corona was being overhyped to damage him politically.)

Will the fake-leftist MSM agitate in favor of labor/the unemployed army, thus against the 1%? That would be rather amazing, and something not seen since the 1970s, but it actually seems likely because they want to better Democratic election chances. It is only a temporary change caused by the corona hysteria and won’t stick long-term, of course.

Countering the fake-leftist MSM will be the always unwanted presence of Austrians/Chicagoans/Republicans who sanctimoniously rail about the “moral hazard” of “incentivising sloth” – people who never knew working hard at a lousy job yet still being unable to pay the most basic bills – will be equating extending the $600/week with the arrival of Satan, whom they are sure is also a Stalinist socialist. These greedy toads had effectively kept a lid on class consciousness for four decades, but no longer.

By August 1 all will be reminded: the problem remains unequal distribution

The term “working class” is so distorted in US culture that the term has no meaning anymore – I prefer the Iranian term “the lower classes” because everybody instinctively knows if they are in the “upper class” or one of all those “lower classes”. And, far more importantly, is that everyone knows whom they politically support: Mao came from a wealthy family but lived his motto of “Serve the People”, whereas plenty of New York City rappers would set an urban housing project on fire just to get on MTV. Many in the US are aware of Eugene “Daddy Socialist” V. Debs’ saying “while there is a soul in prison, I am not free,” but they are not told what preceded it: “while there is a lower class, I am in it”.

So support/opposition to $600 extra per week is going to go a long way in showing who supports which class.

Ultimately, the bailouts will not work – in terms of aiding society – for the three other major components of the US economy: the small- and medium-sized business, corporations and high finance. Addressing “Will the bailouts work?” for those sectors requires another article, but this column democratically addressed the bailouts’ effect on the largest sector of society – the lower classes.

August 1 will mark a critical new era in which domestic disenchantment with the American system reaches an all-time peak, and then only increase from there. Mark your calendars.

It’s not as if American socialism doesn’t have a history to draw upon for strength and guidance, such as John Dos Passos. The U.S.A. trilogy was ranked 23rd on Modern Library’s 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century, but today Dos Passos has been banished from schools, academia and public consciousness – he chronicled the early years of American socialism.

*********************************

Corona contrarianism? How about some corona common sense? Here is my list of articles published regarding the corona crisis.

Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience? – March 22, 2020

Corona meds in every pot & a People’s QE: the Trumpian populism they hoped for? – March 23, 2020

A day’s diary from a US CEO during the Corona crisis (satire) March 23, 2020

MSNBC: Chicago price gouging up 9,000% & the sports-journalization of US media – March 25, 2020

Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s? – March 26, 2020

If Germany rejects Corona bonds they must quit the Eurozone – March 30, 2020

Landlord class: Waive or donate rent-profits now or fear the Cultural Revolution – March 31, 2020

Corona repeating 9/11 & Y2K hysterias? Both saw huge economic overreactions – April 1, 2020

(A Soviet?) Superman: Red Son – the new socialist film to watch on lockdown – April 2, 2020

Corona rewrites capitalist bust-chronology & proves: It’s the nation-state, stupid – April 3, 2020

Condensing the data leaves no doubt: Fear corona-economy more than the virus – April 5, 2020

‘We’re Going Wrong’: The West’s middling, middle-class corona response – April 10, 2020

Why does the UK have an ‘army’ of volunteers but the US has a shortage? – April 12, 2020

No buybacks allowed or dared? Then wave goodbye to Western stock market gains – April 13, 2020

Pity post-corona Millennials… if they don’t openly push socialism – April 14, 2020

No, the dollar will only strengthen post-corona, as usual: it’s a crisis, after all – April 16, 2020

Same 2008 QE playbook, but the Eurozone will kick off Western chaos not the US – April 18, 2020

We’re giving up our civil liberties. Fine, but to which type of state? – April 20, 2020

Coronavirus – Macron’s savior. A ‘united Europe’ – France’s murderer – April 22, 2020

Iran’s ‘resistance economy’: the post-corona wish of the West’s silent majority (1/2) – April 23, 2020

The same 12-year itch: Will banks loan down QE money this time? – April 26,

2020

The end of globalisation won’t be televised, despite the hopes of the Western 99% (2/2) – April 27, 2020

What would it take for proponents to say: ‘The Great Lockdown was wrong’? – April 28, 2020

ZeroHedge, a response to Mr. Littlejohn & the future of dollar dominance – April 30, 2020

Given Western history, is it the ‘Great Segregation’ and not the ‘Great Lockdown’? – May 2, 2020

The Western 1% colluded to start WWI – is the Great Lockdown also a conspiracy? – May 4, 2020

May 17: The date the Great Lockdown must end or Everything Bubble 2 pops – May 6, 2020

Reading Piketty: Does corona delay the Greens’ fake-leftist, sure-to-fail victory? – May 8, 2020

Picturing the media campaign needed to get the US back to work – May 11, 2020

Scarce jobs + revenue desperation = sure Western stagflation post-corona – May 13, 2020

France’s nurses march – are they now deplorable Michiganders to fake-leftists? – May 15, 2020

Why haven’t we called it ‘QE 5’ yet? And why we must call it ‘QE 2.1’ instead – May 16, 2020

‘Take your stinking paws off me, you damned, dirty public servant!’ That’s Orwell? – May 17, 2021

The Great Lockdown: The political apex of US single Moms & Western matriarchy? May 21, 2021

I was wrong on corona – by not pushing for a US Cultural Revolution immediately – May 25, 2021


Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books Ill Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the NEW Socialisms Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism.

C19 as a Metaphysical Insight and The Betrayal of the Left Over

 BY GILAD ATZMON

Gilad Atzmon on Jason Liosatos Outside The Box:How is it possible that despite the challenge humanity is facing at the moment not one philosopher, comedian or artist has attempted to delve into the current attack on the meaning of being human and humane? In this discussion with Jason Liosatos I attempt to fill this metaphysical hole with some meaningful ideas and content.

France’s nurses march – are they now deplorable Michiganders to fake-leftists?

France’s nurses march – are they now deplorable Michiganders to fake-leftists?

May 15, 2020

By Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker Blog

(Hey hey, my new book is out today! Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism. Buy a copy for yourself and 50 of your closest friends and Iranophobic/Islamophobic/socialism-phobic enemies.)

On May 14 France’s nurses held a protest march in Paris despite ongoing fears about coronavirus — so are they no longer rightly-guided heroes but far-right neo-fascists now?

For several months we’ve been banging pots in gratitude and watching corporations praise them in TV ads but – there they are: gathering in public, not really keeping 2 meters between each other, demanding economic policy changes, defying the advice of their well-paid bosses and generally being very, very bad children who should go straight to bed after dinner.

France’s medical staff won’t be infantilised and have no time for jokes – they are tired of enduring economic hardship and poor working conditions.

Those with overprotective parents claimed the Great Lockdown was to save just one life, but the most common justification among mature adults was to avoid overwhelming medical systems – in France they failed to heed years of public protests saying exactly that.

Excepting the Yellow Vests, nobody in France has protested more in the past couple years than medical staff – austerity has gutted a medical system which in 2000 was ranked number one in the world. I got tired of covering them. My Sputnik Français colleagues hid the tedium of our job as far as the second paragraph: “… protested in order to denounce a lack of resources. It’s a demand which is far from new.” But, you know, people gotta listen to the protesters, so work has us back on the streets again….

Had people listened earlier, France would have far fewer dead grandparents today.

In the US people were explicitly told by Western journalists to not listen to the first anti-Great Lockdown protests, in Michigan. I immediately supported the protesters (in We’re giving up our civil liberties. Fine, but to which type of state?) because, you know – we’re trying to have a democracy here. However, the fake-leftist media looked on them with loathing and terror – calling them irresponsible, science-stupid, selfish, death-crazed, martyrdom-seeking, dangerous curmudgeons and neighbors who would not loan you a cup of sugar.

So the same applies to these French nurses, right?

You would accuse them of being nonchalant about corona? (Or is their crime that they aren’t single-mindedly obsessed with corona enough?)

We can’t really say, because there is no mention of the protesting nurses in Western media, or even in French state foreign-language media. From a mixed economy model to these nurses – more of “the French bad example”.

The widespread insulting of Michiganders refused to take into account their economic situation and the fact that their type of state put them in such a vulnerable position. A stunning 25% of their workers had just become jobless, so why wouldn’t they be demonstrating to get the government’s attention? On top of that their governor imposed an extremely harsh stay-at-home order, as though this was something routine for Michiganders instead of being a (hysterical, economically-suicidal overreaction) shocking, unprecedented first which is undoubtedly more restrictive on movement than being sentenced to house arrest for having committed a serious crime.

Do I think France’s nurses are heroes? Not really – I never asked them to do my job and stand at the front lines during the Yellow Vest protests and do live interviews, giving a big target for the rubber bullets. But, then again, my local garbagemen never asked me to heroically hoist refuse cans for decades even though it’s hardly fun and statistically likely to lead to an early death. And no housewife ever asked me to take care of the kids for even one month, and that seems harder than being a garbageman. Am I a curmudgeon or conceited? No, when one accepts socialism one can’t help but view all workers are equal (capitalists never enjoy this feeling). We all deserve our 15 minutes of fame, I suppose, but caring about fame is decidedly not heroism.

But the kiddies do need heroes, so should the West start cheering: “Nurses are our heroes – except French nurses!”

There is a very worrying outcome of the recent hero worship of medical practitioners: more doctors are now entering politics. The problem with this is simple: you can’t tell a doctor anything – they are the world’s worst-know-it-alls/sufferers from God complexes. They march into a room, quite late, hand down a diagnosis with absolute certainty, which then turns out to be wrong and kills you later (CNBC: The third-leading cause of death in US most doctors don’t want you to know about), but not before you are debt-yoked to a hugely inflated bill, and then doctors imperiously march into the next room and do the same thing all over again. This is NOT a mentality conducive to the consensus-building demanded by democracy.

Well, that’s in socialist-inspired democracy. In liberal democracy technocrats rule with executive decrees, so look for more doctors in office – they can afford to campaign, after all. Thus, “the recent hero worship of medical practitioners” isn’t going to lead to sensible, humble, hard-working nurses to get into office in the West – liberal democracy systematically puts the rich into office.

‘Liberty or boogaloo’? God bless America!

The coronavirus has really laid bare how dictatorial and anti-democratic their executive-dominated system really is, no? What checks and balances, much less public opinion reflected in public policy?

Across the country governors (the presidents of states) have imposed lockdowns without a single legislative vote of approval (at least that I can find). Michigan’s governor, a front-runner to be Biden’s vice-president, seems disturbingly rankled by the existence of other elected officials: Gov. Whitmer blasts Michigan Legislature for meeting during stay-at-home order, says she will veto power-limiting bills. Historically, this trend towards executive decree “began” with Dubya Bush and the Patriot Act, but that’s an inaccurate and sentimental reading of Western liberal democratic history. However, it clearly has become de rigeur across the West, and especially in Hollande/Macron France.

Wisconsin has become the first state, finally, whose judicial branch finally got involved and struck down their governor’s unilateral decree. (What’s amazing is how the Mainstream Media coverage of this was nothing but political sniping – Republicans undermining Democrats – from the very lede sentence.)

If there really are checks and balances in Western liberal democracy they are non-existent or move too slow. The reality is that judges in general are overwhelmingly hyper-conservative and in a non-revolutionary nation do nothing but defend the status quo – why has no judge interceded to prevent the weekly mauling of the Yellow Vests, for example?

(The Vesters will be out there this Saturday, of course, but we already knew what naughty children they are. I wonder if the media will cover it? If they do I doubt they will cover them two weeks in a row.)

It was historically predictable that Michigan and Wisconsin are the first to demand their rights – the Midwest has historically been the hotbed of American “progressivism” (but they still can’t say socialist over there). The state of Missouri was the first to sue China which, LOL, is misguided but at least they are sticking up for residents of the “Show-Me State”. Texas is semi-Midwestern, and non-Americans would expect them to be the first to resist for their sovereign rights, but Texans mostly just talk a lot – like Dubya Bush: all (cowboy) hat and no cattle.

By far the most delightful, “only in America” news item actually comes from the incredibly unfunky state of New Hampshire – “armed demonstrators passed out ‘Liberty or Boogaloo’ fliers at a statehouse protest”. You must be a fake-leftist if you can’t support that, LOL!

I know that when my liberty feels too infringed I immediately break out my best boogaloo dance – it works surprisingly well. I have a “Where’s My Bailout?” t-shirt from 2008 – I need a “Liberty or Boogaloo” t-shirt to sartorially commemorate the Great Lockdown. I really have to question the alleged superiority of the American entrepreneur when I cannot yet find such a t-shirt for sale?

Western journalists have thrown away skepticism during corona, except towards protesters

French nurses go against the script and thus they get ignored, but most often anti-corona hysteria protesters just get discredited.

The reality back in April was that the Michigan gun-wavers were just a small fringe group – the overwhelming majority of protesters stayed in their car as it was primarily an “auto protest”. The Mainstream Media focused on a tiny portion of overall demonstrators in order to totally discredit the anti-establishment message.

In today’s New York Times lead economics columnist, Paul Krugman (who surely cannot boogaloo his way out of a wet paper bag) also discredits the protesters, opposes ending the Great Lockdown (“never mind what the experts say”, he condescendingly pouts) and even fails to bring up a single word about the obvious economic justification for American discontent in his article Covid-19 Reality has a liberal bias:

Indeed, the antilockdown demonstrations of recent weeks appear to have been organized in part by the same people and groups that have spent decades denying climate change.

Virus trutherism is also reminiscent of the various kinds of trutherism that ran rampant during the Obama years. Inflation truthers insisted that the government was hiding the truth about rampant inflation; unemployment truthers, including a guy named Donald Trump, insisted that the steadily improving job numbers were fake.

In my last article (which elicited no happy dancing) Scarce jobs + revenue desperation = sure Western stagflation post-corona, I noted how Western inflation gauges exclude food, energy, housing, medical care and education costs – call me a “conspiracy theorist” for saying some hiding is going on, Paul. US unemployment data counts working just one hour per week as being employed, which allows part-time work and underemployment to pad their (pre-Great Lockdown ) alleged “full employment” rate – Paul must know this, but reporting that doesn’t keep in you in New York Times clover.

The Guardian’s anti-Michigander piece (yes, I enjoy writing the word “Michigander”) I linked to from April 17 used this same “discredit-via-the-organiser” tactic – as if participants were sheep and not humans with free will – in the 5th paragraph of their story.

This is the same tactic we saw against the Yellow Vests. In the 21st century West being lower class and making economic demands automatically makes one a far-right, anti-Semitic, anti-Black, deplorable neo-fascist. Unfortunately, political understanding will progress not one millimeter with such an unfactual position, yet there is huge popular Western support for such a political interpretation.

People also think I eccentrically enjoy writing the term “fake-leftist”, but it’s really quite necessary: in the US the term “leftist” is refused by Democrats as too radical, so they prefer what Krugman used in his headline – “liberals”. US liberals have only the scantest leftist economic component to their ideology – when you press them to be honest they are resolutely anti-socialist and inevitably support not just neo-imperialism but even many aspects of far-right neoliberalism. Yes, they do not openly claim to be “leftist”, but they certainly falsely and opportunistically present themselves that way. This is why “fake-leftist” can and should be used synonymously with “liberal”.

Liberals, fake-leftists and corona hysterics have two things in common: they are now hissing and booing at the French nurses, and they cannot boogaloo.

**********************************

Corona contrarianism? How about some corona common sense? Here is my list of articles published regarding the corona crisis.

Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience? – March 22, 2020

Corona meds in every pot & a People’s QE: the Trumpian populism they hoped for? – March 23, 2020

A day’s diary from a US CEO during the Corona crisis (satire) March 23, 2020

MSNBC: Chicago price gouging up 9,000% & the sports-journalization of US media – March 25, 2020

Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s? – March 26, 2020

If Germany rejects Corona bonds they must quit the Eurozone – March 30, 2020

Landlord class: Waive or donate rent-profits now or fear the Cultural Revolution – March 31, 2020

Corona repeating 9/11 & Y2K hysterias? Both saw huge economic overreactions – April 1, 2020

(A Soviet?) Superman: Red Son – the new socialist film to watch on lockdown – April 2, 2020

Corona rewrites capitalist bust-chronology & proves: It’s the nation-state, stupid – April 3, 2020

Condensing the data leaves no doubt: Fear corona-economy more than the virus – April 5, 2020

‘We’re Going Wrong’: The West’s middling, middle-class corona response – April 10, 2020

Why does the UK have an ‘army’ of volunteers but the US has a shortage? – April 12, 2020

No buybacks allowed or dared? Then wave goodbye to Western stock market gains – April 13, 2020

Pity post-corona Millennials… if they don’t openly push socialism – April 14, 2020

No, the dollar will only strengthen post-corona, as usual: it’s a crisis, after all – April 16, 2020

Same 2008 QE playbook, but the Eurozone will kick off Western chaos not the US – April 18, 2020

We’re giving up our civil liberties. Fine, but to which type of state? – April 20, 2020

Coronavirus – Macron’s savior. A ‘united Europe’ – France’s murderer – April 22, 2020

Iran’s ‘resistance economy’: the post-corona wish of the West’s silent majority (1/2) – April 23, 2020

The same 12-year itch: Will banks loan down QE money this time? – April 26,

2020

The end of globalisation won’t be televised, despite the hopes of the Western 99% (2/2) – April 27, 2020

What would it take for proponents to say: ‘The Great Lockdown was wrong’? – April 28, 2020

ZeroHedge, a response to Mr. Littlejohn & the future of dollar dominance – April 30, 2020

Given Western history, is it the ‘Great Segregation’ and not the ‘Great Lockdown’? – May 2, 2020

The Western 1% colluded to start WWI – is the Great Lockdown also a conspiracy? – May 4, 2020

May 17: The date the Great Lockdown must end or Everything Bubble 2 pops – May 6, 2020

Reading Piketty: Does corona delay the Greens’ fake-leftist, sure-to-fail victory? – May 8, 2020

Picturing the media campaign needed to get the US back to work – May 11, 2020

Scarce jobs + revenue desperation = sure Western stagflation post-corona – May 13, 2020


Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books Ill Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the NEW Socialisms Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism.

Reading Piketty: Does corona delay the Greens’ fake-leftist, sure-to-fail victory?

May 09, 2020

Reading Piketty: Does corona delay the Greens’ fake-leftist, sure-to-fail victory?

By Ramin Mazaheri – for the Saker Blog

A party built around climate change is a luxury only the West can afford, and like most luxuries it is a corrupting influence.

While covering a protest in France several years ago a union member told me how she hoped Iran would stop selling its oil in order to protect the environment.

“Sure,” I told her, “how many billions of euros can we expect France to send us so we can buy food?” I assume she is still ignoring this inconvenient truth and enormous flaw in climate change demands on non-Western countries.

Nobody knows how things will shake out in May 2020 – just how bad the West’s Double Bubble + Great Lockdown economy will soon be – but prior to coronavirus green parties were poised to become a top two party across the West for the first time. In 2019 European Parliament elections they shockingly won 10% of seats and 13% of France’s.

That’s not a majority, but the up-to-the-minute reality is that everybody else has been discredited across the Eurozone: the conservatives, the fake-leftists/pseudo-socialists, the nouveau centrists like Emmanuel Macron, the real-but-disliked leftists. Voters who don’t go far-right have only one choice, and that’s a Green party.

The corona overreaction is throwing a spanner into the works, but are we really predicting a revolution in the Western political trajectory?

It’s certain that the neoliberal response cannot possibly satisfy the lower classes, thus incumbents aren’t going to survive their next election: the next five years should be the same as pre-corona – green parties will play the role of ineffectual opposition/status quo-enforcers to far-right corporate fascists who are more jingoistic than patriotic. That’s what politics will be in much of the West, though not in the two-party Anglophone world.

And yet greens will do what fake-leftists always do: screw up, sell out and falsely claim total ownership of the moral high ground.

Given that greens are the political force most poised to profit in the post-corona profit we should ask: Why are the greens such fake-leftists and so unable to provide adequate solutions for the Western lower classes?

Thomas Piketty and why we have to remind hippies that humans have feelings too, just like crystals do

On a moral level greens are human-hating Malthusians at heart – who could deny that? They put rocks and squirrels ahead of people.

On a political level the problem with handing the greens power amid an economic crisis is how very neoliberal their economics are: capitalism-imperialism fringed with a green garland is still rapacious capitalism-imperialism, after all. Perhaps because they are such animal and nature worshippers greens have totally swallowed the idea that “animal spirits” are the only thing which can possibly guide the economy. Which totem animal corresponds to the spirt of compound debt, I wonder?

We can now understand how very easy it will be for the Western 1% to pivot and embrace green parties as a “solution” to pacify the masses post-corona, much like Barry Obama rebranded the US in 2008.

To prove my point: take this extended interview from April 27 with economist-of-the-decade Thomas Piketty by The Intelligencer, which is part of the fake-leftist New York Media digital empire: here we can witness fake-leftist Westerners have it dawn on them that… oh yeah, it seems politics actually can shape economic outcomes?

Piketty is known as the “scholar of inequality”, and while such issues are the focus of leftists it does not mean he automatically is a socialist and not a capitalist. In the interview he discusses his new book and its solution to the Great Recession-cum-Great Depression 2: “participatory socialism”.

Much like Bernie Sanders (the Democratic Party chiefs he repeatedly bows to surely think: “Thank God we have a donkey like him!”) and his “democratic socialism”, Piketty also misunderstands socialism so very much that he thinks he needs a modifying adjective. At best, we can say that these fake-leftists only grasp the primary aspect of socialism (economic redistribution), but not its second, twin pillar (political power redistribution).

The idea that socialism is not “participatory” is easily and overwhelmingly disproven:

Last year Cuba approved a new constitution: “Some 133,680 meetings were held in neighborhoods and places of work and study. There were 8,945,521 participants, with an estimated two million attending more than one, so that the participation rate was approximately three-quarters of the population. There were 1,706,872 commentaries by the people, with 783,174 proposed modifications, additions, or eliminations.  On the basis of the opinions and proposals of the people, the Constitutional Commission revised the draft.  More than 50% of the proposals of the people were included in the modifications; nearly 60% of the articles were modified in some form.

Is that not “participatory” enough?

Piketty seems to have swallowed the lie that socialism has no second pillar which upholds political empowerment of the humble citizen? We see how millions of Cuban hands wrote their constitution in a bottom-up manner, as opposed to the top-down technocracy/aristocracy of Western liberalism.

Fake-leftists fear socialism because they made no personal effort to understand it, thus their conception of socialism is based on ignorance, propaganda and self-interest, and not logic or history. We see all of these things on display from the otherwise estimable Piketty in this interview.

The West gives Piketty a chance: if he doesn’t seize the moment now then he is an idol in an ivory tower

What can we expect New York Media to say when confronted with the rapacity of neoliberalism anything but, “We had no idea?!”

We should expect more from Piketty – we can judge here if he is more than just a detached theoretician who poses no threat to status quo capitalism-imperialism.

The Intelligencer: One of the main responses to the last book, at least among the American audience, was to treat r > g (Piketty’s shorthand for the fact that the returns to capital have been greater than the growth of the economy as a whole) as though it were a law of nature that could be modified only very occasionally through exceptional political change. But actually, the fact that a rich person’s bank account grows faster than the national GDP, that’s just a phenomenon created by a particular political structure too. It’s a creation of politics.

This illustrates my point: Western fake-leftists – from those approved by investor banker scions to write for New York Media group to the greens – have no idea about how politics shapes economics even though this is the very stuff which socialism’s first pillar is made of. Yes, of course economics are created by a political structure! We see that the neoliberally-indoctrinated never question their core beliefs and “animal spirits” until it is too late.

Piketty’s mildest-of-responses – apologetic and inexplicably guilty – shows why he is so appealing to fake-leftist Westerners: the West’s favourite “leftist economist” shows how his values are not based around socialist critiques but the values of diversity drawn from cosmopolitanism, and culminating in a relativistic moral nihilism which is absolutely unacceptable in the black and white field of economics, with its measurable outcomes.

Piketty: It is.

Probably I was not sufficiently clear about that.

I must say in general I have learned a lot from all the discussion from my previous book. I have learned a lot by traveling to many countries to which I had not traveled sufficiently before. I think by broadening the scope of countries and historical trajectories I look at, it also made me realize this incredible diversity of human ideologies and human imagination to restructure all the time the societies. And that’s probably the main lesson of history, that the idea that there is only one way and there is no alternative is just wrong. 

The Intelligencer: You heard that a lot starting in the 1990s and all through 2008: There’s only one way. (The standard formation of this is ‘TINA: There Is No Alternative (to neoliberalism and neo-imperialism)’.)

PikettyIt’s wrong.

We “heard that a lot” from Westerners – everywhere else people who were not aspiring to being Western clients/puppets were disagreeing… and getting bombed/blockaded for it.

Being “wrong” on this issue merits a lot of public admission of shame and guilt, but Piketty is content to allow decades of deadly mismanagement to be summarised with two words! I wish my teachers had been so leniently brief when I was wrong.

He doesn’t have to be a political firebrand or a raging poet, but we need more than just two words here: Piketty’s reticence is both culturally self-serving (Piketty is French) and also dangerous because the West’s refusal to let anyone go their own way has had such deadly and impoverishing results. Their conversation continues:

The Intelligencer: Since the crash, there has been a sort of acknowledgment from places like the IMF, World Bank, Financial Times, The Economist, all these voices of elite globalized neoliberalism saying, “Okay, there are some real problems here.” But they still aren’t thinking much about alternative models.

PikettyIf you look at how things happen, you’ll see a potential for political mobilization and historical change through social and economic and political processes, which always happen much faster than what the dominant discourse tends to imagine.

The journalist is essentially saying to Piketty: give us an alternative model, please! But Piketty backs away and exonerates those entities by saying, “Well, life moves fast.”

That’s his whole answer – it isn’t much. It’s as if Piketty wants to stay on the good side of these institutions and media – to keep getting book reviews, praise and invites to speak.

Today is the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day – do you know the socialist version of what happened?

It only takes a few paragraphs…

What Piketty does not say is that we need to learn from the history of socialism, which is an alternative model that has been in practice for over a century but which neoliberalism violently opposes.

Western fake-leftists know what waits for them if they say that history openly: blacklisting, de facto censorship, no more invites to speak, no more fawning reviews – it’s the same glass ceiling/first-to-be-fired which vocal union members face in their jobs. This is partially why Piketty wants to invent a “new” socialist model and thus erase a century of global history – he doesn’t want to risk his position.

Another component is that for Westerners socialism in any form is not an “alternative model” but a dead model, even though – gasp! – it clearly is a victorious model. This historical revisionism/ignorance goes back to the millions-murdering formative years of industrial capitalism (the last third of the 19th century), as I wrote about last week in The Western 1% colluded to start WWI – is the Great Lockdown also a conspiracy?

Crucially, Piketty’s generation – and the one before it and the one after it – was taught that US-led “freedom” defeated fascism. Please note neither has an economic component – it is good versus evil, liberty versus repression – whereas socialism always has a loaded economic component; the pity is that its political component (democracy both direct and indirect, like in Western democracies) was caricatured into a totalitarian dictatorship by a capitalist-imperialist 1% waging perpetual war.

Thus, 75 years later the West still does not realise that WWII saw corporate fascism defeat other corporate fascists – the US, full of Jim Crow and a military-industry complex, was indeed a corporate fascist state which defeated the German and Japanese corporate fascists.

However, even that view is false propaganda! It is the Soviet and Chinese socialists who bore the brunt of the effort to topple corporate fascism in Europe and East Asia. Western ideology rejects the obviously exponentially-larger WWII sacrifices of socialist- inspired nations, and thus for them socialism is a tragic experiment instead of a victorious concept. US corporate fascism continued unabated – it began regrowing corporate fascism (now rebranded as “neoliberalism”) in Japan, Germany and the Eurozone.

This socialist analyst crucially shows how “Corporate fascism with American characteristics” was thus never discredited, until 2008.

This illogical historical analysis is why the West is so at a loss to deal with their problems caused by modern corporate fascism (neoliberalism), and why they scratch their head say “Gee, maybe politics can influence economic outcomes?” “Of course!” is what I would have said if I only was given two words, but Piketty says, almost lamenting, “It’s true.”

We can pick up directly with the interview, continuing with the journalist’s intellectual ignorance/faux-shock with Piketty’s academic detachment/indifference. They were discussing the failure of neoliberalism’s leading lights and the possibility of “thinking” about – not discussing nor implementing – alternative models.

Piketty is not about to stand up for human, suffering Yellow Vests, but he will for Mother Nature

The Intelligencer: But of course it’s also true that those people can help design the system and how it evolves, especially in the case of something like the Great Recession. How much did that recovery worsen inequality, in your view? A layman might look at the history and say, “It’s those who have access to capital who can buy distressed assets, and, as a result, unless there is really dramatic intervention, it will always be the forces of capital that benefit from the crisis.” Is that a fair read of how we emerged from the recession?

The journalist suggested the truth – capitalism is always collusion – but Piketty does not rise to the occasion.

PikettyYou’re right that the people at the top have done better once again than average. How do you explain this? I think it’s because if you take the whole compact of fiscal, social, legal, competition policy, there has been insufficient change. In the end, probably the only lesson from the 1929 crisis both from the right and the left, if you look at economist Milton Friedman, monetary economists, everybody agreed that the Federal Reserve and the central banks in Europe made a huge mistake in the 1930s by letting banks fall one after the other. The only lesson from history in a way was “We are going to do whatever it takes, we are going to print whatever money needs to be printed, in order to save the financial sector.” Indeed, it allowed us to avoid the worst, which is a complete fall in economic activity of the kind we had in the 1930s. It’s good news in a way. We have learned something from history.

The problem, of course, is that we are not going to solve everything with central banks. There was nothing else, really, in store. What I’m a bit concerned with today is that even though there’s a lot of motivation to address structural problems, in particular the climate crisis or today’s pandemic crisis, I think there’s insufficient thinking about how to change the economic rules, the organization of property relations in particular, how much private property we want. We need to take seriously the fact that the distribution of the burden has to be discussed from a democratic viewpoint, has to be distributed across income groups. Sometimes, the climate activists, environmental activists, are so convinced that the No. 1 problem is the climate that they don’t want to hear about anything that sounds like income or wages.

Piketty does, however, agree with the thesis of my 10-part series last winter: that Western bankers are the West’s vanguard, enlightened party which is tasked to “solve everything”. But Infinity QE proves that the Western “bankocracy” model cannot promote anything new – there is “nothing else, really, in store”. We should not expect any vanguard party to admit otherwise either, including the Chinese Communist Party or the Iranian Basij, because all three groups view themselves as their system’s champions and saviors. The latter two, of course, have the advantages of being grassroots in composition, thus embodying political power redistribution, who are then tasked with enforcing economic redistribution, which goes a very long way in explaining their enduring popular support. Bankocrats… not so much.

Right after “central banks” was when Piketty could have proposed a “Western, secular Basij” or a “Party for Socialism with European Characteristics”, but not only does he totally ignore these examples – he thinks he has to reinvent the wheel, which is far worse: Piketty dismissed as insufficient the century of theory and practice socialists have already given “about how to change the economic rules, the organization of property relations in particular, how much private property we want.”

If this is what this academic is teaching his 18-year old students he is letting them believe that something called “socialism” never even existed. But, for Piketty, socialism is both a dead idea and one that may make his own career dead. The interview continues:

The Intelligencer: Some climate activists think the solution is to shrink our economies. They call it “degrowth.”

And now we see clearly the reason for this article – the danger of letting greens run the corona recovery. Piketty just hinted at this when he discussed the “climate crisis or today’s pandemic crisis” (clearly, in terms of urgency the latter is the bigger crisis, yet it is secondary for Piketty) – the open Malthusianism of the Greens, which can never satisfy the 99%.

What is posited by The Intelligencer is that humans are the problems – not the tools they use nor choice of systems. It’s a fake-leftist tack which says the problem is not unfair distribution of economic and political power, but the mere act of production. Rather then perfecting socialism – let’s choose de-progress? Piketty knows he is treading on revolutionary ground with such a (dumb) idea:

PikettyWhich has to be discussed very precisely because then you need to be very careful about what exactly you are proposing to the bottom 50 percent in societies. I think it’s possible to design a plan, but we have to be very careful. In France, we had the yellow-vest movement. The government said that it was going to raise the energy tax and carbon tax for the good of the climate….

Piketty then reaches back to a Sarkozy-era initiative of carbon pricing – he has only brought up the Yellow Vests as a cautionary tale, not to relate their socioeconomic views. That is even though – despite the constant propaganda campaigns which glorified the weekly repression of them – (the rarely commissioned) polls showed the Yellow Vests have always been supported by at least 50% of the country. Piketty believes the Yellow Vests exist not as equals, peers and co-leaders but as a wild force who exist to menace the status quo as a sort of way to keep the Western elite honest.

Piketty knows, though would never say it, that if he regularly marched among the Yellow Vests he’d no longer be invited for interviews by New York Media, The Economist, the World Bank, etc. Piketty gets these calls because even as he calls for change he supports the status quo – he is as much an “EU patriot” as Emmanuel Macron and so many of their elite peers. Piketty admits later that EU patriotism is a fundamentally-elitist waste of time:

PikettyWhat this shows is that we should all be concerned about how we rewrite the system. Many people find this very boring, and I can tell you when you try to talk about the transformation and the democratization of European institutions, most people stop listening after five minutes. 

We can now elucidate the main problem of the Western left: they cannot galvanise anybody. They have no ideas and no language to excite people to support this status quo that arrived via unbloody “velvet revolutions” and which have continued via an apathy and anti-democratic disconnect built into the US-written pan-European project.

In Iran, for example, they created a new language: people like Ali Shariati combined the revolutionary language of socialism with the revolutionary language, symbols and heroes of Islam (with an emphasis on Shia heroes) to inspire the masses. Forty years later the staunchest Zionist must concede that the ability of “Revolutionary Shi’ism” to galvanise is succeeding in a broad enough manner so as to thwart any neoliberal “velvet (counter) revolution” in Iran. Contrarily, if they’d actually honor democratic votes the EU might be dissolved this very day.

Semi-pantheistic, human-hating Western greens are not about to die for change, nor are they about to inspire anyone in the lower classes (or the Yellow Vests, who expertly dissect French and EU politics).

Therefore what is interesting is not the upcoming multiyear battle between green parties and far-right parties as the new “two mainstream parties” in the West, but what comes after this: What does Europe do when their fake-leftists prove to be the same old neoliberals who sell out the masses, but this time give you more flowers?

Do they finally turn to socialism, or return to corporate fascism & neo-imperialism? Even with corona, we may need another five years to find that out.

The times make the man – who is left and who is not will be crystal clear post-corona

Piketty is not a fake-leftist on the level of the New York Media group, but he is certainly not a socialist: he supports MMT (modern monetary theory) and its notion that QE can actually be given without banker middlemen directly to the people, but not nationalising banks; he supports a basic universal income which hardly sounds like the massive redistributions enacted in the USSR, China, Iran, etc.; he laments that to pay for that “you have to have progressive taxation” instead calling for taxing only capital and the rich (in Iran, because of this fundamental socialist principle, half the country pays no taxes and no farmer does).

Piketty should be lauded for documenting inequality and some of his ideas go left of the mainstream, but he doesn’t go much further than that. The upcoming months of chaos will tell if he is an “objective” intellectual, just as journalists are supposed to be in the West – stuck in an ivory tower, where they have no social responsibility; despite their greater awareness of a problem, they are told not to feel any personal responsibility as well. The same goes for Western pop culture stars – any political involvement contrary to the 1%’s stances means no fawning airtime.

Yes, Piketty cares about inequality and changing economic structures – “Over the past ten years, we’ve been saving banks, but have we solved our problem with rising inequality, with global warming?” – but he also cares about saving the planet a tremendous, tremendous amount. He cares about it so much that he has apparently not had time to actually examine socialism and become persuaded that class warfare is continuously waged by the capitalist-imperialist 1% against the 99%.

Bottom line: In the 21st century there is no major issue which is so class-neutered as ecology.

Thus, I refuse to play along: a global ecological solution obviously requires global cooperation, which is something only socialism can offer and which is impossible under a capitalist system, as it is based instead on competition.

Talk about the environment is thus just empty talk until capitalism-imperialism is eradicated – this is why a Green party takeover will be welcomed by the Western 1% as a brand change as effective as Barack Obama was in 2008.

It’s not hard for a neo-pantheist to grasp: The West could profit from Iranian oil for decades, but once we get it – oh, the time for oil is over? Either fork over many, MANY scores of billions or: Pump away, Iran!

The reality is that if Piketty ever consistently marched with the Yellow Vests he’d realise they also care deeply about the environment. But Earth will not be destroyed before “la fin du mois” (“the end of the month” – the primary slogan of the Vesters, which illustrates how they struggle to pay their most basic bills at the end of each month) whereas the lives of millions of Frenchmen will be destroyed amid this corona hysteria. Mother Nature is not the problem – Western politics are.

It should be clear: green parties are a useless distraction – they should not be accepted as a substitute for true leftism. Maybe the Double Bubble + Great Lockdown will set off a revolution, but for now neoliberal, Malthusian, pantheistic, fake-leftist green parties remain the West’s political trajectory.

***********************************

Corona contrarianism? How about some corona common sense? Here is my list of articles published regarding the corona crisis, and I hope you will find them useful in your leftist struggle!

Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience? – March 22, 2020

Corona meds in every pot & a People’s QE: the Trumpian populism they hoped for? – March 23, 2020

A day’s diary from a US CEO during the Corona crisis (satire) March 23, 2020

MSNBC: Chicago price gouging up 9,000% & the sports-journalization of US media – March 25, 2020

Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s? – March 26, 2020

If Germany rejects Corona bonds they must quit the Eurozone – March 30, 2020

Landlord class: Waive or donate rent-profits now or fear the Cultural Revolution – March 31, 2020

Corona repeating 9/11 & Y2K hysterias? Both saw huge economic overreactions – April 1, 2020

(A Soviet?) Superman: Red Son – the new socialist film to watch on lockdown – April 2, 2020

Corona rewrites capitalist bust-chronology & proves: It’s the nation-state, stupid – April 3, 2020

Condensing the data leaves no doubt: Fear corona-economy more than the virus – April 5, 2020

‘We’re Going Wrong’: The West’s middling, middle-class corona response – April 10, 2020

Why does the UK have an ‘army’ of volunteers but the US has a shortage? – April 12, 2020

No buybacks allowed or dared? Then wave goodbye to Western stock market gains – April 13, 2020

Pity post-corona Millennials… if they don’t openly push socialism – April 14, 2020

No, the dollar will only strengthen post-corona, as usual: it’s a crisis, after all – April 16, 2020

Same 2008 QE playbook, but the Eurozone will kick off Western chaos not the US – April 18, 2020

We’re giving up our civil liberties. Fine, but to which type of state? – April 20, 2020

Coronavirus – Macron’s savior. A ‘united Europe’ – France’s murderer – April 22, 2020

Iran’s ‘resistance economy’: the post-corona wish of the West’s silent majority (1/2) – April 23, 2020

The same 12-year itch: Will banks loan down QE money this time? – April 26, 2020

The end of globalisation won’t be televised, despite the hopes of the Western 99% (2/2) – April 27, 2020

What would it take for proponents to say: ‘The Great Lockdown was wrong’? – April 28, 2020

ZeroHedge, a response to Mr. Littlejohn & the future of dollar dominance – April 30, 2020

Given Western history, is it the ‘Great Segregation’ and not the ‘Great Lockdown’? – May 2, 2020

The Western 1% colluded to start WWI – is the Great Lockdown also a conspiracy? – May 4, 2020

May 17: The date the Great Lockdown must end or Everything Bubble 2 pops – May 6, 2020


Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’.

America’s rigged democracy: The oligarch takeover of America’s political system

America’s rigged democracy: The oligarch takeover of America’s political system

April 15, 2020

by Jon Hellevig for The Saker blog

The coronavirus and related financial crisis ravaging America have revealed the country to be the dysfunctional, borderline failed state that it is. America’s dysfunction is broad in scope but almost entirely traceable to one common origin: the oligarch takeover of the economymediahealthcare and political system. I have already reported on the first three of these , and here I will dissect what’s so fundamentally wrong with the political system.

Here are the links to above referenced reports:

Extreme concentration of ownership in the United States

The Oligarch Takeover of US Media

The Oligarch Takeover of US Pharma and Healthcare

Prior to having its attention diverted by the virus, the rest of the world looked on in disbelief as the circus-like US presidential primaries traipsed from state to state. Looking at the cast, one must wonder if this is really the best America has to offer. There was practically nothing of substance separating the candidates, with the sole exception of much-needed healthcare reform, a step advanced by a couple of candidates who were promptly branded by both parties as “socialists.” Meanwhile, emerging from the pack was none other than Joe Biden, a corporate stooge if there ever was one, whose history of corruption has been swept under the rug but whose dementia is becoming increasingly hard to conceal.

Nonplussed? You should be, because this is not democracy. It essentially amounts to a scripted talent show aimed at creating the impression that the American people have a democratic choice. The endless campaigning – often in disarmingly charming milieus such as rural Iowa diners – and numerous “debates” underscore the illusion of choice. But it is in fact the lack of real choice that necessitates such ostentatious pageantry.

In reality, the Democratic and Republican parties share almost identical positions on all major political questions. Neither challenges America’s hegemonic foreign policy and the war machine that imposes it; neither takes meaningful action to rein in the unrestrained oligarch crony capitalism or address the rigged financial markets; and both completely reject reforming the out-of-control healthcare system (with the exception of the few “socialists,” who are also smeared as “Russian assets”). The latest example of how in lockstep both parties march is the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill, in essence just another corporate bailout. But such close alignment on the issues of true importance should come as no surprise: this “duopoly” is in fact owned lock, stock and barrel by the financial oligarchs.

In lieu of discussing the issues of true substance, the overseers of this duopoly have imposed over the public discourse an agenda that creates the appearance of an acrimonious political divide but conveniently skirts addressing the inner workings of the system. Heading up this faux agenda are climate change and the culture war, both of which encompass a myriad of sub-issues that serve to distract Americans from the insidious corporate takeover. Much as a mime pretends to be trapped in a phone booth, the two parties feign contention over these issues in what amounts to carefully staged political theater.

That America is not a real democracy but an oligarchy masquerading as one becomes even more clear when one lifts the hood on the election system, which I do in this report by providing comprehensive evidence that the system has been rigged in such a way as to institutionalize the two-party monopoly and reinforce the financial elite’s grip over it.

The three lynchpins of this ironclad grip are (1) the corrupting power of money, which has been institutionalized through campaign finance laws that have been manipulated by the Supreme Court; (2) the ballot access laws, which refer to the pre-screening rules that determine which parties and candidates can be officially registered to stand for election; and (3) the enormous bias of the oligarch-owned, propaganda-spewing media.

I will not address the media bias in this report – it should be self-evident to anyone who has followed American politics in recent years. It is sufficient to recall the blatantly partisan media attacks against Donald Trump over the last four years, which were based on statements ripped from context and exaggerated, interviews with sham experts, distorted facts, and entirely fabricated stories, not least of which was the giant hoax and nauseatingly fact-free Russiagate narrative. More recently, we have seen how the same media hyenas gave similar treatment to Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders but a free pass to the establishment’s Joe Biden. It is important to realize how the ownership of American media has been totally concentrated in the hands of the oligarchy, which I documented in the above-referenced report, The Oligarch Takeover of US Media. Such an extreme concentration of media ownership makes it easy to control the narrative and wage a totalitarian information war on opponents, both domestic and foreign.

In in this report, I will concentrate on the two other major distortions: campaign finance and ballot access, after which I will briefly list the other factors that have combined to totally discredit what used to be a democratic process.

  1. “Money is Speech” – When money talks people listen

The republic was not exactly set up as a true democracy to start with. In the beginning, voting was restricted to property-owning white men. Only late in the 19th century and after one of the bloodiest civil wars in world history, did all men get the right of vote (in theory, but not fully to this day, as we shall see). Women got the right only in 1920. Contrary to the claims of actor Morgan Freeman in a 2017 propaganda video, American history “for 241 years of democracy” has certainly not been “a shining example to the world.” (Note 1).

Early efforts to push back against the robber barons who corrupted the political system with their wealth started with the Tillman Act of 1907, which – although ultimately unsuccessful – aimed to prohibit corporations and interstate banks from making direct financial contributions to federal candidates. Campaign finance restrictions that at least had the appearance of being effective were not enacted until 1971, when, in the wake of the Watergate scandal, Congress passed the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). However, the oligarchs soon mounted a counterattack to have key provisions of the law nullified on supposed constitutional grounds. This reached the Supreme Court, an institution whose pliability in the face of corporate interests belies its fastidiously independent veneer. In Buckley v. Valeo (1976), the Court did uphold limits on individual contributions but, crucially, removed the caps on how much a campaign could spend and also the cap on so-called “independent expenditures,” which is money spent by ostensibly third-party corporations formally in favor of a particular candidate or against an opponent. The fig leaf is that these independent expenditures are made to look as if they are not in any way coordinated with the candidate or the candidate’s committee or party, although in reality of course they always are.

In Buckley v. Valeo, the Court invented the absurd theory that money equals speech, and therefore a limitation on how much money could be used for these independent expenditures was supposedly an unconstitutional infringement of First Amendment protections of free speech. (More about this absurdity below).

In 2010, a new concentrated attack on campaign finance restrictions emerged when the oligarchy’s pocket courts further proceeded to remove the remaining obstacles for the super-rich to buy American elections. In Citizens United v. FEC, the Supreme Court struck down, again on extremely dubious free speech grounds, the rules that had prohibited corporations from funding election campaigns under the flimsy condition that the money be officially structured as uncoordinated independent expenditures. Only two months later, in Speechnow.org v. FEC, the Federal Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (the Deep State court par excellence) ruled that contributions to groups that only make independent expenditures could not be limited, either in size or source.

The super-rich have always dominated the funding of political campaigns – either directly with their money, or through the media they own, or by their shadowy non-profits – but these rulings finally obliterated a century of campaign finance laws and opened the spigots for unlimited political corruption by oligarch special interests, thus removing essentially all barriers to controlling every aspect of the electoral system. These decisions also led to the rise of the notorious Super PACs, the giant slush funds that can raise unlimited amounts of corporate funding – money that is often used on either abusive mudslinging ads aimed at opponents or for whitewashing the preferred candidates. But, of course, there is absolutely no coordination with the candidates themselves. (Trust us).

For more details on US campaign finance laws, please see the Appendix to this report.

Congress is the 5% serving the 0.1%

The number one precondition for American electoral success is either being rich yourself or being financed by the super-rich and their corporations. Usually both prerequisites need to be in place, especially for the higher offices. In no other country in the world does money play such an outsized role in politics.

Practically all US presidents have been millionaires in present day value and most of them multimillionaires. (Note 2). Interestingly, though, while Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were not millionaires when taking office, they miraculously became so after leaving the White House. This came through windfall profits from book deals and speeches to Wall Street bankers. The same happened with Hillary Clinton. (Note 3). Obama even rather quite shamelessly booked those millions while still in office. This stream of easy money is tantamount to payment for services rendered for being a loyal servant to the Deep State (the same Deep State that installed him in the first place). It also shows future inhabitants of top positions that obedience is quite lucrative. (Note 4.)

If we look at the current members of Congress – the 100 senators and 450 members of the House – 200 are millionaires and that does not even include the value of their primary residences. Including that asset would put the figure at close to 500, or a whopping 90%. (Note 5). And that is even before considering the assets formally held by spouses, in trusts or offshore. The net worth of the average congressman is at least five times the US median. (Note 6). Interestingly, most appear to mysteriously get richer while actually serving in Congress. Moreover, the wealth increase tends to be disproportionate to what could be accumulated based on their salaries. In brief, Congress is the 5% serving the 0.1%.

During the 2015-16 election cycle, presidential candidates spent $1.5 billion, congressional candidates $1.6 billion, political parties $1.6 billion, and political action committees (PACs) raised and spent $4 billion. The “independent expenditures” of Super PACs amounted to $1.6 billion. (Note 7).

Clearly, had President Trump not been a billionaire he would never have had a shot at the presidency. This time around, Mike Bloomberg, the world’s tenth richest man and the consummate corporate insider, made a stunningly explicit bid to buy the Democratic nomination, spending over half a billion dollars on campaign ads in only a couple of months. Even before facing a single voter, Bloomberg, a preposterous choice to lead the Democrats, was given credibility as a serious candidate and was able to avail himself of a large platform from which to spread his message. That Bloomberg, with his billions and his establishment-approved policies, still managed to fail so spectacularly was a news item in and of itself, causing a lot of head-scratching among the pundits. He is the exception that proves the rule. (Note 8).

C:\Users\Йон\Documents\Billionaires supporting.jpeg

Practically all of the top Democrat candidates – except Bernie Sanders – were heavily funded by billionaires, as shown in the infographic below.

For candidates who don’t happen to already be fantastically wealthy, campaign financing from big donor corporations and the top 1% is decisive. This is why congressmen tend to spend about 40% of their time soliciting campaign contributions, as former congressional staffer Mike Lofgren revealed in his bestselling book, The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government. (Note 9). Lofgren says outright that in “practice, the American political system allows only two political parties, which are wholly dependent on corporations and wealthy individuals to fund the most expensive campaigns in the world.” (Note 10).

The Democratic Party is a corporation by its own admission

Emblematic of the scam that US elections are was the Democratic Party’s admission to being a corporation.

In a trial against the DNC for the alleged rigging of the 2016 primaries in favor of Hillary Clinton and against Bernie Sanders, the DNC’s attorneys asserted that the party has every right to favor one candidate or another, notwithstanding party rules that state otherwise, because the party is a private corporation and is therefore free to change its rules as it sees fit. Unsurprisingly, the court accepted this claim. (Note 11).

In actually democratic countries, meanwhile, parties are obligated to adhere to fair and transparent statutory legal procedures in their operations. (Besides, even a corporation would have a fiduciary duty to follow the rules it has proclaimed).

  1. Ballot access restrictions

That money has corrupted the system should hardly come as a surprise, but what is less apparent at first glance is how political competition is obstructed by a massive bulwark of byzantine regulations – the ballot access laws – that are designed to protect the deeply ensconced two-party duopoly.

The dominance of the two parties has not come about as a result of voters’ sympathies as expressed in natural democratic competition, but rather through devious manipulation of laws for the aim of securing monopolies for the establishment parties. Each state has enacted its own laws for determining the procedures for parties and candidates to be officially registered to run for office. Rather than attempting to level the playing field, these laws guarantee automatic ballot access to the monopoly parties while barring the door to rivals who could potentially threaten the absolute power of the oligarchs that these parties represent.

While the Democratic and Republican parties get on the ballot automatically, challengers must attempt to file separately in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Ballot access laws are determined by each state separately, and different rules apply for presidential, congressional, state and local elections. Presidential candidates from non-monopoly parties have to petition for ballot access in each state. This means navigating absurdly cumbersome procedures in each state separately and, among other things, having to collect some 1.5 million signatures nationwide. Furthermore, the rules and timing are different in every state, making it very difficult to overcome each state’s barrage of obstacles while meeting all of the deadlines.

In those states where a third party is unable to overcome the filing hurdles, voters are denied the opportunity to vote against the oligarchy. And of course a vicious cycle takes hold: because it is practically impossible to get on the ballot in all states, third-party candidates who are not on the ballet everywhere are seen as lacking national appeal, making them less attractive to voters (and, of course, this reinforces the difficulty of getting on the ballot in the future). Voters are loath to “waste their votes” on candidates who are deemed not to have a winning chance, an impression solidified by the lack of media coverage for such candidates.

Most states also apply rules requiring that a party meet a certain vote threshold in a recent election in order to keep its ballot status for the next election. For example, in Alabama a party needs to garner 20% in a state-wide election to retain ballot access. Such thresholds are set so high that they form an automatic party liquidation guillotine: few third parties ever make it on to the ballet and almost none make it regularly. This means that no momentum is ever achieved and the process of reforming the party and relaunching attempts to make the ballot must be done every few years. For would-be third-party activists it’s a hopeless proposition.

Such arbitrary restrictions and onerous obstacles toward even standing for election is practically unheard of anywhere else. Such a system doesn’t exist anywhere in the free world and may be bewildering for those accustomed to thinking of America as a beacon of democracy. The restrictiveness of America’s “democracy” is more appropriately compared to any number of “third-world” countries in which either only one party is allowed (such as North Korea) or where opposition parties exist but are cast to the far periphery of the political system. America certainly falls squarely in this category, but its innovation is to scrupulously maintain the façade of democratic processes, which essentially amount to carefully staged sparring, mostly over irrelevant issues, for the sake of maintaining the illusion of political plurality.

The restrictive ballot access laws also greatly diminish democratic competition in state legislative elections. In 2012, about one-third of all state House and Senate candidates ran unopposed – quite similar to how it was back in the USSR. (Note 12).

Examples of how the oligarch-owned monopoly parties are favored

The ballot access laws vary enormously from state to state, both in terms of the nature and severity of the requirements. North Carolina, with a population of about 9.8 million, requires almost 90,000 signatures. (Note 13). Oklahoma requires a petition signed by voters equal to 5% of the vote cast in the previous election. An independent presidential candidate, or the presidential candidate of a non-qualified party, may get on the ballot with a petition representing 3% of the last presidential vote. To remain qualified for the next election, a party must garner at least 2% of the total vote in the gubernatorial election.

In Nebraska, the rigged rules fast-track parties that received at least 5% of the vote in a statewide race. Nevada has doubled down on the election rigging by demanding that a party achieve 10% in the preceding general election for Congress.

Another example of egregious hurdles is Maryland’s requirement that an independent candidate collect four times as many signatures as a major-party candidate. In Florida, an independent presidential candidate needs 110,000 signatures, while Texas requires independent candidates to collect signatures equaling 1% of the previous presidential vote.

Georgia gives automatic ballot access to a political party whose candidate received at least 20% of the votes cast in the previous gubernatorial election or whose candidate in the last presidential election received at least 20%.

Kentucky uses a three-tiered system for ballot access based on the results of the previous presidential election. Only parties whose candidate for president achieved at least 20% of the popular vote are considered “political parties,” whereas those getting between 2% and 20% get the status of “political organization,” and those with less than 2% of the vote are deemed a “political group.” These classifications then determine the hurdles that must be overcome to get onto the next ballot. Clearly, parties that can’t even be classified as parties struggle to make headway.

Pennsylvania extends the “political party” status to a party that manages at least 2% in the most recent election, but after a two-year grace period a party must meet the outrageous threshold of having voter enrollment of no less than 15% of the state’s total party enrollment.

Et cetera and so on and so forth. Some states have been more innovative than others in putting in place a system that suppresses democratic choice.

Follow the links below for a closer look at all of the restrictive ballot access rules:

Only billionaires can attempt to overcome the hurdles – and even then often in vain

Only a well-established national movement – or a billionaire – could put together an organization that could even theoretically overcome the filing hurdles in all 50 states. This system of obstruction of the democratic process has worked precisely as intended: with the sole exception of billionaire Ross Perot, there has not been a single viable candidate outside of the monopoly parties.

In the 2016 election, while the Democratic and Republican parties were automatically on the ballot in all 50 states, the only other party that managed to get ballot access in all states was the Libertarian Party. The Green Party, which is a viable and increasingly popular alternative in many other countries, was left off the ballot in six states. The Constitution Party made it on to the ballot in just 24 states.

The billionaire Ross Perot ran in 1992 as an independent and in 1996 representing the Reform Party, which was set up specifically for his campaign. However, because the party had difficulty navigating the restrictive ballot laws, he was forced to run as an independent in some states. In 1992, he received 18.9% of the popular vote, making him the most successful third-party presidential candidate in terms of the popular vote since Theodore Roosevelt in the 1912 election.

You can collect all the signatures you want, but it won’t help

It was estimated that in the 2016 election an independent candidate would have needed to collect a staggering 880,000 valid signatures to meet the thresholds in all states combined. (Note 14). But because the monopoly parties regularly challenge the legitimacy of the signatures that are collected, opposition parties must collect double that amount to stay above the thresholds. This is because there is a very real and proven risk that as many as half of the signatures can be declared invalid on absurd technicalities that are concocted following legal harassment by the monopoly parties. For example, signing “Bill” instead of “William” or leaving out a middle initial are among the many pretenses for signatures being disqualified. (Note 15).

Not only must candidates collect a prohibitive amount of signatures, but whoever ventures to do so should also be ready for a protracted legal battle to defend against endless litigation instigated by an army of attorneys that the monopoly parties can summon in order to obstruct third parties and independents in their efforts to register. The establishment lawyers, aided by corrupt state officials, go to great lengths to challenge the accuracy of candidate filings and often reject the authenticity of signatures on whatever flimsy or fabricated grounds they can find. (Note 16).

A case in point is the outrageous treatment that independent candidate Ralph Nader was subjected to in his 2004 presidential bid. (Note 17). After Nader’s campaign had managed to gather and file the needed signatures in all 50 states, the Democratic Party and its stooges mounted a campaign to challenge all of Nader’s filings. They ended up filing 29 complaints in 19 states against Nader’s campaign with the aim to get Nader stricken from the ballot. And, sure enough, they succeeded in taking him off the ballot in Pennsylvania, Oregon, Missouri, Virginia, Ohio and several other states. Pennsylvania’s measures aimed at keeping independent candidates out included, in addition to the punitively high number of required signatures, a prohibition on people from out-of-state collecting signatures on behalf of a candidate and the requirement that every signature sheet be separately notarized. In Pennsylvania, a lawyer for the Democratic Party successfully invalidated – for ridiculous reasons – the authenticity of over 30,000 of Nader’s signatures. (Note 18). For Pennsylvania Democrats it was not enough, though, to simply take Nader off the ballot, they also proceeded to present him with a large bill for lawyers’ fees as a punishment for having had the audacity to encroach on the duopoly’s turf. Nader then became the first candidate in American history to be penalized, with a legal bill totaling $81,102, just for the crime of attempting to run for public office. (Note 19).

This later unfolded into a giant corruption scandal, which ultimately put members of both duopoly parties behind bars. It emerged that the Democratic Party had illegally enlisted an army of state officials to participate in the concentrated attack on Nader’s campaign. Not only were they working at taxpayers’ expense, but they even received about $2.3 million in government bonuses for their subversive activities. But, remarkably, even as it was proved that Nader’s petitions were challenged via illegal means, his $81,000 bill for the legal fees of his inquisitors stood. And no lessons were gleaned from the affair. Two years after Nader’s failed bid, Pennsylvania’s Green Party tried to run Carl Romanelli for US Senate against Democrat Bob Casey and Republican Rick Santorum. Romanelli managed to collect more than 100,000 signatures (more than the formally required 67,000), but he too ended up being challenged and knocked off the ballot. And, again, the Democratic Party’s legal fees were billed to Romanelli as the losing party. Since then in Pennsylvania numerous other independent candidates have been equally destroyed through various means.

With the path to the presidency littered with the bones of brutally snuffed out third-party bids, both Democrat-cum-Republican Donald Trump and Democrat-cum-Republican-then-independent-and-Democrat again Michael Bloomberg understood that working within one of the two parties – and using their massive financial resources – was a far more promising strategy than mounting a quixotic third-party bid. But the flip-flopping history of party affiliation of those billionaire tycoons clearly shows how the two parties are essentially interchangeable electioneering tools for the elite and that neither party is overly concerned with ideology or convictions.

The Constitution is not to blame

The morass of elections laws is often defended on the premise that it should be the prerogative of the individual states to set their own laws even for federal elections. However, Article I, Section 4 of the United States Constitution says that, while election laws are primarily set by state legislatures, Congress has the power to alter them as it sees fit. And indeed, Congress has done so by enacting uniform nationwide campaign spending laws – those very laws that were undermined by the Supreme Court’s nationwide rulings. In 1967, Congress also passed a law that mandated single-member districts across the country, which demonstrates that the Constitution and federal structure of the United States are not actually obstacles to conducting democratic reform of the ballot access laws, if only there were the will to democratize the country.

Richard Winger, in his article “How Ballot Access Laws Affect the U.S. Party System,” demonstrated that the Supreme Court has been a conniving partner in letting states tighten their ballot access laws with practically no limits. Although the Court has from time to time made a token gesture some excesses in the ballot restrictions, such instances have never managed to set a precedent for curbing undemocratic practice. Winger writes that the Court’s ballot access decisions, taken together, have actually had the effect of increasing the severity of the laws, rather than ameliorating them. (Note 20).

Winger’s article also gives a lucid account of the history of these restrictive rules and how the screws have been gradually tightened.

There is nothing good in the supposed stability that a two-party system brings

Winger writes: “In a normal two-party system, there are still significant third parties. In the United States, there were significant third parties before 1930, but there have not been any since then. The reason there are no longer any significant third parties is because the ballot access laws have become severe.” (Note 21).

Apologists for the US two-party system argue that governments are typically more stable in two-party systems, because viewpoints on the fringes of societal discourse are supposedly neutralized. Wikipedia, for example, hilariously writes: “First-past-the-post minimizes the influence of third parties and thus arguably keeps out extremists.” (Note 22).

However, a US-style managed two-party system protected by rigged laws and court rulings provides as much stability as the USSR one-party system did, all while destroying political competition and depriving the system of the flexibility and mechanisms to adapt to new realities. A two-party system lacks any safety valves to let steam out, meaning the problems just pile up until the pressure is such that the whole system implodes. This has now happened with the US economy, a circumstance for which the rigid two-party system deserves heavy blame. The economic catastrophe in the US is in plain sight for anyone to see, same with the US healthcare debacle, but it is the rotten political monopoly of the corporate elite that has so steadfastly prevented the real issues from being addressed.

What is interesting – and underscores the undemocratic nature of the system – is that surveys consistently show that independents easily outnumber both Democrats and Republicans and that voters overwhelmingly would want to have another choice. (Note 23). In fact, 43% of Americans identify as politically independent. (Note 24).

More problems have piled up to destroy US democracy

In addition to the three main issues discussed above, I will briefly list a number of additional problems that contribute to the huge democracy deficiency in the United States.

(4) The US does not have a proportional voting system, which would force the monopoly parties to be alert to the real needs of society and which would guarantee political representation for competing ideas. Instead, plurality voting is practiced, which means there is a system of single-member districts where the winner takes all even if it does not achieve a majority of votes (first past the pole). In some states, the system is modified with a runoff between the two candidates who got most votes in the first round. A truly democratic system would require a proportional distribution of seats based on party totals.

Some of the election systems are truly absurd. A good example is California’s so-called “top-two” primary system, in which all candidates from all parties must participate in a primary, while the top two vote-getters – even if from the same party – move on to the general election. That really shows that the sham two-party system is, in reality, a one-party system.

(5) The problem with the single-member voting districts has been exacerbated by the practice of gerrymandering, which refers to the system of manipulatively redrawing the boundaries of electoral constituencies. This is done to establish an unfair advantage for one of the monopoly parties or for certain favored candidates within a party. In either case, the effect is to diminish competition.

(6) Large parts of the electorate have been disenfranchised, that is, unconstitutionally deprived of their right to vote. Every state except Maine and Vermont prevents inmates from voting while in prison for a felony. Once released from prison, voter eligibility varies widely by state. A few states – mostly Southern states with large black populations – permanently deny the right to vote to all ex-convicts. That is nothing short of an extra-judiciary punishment, which is designed to prevent the poor and most oppressed sectors of US society from participating in the electoral process.

Over the last half century, the number of disenfranchised individuals has increased dramatically along with the rise in the inmate populations, from an estimated 1.17 million in 1976 to 6.1 million today. (Note 25). Nationally, 13% of the African-American population (an even higher percentage in some states) are now denied the right to vote because of felony convictions. (Note 26).

How capricious the system is can be seen from a case in Alabama, where a man was blocked from voting because he owed the state $4. (Note 27).

(7) Another absurd feature of the American election system is voter registration. In order to retain the right to vote, American voters must register in advance. In a true democracy, it is the obligation of the government to ensure that all citizens have easy and equal access to voting. It is the government’s duty to put in place a system for registering voters and not mandate that voters undergo cumbersome procedures. In democratic countries – like Russia – a voter is automatically enrolled based on residence. It is the obligation of the government to ensure that all citizens are entered in electoral rolls. Usually, this is done through the requirement that each individual provide his or her address to the authorities. But the US voter registration system is a totally arbitrary process that is frequently used to prevent – again – the poor and oppressed from voting. But sometimes the arbitrariness of this works the other way: voter registration laws are sometimes made so lax that non-citizen immigrants can unconstitutionally vote. This is the case, for example, in California, which does not require proof of citizenship for voter registration.

It gets more absurd from the point of view of a democracy when we consider that, when registering a voter, a party affiliation – Democrat, Republican or independent – must be indicated. The inability to conceal one’s political preferences means that there is no voting secrecy in the US. And this is public data for anybody to see, for example, a potential employer.

Altogether, there are 31 states (plus the District of Columbia) that indicate a party when registering voters. In aggregate, 40% of all voters in party registration states are Democrats, 29% are Republicans, and 28% are independents. Nationally, the Democratic advantage in the party registration states approaches 12 million. (Note 28).

(8) After voter registration, there is the problem of voter identification at the poll station. For example, California has no law requiring that voters present photo identification, although sometimes it ends up being required anyway. But when voters do need to identify themselves they can provide any one of the following as proof: a California identification number, the last four digits of their social security number, a copy of a recent utility bill, a sample ballot booklet sent from the county election office, a student ID or a driver’s license. Of course, a passport can also be presented, but why bother when a utility bill is enough.

(9) Interference in politics and elections by law enforcement and intelligence agencies under the control of the US Deep State. Even with practically all aspects of the electoral system totally rigged in favor of the two monopoly parties, the establishment has lately been having problems with ensuring the desired election outcomes and therefore has resorted to openly employing their administrative resources in the State Department, law enforcement (DOJ, FBI) and intelligence agencies (CIA and the other 16 sisters) to interfere in elections. Most blatantly this has occurred in connection with the events subsumed under the Russiagate witch hunt. While cynically levying false accusations at Russia for meddling in the US elections, these agencies were actually engaged in this mendacious – not to mention treasonous – activity themselves. (Note 29).

(10) Finally, in winding up this discussion of the distortions in the American political system, I would be remiss if I did not mention a particularly lurid piece of American Kabuki theater – the public debates among the candidates. Whereas in more democratic countries debates are usually open to all candidates who meet a reasonable minimum threshold in America the show is reserved exclusively for duopoly candidates. The debates themselves are mostly platforms for empty clichés, prepared one-line zingers and vacuous rallying cries about the greatness of the country. The show is carefully managed in such a way as to keep meaningful issues from being addressed, thus preventing any challenge to the agenda of the establishment.

When televised presidential election debates started in 1976, the organizer was the nonpartisan League of Women Voters. However, the LWV withdrew in 1988 in protest of the major-party candidates attempts to dictate nearly every aspect of how the debates were conducted. (Note 30). In the statement announcing its withdrawal, the LWV prophetically stated that “the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter.” This allowed the duopoly to seize full control of the debates through a vehicle called the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), which since its inception has been headed by former chairs of the national committees of the two major parties. In order to exclude third-party candidates, a rule was instituted that to qualify for a debate candidates must garner at least 15% in opinion polls and must be on the ballot in a certain number of states, which in itself is extremely hard, as we saw above.

Ross Perot is the only third-party candidate to have crashed the party of CPD-organized debates, having found his way onto the stage during his 1992 presidential run. The CPD itself was against Perot’s inclusion, but both major party candidates, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, were convinced that Perot would do more damage to the other one and therefore wanted him included. As it turned out, it was Bush who miscalculated with that gamble. (Note 31).

At a 2000 presidential debate, meanwhile, Green Party candidate Ralph Nader was not even allowed to sit in the audience – much less participate – even though he had a ticket to be a spectator.

Typically for America, the CPD presidential debates are also a great platform for corporate sponsors, who display their advertisement during the show. Tobacco giant Phillip Morris was a major sponsor in 1992 and 1996, while Anheuser-Busch sponsored presidential debates in 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012.

The way the Democratic Party has been rigging its primary debates – in an already familiar pattern – provides further insight into how the debate shenanigans work. In this recent primary season, the DNC actually changed the rules in order to exclude the undesired Tulsi Gabbard, who had committed the mortal sin of expressing views that questioned establishment orthodoxy. (Note 32). This came after the DNC earlier changed a different set of qualification rules so as to let Michael Bloomberg, who was not even on the ballot in the first primary states, buy his way onto the debate stage. (Note 33).Jon Hellevig

Some international comparison

The extreme disparity of the burdens placed on new parties versus the old established parties in the US has no parallel in any other democratic nation in the world. (Note 34). A research project conducted jointly by Harvard University and the University of Sydney ranked the United States worst in the West for fair elections. (Note 35).

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) – which is about the only international organization allowed to monitor US elections – has frequently criticized the US for its restrictive ballot access laws and other serious shortcomings. (Note 36).

Concluding remarks – RIP democracy

I have earlier written an essay on how I view the essence of democracy, which appeared as Book II “On Democratic Competition” in my philosophy book All is Art http://www.hellevig.net/allisart.pdf (Note 37). I regard true democracy as a function of societal competition, or more precisely, the competition for regulating power relations in society.

It thus follows that democratic competition must be fair and conducted on equal terms for all participants, that is, all citizens. Democratic competition is the cumulative result of complex interrelations in all spheres of social life, and it is largely the overall condition of a society that fosters or hinders such competition. The quality of a democracy – whether it is an authentic one or it is badly compromised – is a function of all these conditions in their infinite variances.

For it to be fair and conducted on equal terms, this competition must be free from monopolistic forces that prevent all members of society from participating on equal terms. As we saw from the analysis of what counts as the democratic system in the US, all of the major components affecting the democratic processes have been consolidated in the hands of the plutocracy. The oligarchs have essentially privatized the political system and are able to exert disproportionate and usually decisive influence on outcomes that should be open-ended. Having bought the state legislatures, the oligarchs have enacted self-serving ballot access laws. With their money, they totally control all election-related avenues for mass communication, including the televised debates. They own the media, which denies 99% of the population a platform for their opinions and effectively filters out all alternate views.

Freedom of speech should be seen not only as a right to voice one’s opinions in the local bar but as entailing equal access to the means of communication, i.e. the media. Of course, this is not the case, which means there is not a level playing field for democratic competition – and this means no real democracy. The oligarch takeover of the US media has meant that huge censorship and propaganda machines have replaced what should be open and free discourse. The absence of true competition in the media has meant that not just is there no real freedom of speech but that the media has issued to itself a license to lie with impunity while sanctimoniously proclaiming the existence of a free press.

Elections should be considered only as the culmination of democratic competition when all other necessary conditions in a society are in place. But where such conditions for a democratic choice are absent, it can actually be more harmful for democracy (the sovereign power of the people) to carry on voting at the polls in what amounts to sham elections. To do is to perpetuate the system and implicitly provide one’s consent to the falsehood. What the US political elite is trying to sell us is that democracy means nothing more than periodically conducting elections between nearly identical oligarch-owned parties. In other words, we are to believe that as long as the form remains the substance can be cast aside. But if measured by that standard, even the USSR was democratic – once in a while people were dutifully summoned to the polls to confirm the absolute power of the monopolist.

As I have defined democracy, it must be seen and analyzed as a social practice, a phenomenon brought about by people’s interactions in all their myriad forms. This understanding of democracy as a social practice has not been properly appreciated. Scholars have tended to define democracy through formal and legalistic criteria, such as the existence of certain institutions and certain formal supposed legal safeguards of those systems (a system of courts, periodic elections, etc.). But as long as scholars do not move beyond those concepts to analyze what the institutions actually stand for, they fail to detect – or fail to admit – the obvious deficiencies of democracy in countries in which these formal criteria are met but where the democratic processes have seriously eroded. This is particularly pertinent in countries – such as the US – where much effort has been expended to maintain the illusion of democracy. My aim has been to bring about the understanding needed tackle this question by looking at the constituent phenomena of the social practice of democracy.

Today, precious little real democracy remains in the countries that boast of being democratic. The concept of “democracy” has been totally detached from the actual reality and is being maintained as a ritual symbol. Now utterly devoid of content, the word is incanted as a charm to instill the feeling among American and European regime subjects that they belong to a good and virtuous society and that they are empowered to influence the course of that society.

The indoctrinated classes speak of liberal democracy (by which they mean Western democracy), which they imagine to be a representative government put in power by free and pluralistic elections. The fantasy extends to a belief that the system is based on a separation of powers among a legislature, executive and judiciary. Of course, this is no longer the case: these branches operate in unison and the plutocracy presides over them all. Other incantations include the “rule of law”, “open society”, “Western values”, “human rights” and “market economy.” All of these are hollow shells of ideas that in our day and time mostly serve the purpose of virtue-signaling. The reality is that Western societies have turned into full-fledged repressive surveillance and propaganda states, in which any features of an open society were long ago eradicated. There is absolutely no market economy, but rather a totally monopolized crony capitalist system in which, as we are seeing now, corporate interests are bailed out at the first sign of trouble.

Scholars claim that liberal democracy supposedly is based on the principles of classical liberalism. Nothing could be further from the truth. But, their most pathetic theory is the so-called “democratic peace theory.” This fantasy posits that these “liberal democracies” are hesitant to engage in armed conflict with other democracies. Several factors have been promoted as justifying the democratic peace theory, one more hilarious than the other:

  • Democratic leaders are forced to accept culpability for war losses to a voting public;
  • Publicly accountable statespeople are inclined to establish diplomatic institutions for resolving international tensions;
  • Democracies are not inclined to view countries with adjacent policy and governing doctrine as hostile;
  • Democracies tend to possess greater public wealth than other states, and therefore eschew war to preserve infrastructure and resources.

(List derived from Wikipedia).

Let’s imagine that to be true, then what explains that these Western countries have been ready and raring to incessantly wage wars of aggression against the rest of the world, the countries they define as not belonging to the club of democracies? Moreover, these Western “liberal democracies” do not go to war with each other, because they are all essentially occupied subjects of the United States.

In my book, I describe the conditions for an ideal, true democracy. But that does not mean that I think that such a democracy is possible; on the contrary, nothing of the sort can ever actually exist. Any open society will be attacked by oligarchs, who will try to subjugate it under their rule – and most often they succeed. This is true both domestically in their own countries and abroad. The US-based oligarchs and their helpers in Europe have over the last century assaulted every single nation on the planet. No country should ever leave itself vulnerable to such aggression. Each should devise a sovereign system of governance that is fair and based on real justice (social, economic, and moral) without playing the fool’s game of so-called Western “liberal democracy.” China has set a good example of this.

NOTES COME AFTER APPENDIX

APPENDIX

CAMPPAIGN FINANCE LAWS, SMOKE AND MIRRORS

The US is obsessed with campaign finance regulations, which are structured so that if anything is restricted by one rule, it is allowed by another. There’s a Russian adage that perfectly describes the essence of the US campaign finance laws: “If it is forbidden, but you very much want it, then go ahead.”

Below is a summary of the campaign finance laws governing federal elections.

Candidates are free to use their personal funds for campaign purposes without any limits, but accepting campaign contributions from others is restricted – unless you use any number of the gaping loopholes available to circumvent the restrictions. An individual person can contribute only $2,000 directly to a candidate, per election. But whereas donations to individual candidates are limited to that relatively small amount, the backdoor is wide open. Individuals can donate as much as $777,600 per year to party committees, while if a spouse is included, a family contribution can reach $1,555,200 per year. These limits are reported as they stand after having been generously increased tenfold in 2014 in a drive to allow ever larger sway over the elections for the super-rich. According to oligarch shills, this enormous money would not be fatal for democracy, because it is “only allowed to go to special accounts earmarked for specific purposes, such as party headquarters maintenance, recount preparations and presidential conventions” and that the “money cannot legally be used for other purposes.” (Note 38).

One of the backdoors designed for circumventing campaign finance restrictions is for a lobbyist to assist a congressman in amassing campaign finance by arranging fundraisers, assembling PACs, and seeking donations from other clients. Yet more effective than gathering hard money (direct contributions to a candidate) is to work with soft money campaign finance. Soft money is the real hardcore of campaign finance. Soft money exploits the loophole in federal campaign finance and spending laws that exempts contributions made for general party-building rather than – ostensibly – for a specific candidate. This is a form of political money laundering, because the state party committees send the soft money up to the national party headquarters, which then can spend the money at its discretion without restrictions. (Note 39).

In addition to contributions given directly to candidates (candidate committees) and parties, individuals can contribute to a variety of political action committees (PAC). The limit for individual contributions to these are $5,000. Connected PACs can be set up by corporations, non-profits, labor unions, trade groups, or health organizations. These PACs are allowed to accept contributions only from managers and shareholders or members in the case of unions and non-profit organizations. The sponsor of a Connected PAC may absorb all the administrative costs of operating the PAC and its fundraising activities. A slightly other form is the Non-Connected PAC, which must bear its own administrative costs. PACs can give $5,000 to a candidate committee per election (primary, general or special). They can also give up to $15,000 annually to any national party committee, and $5,000 annually to any other PAC.

Another vehicle designed to circumvent the original campaign finance restrictions is something called a Leadership PAC. These are PACs set up by elected officials and parties that make “independent expenditures.” If the expenditure is supposedly not coordinated with the candidate, there is no limit to how much can be spent on that candidate’s campaign. Leadership PACs are non-connected PACs, meaning they can accept donations from individuals and other PACs – so there’s another backdoor wide open. A leadership PAC sponsored by an elected official cannot use funds to support that official’s own campaign, but no worries, it may fund travel, administrative expenses, consultants, polling, and “other non-campaign expenses,” as they call them.

Move one level up on the ladder of campaign finance schemes and you encounter the “independent expenditure committees,” commonly known as Super PACs. These are campaign finance vehicles that masquerade as third-party groups allowed to advocate for or against any candidate or issues, “as long as there is no coordination, consultation or request by any campaign or candidate.” That’s a fig leaf, if ever there was one. Everybody knows that coordinating is exactly what they do.

Tired of dabbling in a few thousand dollars, the heavy hitters have embraced these Super PACs. These represent the ultimate invention in free-for-all campaign finance, as they can raise unlimited amounts of funds, with the additional beauty that corporations, too, may invest as much as they want. While traditional PACs can donate directly to a candidate’s campaign fund, the Super PACs are not allowed to make direct contributions to candidates or parties and must ostensibly limit themselves to political spending independently of the campaigns. They are allowed to pay for ads supporting their favorite candidate and discrediting the opponents as long as they “act independently” and “do not coordinate” with the official campaign of the candidate they support. So according to the legal legend, Super PACs are independent from candidates, but obviously the reality is that their directors have close personal connections to the candidate and the campaign they support. (Note 40).

Super PACs are the ultimate dens of the political spin doctors, where nasty and abusive mudslinging ads attacking the opponents of the candidates that they are whitewashing are devised.

In addition to hard and soft money, the American campaign corruption menu includes dark money. Dark money refers to political spending by nonprofit organizations (referred to as 501(c) organizations). These are allowed to raise unlimited amounts from corporations and individuals, and to spend these unlimited amounts any way they wish. They call it dark money because that’s exactly what it is: the identity of the donors and of the campaigns, candidates and other possible recipients of the money, as well as the amounts raised and spent, are exempt from disclosure requirements. The flooding of elections with dark money was made possible by the US Supreme Court’s decision in Buckley v. Valeo. (More on this below).

Dark money syndicates are distinct from Super PACs. Both can raise and spend unlimited sums of money, but super PACs must disclose their donors, while dark money syndicates don’t have to do that and must not (ostensibly) have politics as their primary purpose. This is no problem for the US oligarchs, as they simply set up both types of entities to get the best of both worlds. This way corporations and individuals can donate as much as they want to the nonprofit, which isn’t required to publicly disclose funders. The nonprofit could then donate as much as it wanted to the Super-PAC, which lists the nonprofit’s donation but not the original contributors.” (Note 41).

Money is speech. Really?

The Super PACs were in essence generated by two highly questionable judicial decisions. In January 2010, the Supreme Court established in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that the government may not prohibit corporations from making independent expenditures for political purposes. Only two months later, in Speechnow.org v. FEC, the Federal Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that contributions to groups that only make independent expenditures could not be limited in either size or source.

The super-rich have always been dominate in funding political campaigns – directly with their money, through the media they own and by their shadowy nonprofits – but these decisions finally obliterated a century of campaign finance laws and opened the spigots for unlimited political corruption by oligarch special interests in order to give them absolute dominance and free rein for total political propaganda.

The Supreme Court’s extraordinary maneuver to further rig the campaign finance laws in favor of the super-rich was based on two questionable legal theories that took root in the mid-1970s. One held that money is speech and the other that corporations are people. (Note 42). These fabricated legal principles were needed in order to create the framework for the politically motivated claim that a restriction on the amount of money that the super-rich can use for buying elections supposedly meant an infringement on First Amendment protected freedom of speech. Then, because free speech, like any other human right, can only belong to people, the court declared that corporations are people. In the case that established these doctrines, Justice Anthony Kennedy, in the majority opinion, defended this juridical fraud by arguing that that limits on using corporate funds for campaigns were supposedly a “classic example of censorship.”

The perverted “money is speech” doctrine first appeared in a 1976 decision, Buckley v. Valeo, which invalidated some campaign-finance reforms that had come out of the Watergate drama. (Note 43). The Supreme Court then concluded that most limits on campaign expenditures, and some limits on donations, are unconstitutional because money is in itself speech and the “quantity of expression”– the amounts of money – can’t be limited. (sic! – or should we say sick!) What the Supreme Court did is to declare that corporations should have a First Amendment right to spend limitless amounts to meddle in US elections.

Obviously, the legal construction of a corporation means that it has some features of a person, mainly the right to register the title for assets and enter into agreements – which is why they are called legal persons – but the extension of corporate personhood to protection of free speech is an extraordinary invention.

The US Supreme Court, the guarantor of oligarch rule

Obviously, these court decisions are totally politically motivated and aimed at securing the super-rich’s overwhelming control over the US government. The US Supreme Court is not an independent arbiter of justice but rather a club of servants for the elite few. The appointment of a Supreme Court judge is an entirely political process. A candidate is nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Considering that the presidents and the senators all are totally dependent on oligarch finance, oligarch media and of all the structures of the oligarch Deep State, the Supreme Court justices unsurprisingly serve the same interests. Considering that the Constitution does not set any qualification criteria for Supreme Court judges, better independent judicial protection would be achieved if the judges were appointed by lottery among all serving US judges.

This political process of appointment of judges essentially nullifies the constitutional principle of separation of powers, which holds that the three branches of government – executive, legislative, judicial – are kept independent from each other. With the politicized court the constitutionally intended checks and balances between the branches of power have essentially been wiped out.

These campaign finance shenanigans are part of an endless stream of rulings that show that the Supreme Court is following a political agenda favoring the already rich rather than administering justice. As David Kairys wrote: “At its core, this line of cases is about dominance of the political and electoral system by wealthy people and corporations and about legitimizing a political and electoral system that is unrepresentative, money-driven, corrupt, outmoded, and dysfunctional. Wealthy people and corporate managers shouldn’t dominate politics or have more and better speech rights than the rest of us. That seems like an obvious truth. And yet the Supreme Court’s recent decisions move us away from it.” (Note 44). All Court decisions in these matters (and not only these) have been heavily biased towards enabling the richest one percent to buy outsized influence of the US government. (Note 45). It is obvious beyond any doubt that the money-is-speech theory is nothing but a rhetorical device used exclusively to solidify this trend and to provide First Amendment protection for all money that wealthy people and businesses want to spend on election interference. (Note 46).

The oligarch shill Roger Pilon, in a speech to the libertarian stink tank Cato Institute, said that “the Court has said that regulations of political contributions and expenditures will be upheld only if they achieve a compelling governmental interest by the least restrictive means.” (Note 47). See, compelling governmental interest is the question. With “governmental interest,” we must mean the interest of the government as a custodian of the people, that is, the people’s interest. Then the question really is what more compelling reason could there possibly be to restrict this falsely advertised “free speech” than guaranteeing an equal value to everyone’s vote. Government precisely has a compelling interest in fostering equal participation in the election processes and stopping the corrosion of democratic ideals that results when election costs spiral out of control and only the super-wealthy have influence.(Note 48).

The Supreme Court has been extremely choosy in implementing its newfound love for free speech

It is also clear that the Supreme Court has been extremely choosy in implementing its free speech policy. When it comes to forms of speech other than the dollars drowning the voices of the people, the government and the corrupted courts have had no qualms about passing laws and judicial resolutions that run roughshod over free speech. (Note 49).

More generally, the Court has not employed its free speech theories uniformly, but only when they suit their agenda. (Note 50). In the last few decades, the Supreme Court has limited speech rights for demonstrators, students, and whistleblowers. It has restricted speech at shopping malls and transit terminals. Taken as a whole the establishment’s pocket court’s First Amendment jurisprudence has enlarged the speech rights available to wealthy people and corporations and restricted the speech rights available to people of ordinary means and to dissenters. (Note 51).

The Court has in particular developed as so-called “secondary effects” doctrine, according to which the government is allowed to restrict speech if other purposes justify it. (Note 52). Thus, if the Court in reality believed its fabricated money-is-speech theory, then it would have good reason to conclude that this money-speech may legally be restricted in order to uphold the democratic principle of equal participation in elections, for which purpose it is necessary to restrict the ability of the super-rich to buy the elections wholesale. (Note 53).

It is also telling that when the Court struck down campaign finance limits by reference to this money-is-speech doctrine, it did not go all the way. What it did was to allow unlimited election campaign finance for corporations. That’s free speech, the Court opined. But at the same time, it upheld other restrictions on campaign finance. In particular, it reasoned that the restrictions on the amounts individuals could contribute to campaigns and other direct contributions (as opposed to the fictitious “independent expenditures”) were justified to avoid corruption. So, miraculously there was no problem with the same free speech principles in restricting the freedom of money-speech of the actual humans for whose protection the First Amendment was actually enacted. Essentially, corporations were given unlimited free speech protections that were denied to actual people. This just goes to show how politically expedient the court rulings are and how flimsy and inconsistent the arguments in support of them are. There is no justice, only rules that the powers that be put in place based on their judgments of how far they can go in a given situation.

NOTES:

1. Morgan Freeman Joins Propaganda War Effort https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/09/24/morgan-freeman-joins-propaganda-war-effort/

2. The Net Worth Of The American Presidents: Washington To Obama https://247wallst.com/banking-finance/2010/05/17/the-net-worth-of-the-american-presidents-washington-to-obama/5/

3. Lofgren, Mike. The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government (2016), p. 71.

4. Bill Clinton says he left the White House $16 million in debt https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/04/the-clintons-erased-16-million-in-debt-and-accumulated-45-million.html

The Obamas reportedly just bought a $12 million home on Martha’s Vineyard. They’re worth 30 times more than when they entered the White House in 2008 — here’s how they spend their millions https://www.businessinsider.com/barack-obama-michelle-obama-net-worth-2018-7

Lofgren, Mike. The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government (2016), p. 78.

5. Ranking the Net Worth of the 115th https://www.rollcall.com/wealth-of-congress/

6. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Net Worth Is Higher Than You Think https://www.financialsamurai.com/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-net-worth-is-higher-than-you-think/

7. Statistical summary of 24-month campaign activity of the 2015-2016 election cycle https://www.fec.gov/updates/statistical-summary-24-month-campaign-activity-2015-2016-election-cycle/

8. Ad spending barrels past $1 billion mark as Mike Bloomberg overwhelms airwaves https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/28/politics/2020-ad-spending-1-billion/index.html

9. Lofgren, Mike. The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government (2016), p. 67.

10. Ditto, p. 65.

11. DNC to Court: We Are a Private Corporation With No Obligation to Follow Our Rules https://ivn.us/posts/dnc-to-court-we-are-a-private-corporation-with-no-obligation-to-follow-our-rules

12. Santos, Rita. Gerrymandering and Voting Districts (At Issue) (2018).

13. Ditto.

14. The New Poll Tax: Ballot Access Laws Foil Independent Candidates https://www.opednews.com/articles/The-New-Poll-Tax-Ballot-A-by-Peter-Gemma-Election_Independent_Independent-Party_Independent-Voters-160901-723.html

15. Bennett, James T. Stifling Political Competition: How Government Has Rigged the System to Benefit Demopublicans and Exclude Third Parties (Studies in Public Choice) (2008).

The New Poll Tax: Ballot Access Laws Foil Independent Candidates https://www.constitutionparty.com/the-new-poll-tax-ballot-access-laws-foil-independent-candidates/

16. The Real Reason You Can’t Vote for an Independent Candidate https://time.com/4436805/lawrence-lessig-randy-barnett/

17. The Sneaky Silencing of Third-Party Politicians https://psmag.com/news/how-states-are-blocking-a-third-party-run#.8g9r7b4l6

18. The Real Reason You Can’t Vote for an Independent Candidate https://time.com/4436805/lawrence-lessig-randy-barnett/

19. The Sneaky Silencing of Third-Party Politicians https://psmag.com/news/how-states-are-blocking-a-third-party-run#.8g9r7b4l6

20. How Ballot Access Laws Affect the U.S. Party System https://journals.shareok.org/arp/article/view/550

21. Ditto.

22. Wikipedia: Single-member district

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-member_district

23. The Real Reason You Can’t Vote for an Independent Candidate https://time.com/4436805/lawrence-lessig-randy-barnett/

24. The Sneaky Silencing of Third-Party Politicians https://psmag.com/news/how-states-are-blocking-a-third-party-run#.8g9r7b4l6

25. 6 Million Lost Voters: State-Level Estimates of Felony Disenfranchisement, 2016 https://www.sentencingproject.org/publications/6-million-lost-voters-state-level-estimates-felony-disenfranchisement-2016/

26. Fix Our Broken System

https://www.gp.org/fix_our_broken_system

27. Alabama blocked a man from voting because he owed $4 https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/feb/27/alabama-voting-rights-alfonzo-tucker?fbclid=IwAR2Mqjc_KvnNkKuoRLuSpoq5w4Tle7nyLfdX_W5OuTg4jhsr0qYPkDJhJoU

28. Registering by Party: Where the Democrats and Republicans Are Ahead https://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/political_commentary/commentary_by_rhodes_cook/registering_by_party_where_the_democrats_and_republicans_are_ahead

29. Tulsi Gabbard: Presidential Candidates Must Also Condemn Election Interference by US Intelligence Agencies https://www.anti-empire.com/tulsi-gabbard-presidential-candidates-must-also-condemn-election-interference-by-us-intelligence-agencies/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily+Headlines

30. Fix Our Broken System https://www.gp.org/fix_our_broken_system

31. How Third Parties Are Kept Out Of Presidential Debates https://www.huffpost.com/entry/what-the-hell-how-third-p_b_11277474

32. DNC Scrambles to Change Debate Threshold After Gabbard Qualifies https://consortiumnews.com/2020/03/05/dnc-scrambles-to-change-debate-threshold-after-gabbard-qualifies/?fbclid=IwAR0ozgCxmPsSlaNSomQUZQ4XHZ-lCVQ5ehqGPjORzsN3KI1VI7crjs9VDGM

33. Michael Bloomberg is the only candidate to give money to the DNC. They just changed their rules to let him onto the debate stage https://www.insider.com/dnc-debate-qualification-rules-bloomberg-donation-2020-2

34. Santos, Rita. Gerrymandering and Voting Districts (At Issue) (2018).

35. Land of the Free? Harvard Study Ranks America Worst in the West for Fair Electionhttps://www.globalresearch.ca/land-of-the-free-harvard-study-ranks-america-worst-in-the-west-for-fair-elections/5555383?fbclid=IwAR15nyqQ6XyqHSyM5dAujkU9HJI4BO8M41Xw11htkrOEwqcf7IP9JaPSApc

36. U.S. Elections Are Neither Free Nor Fair. States Need to Open Their Doors to More Observers https://theintercept.com/2018/11/05/u-s-elections-are-neither-free-nor-fair-states-need-to-open-their-doors-to-more-observers/

37. Hellevig, Jon. All is Art. On Social Practices and Interpretation of Feelings. On Democratic Competition. (2007).

38. GOP donors use Cromnibus changes to stuff party committees’ 2016 coffers; Dem donors MIA. https://www.opensecrets.org/

39. Soft Money Is Back — And Both Parties Are Cashing In https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/08/04/soft-money-is-backand-both-parties-are-cashing-in-215456

40. How Super PACS Shape U.S. Elections with Advertisements That Portray Candidates in Ways Publicly Identified Campaign Ads Often Avoid https://scholars.org/contribution/how-super-pacs-shape-us-elections-advertisements-portray-candidates-ways-publicly

41. Super-PACs and Dark Money: ProPublica’s Guide to the New World of Campaign Finance https://v2-www.propublica.org/article/super-pacs-propublicas-guide-to-the-new-world-of-campaign-finance

42. Money Isn’t Speech and Corporations Aren’t People https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2010/01/the-misguided-theories-behind-citizens-united-v-fec.html

43. Ditto.

44. Ditto.

45. Overturning the “Money Is Speech” Doctrine https://democracyisforpeople.org/page.cfm?id=19

46. Ditto.

47. The First Amendment and Restrictions on Political Speech

https://www.cato.org/publications/congressional-testimony/first-amendment-restrictions-political-speech

48. Overturning the “Money Is Speech” Doctrine https://democracyisforpeople.org/page.cfm?id=19

49. Money Isn’t Speech and Corporations Aren’t People https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2010/01/the-misguided-theories-behind-citizens-united-v-fec.html

50. Ditto.

51. Ditto.

52. Secondary Effects Doctrine https://uscivilliberties.org/themes/4457-secondary-effects-doctrine.html

53. Money Isn’t Speech and Corporations Aren’t People https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2010/01/the-misguided-theories-behind-citizens-united-v-fec.html

Pity post-corona Millennials… if they don’t openly push socialism

April 14, 2020

Pity post-corona Millennials… if they don’t openly push socialism

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker blog

I’m only three years from being a Millennial myself but, wow! They sure have had a much rougher go of it:

Most of them were teenagers when the “victory” of the “leader of the free world” came crashing down on 9/11. Jingoistic hysteria against (fictitious, always Pentagon-supported) Islamic radicalism was followed by the Great Recession. The alleged “economic recovery” was always limited to the 1%, and now we have the coronavirus panic. Ever since 2008, when my elders start to decry the alleged character flaws of the Millennial generation I always point out how they were handed so many handicaps.

“The only Millennials with a decent job and no debt were those selected in the first round of the NBA draft,” is my usual attempt at pithiness. It’s surprising that the phrase “Ok, boomer” took so long to develop, frankly?

So what’s going to happen to this beleaguered bunch post-corona? It seems like even more burdens will be heaped on them, and I can think of five important ones:

First, there will be no growth-rebuilding “corona reconstruction” because infrastructure is not destroyed in a pandemic. When the corona craziness dies down the neoliberals in the US and the austerity-evangelicals in the Eurozone are going to be just as resistant to taxing the rich in order to give useful jobs to the poor as they have been for the past four decades.

Second, there are many fearful Mainstream Media articles detailing how after the Black Plague workers in Europe were emboldened to demand more wages and rights. This is merely an interesting historical vignette – there are no mass deaths in 2020. Therefore, once the corona hysteria ends you will have a flood of workers competing with each other for jobs. In a parallel, compounding development, good jobs will also be even more scarce than in 2008 (although maybe the NBA will expand?) because the corona overreaction is creating such enormous economic devastation with mass bankruptcies, closures and reduced government tax revenue sure to result. Due to a lack of socialist controls and planning, the law of supply and demand will rule unfettered – wages are sure to drop.

Third, the very sectors where Millennials can be most often found – restaurants, retail, tourism, hospitality and creative – will be the most decimated by corona lockdowns. What’s more, this age group has – necessarily – the least seniority, experience and skills and thus they will be the first to be fired in every sector. Labor participation rate for Millennials had only just returned to pre-2008 levels, but – as I stressed to my often-dismissive elders – levels “returned” only via terrible part-time jobs, gig economy work and short-term contracts in Europe. How long will it take to return to (these fundamentally inferior) pre-2020 levels?

Fourth, in these lousy, poorly-paid pieces of under-employment “benefits” like health care, pension contributions and unemployment insurance were often non-existent. The US bailouts have thrown them some unemployment insurance for a few months, but will it be enough? Not to pay the overhead for the moderate-to-successful Millennial classes – that is absolutely certain. Dirt-poor Millennials will, at best, not stop being dirt-poor, and certainly will return after these modest “bailouts” quickly finish. Millennials were already worse off in every major economic indicator compared to their Generation X, Baby Boomer and Silent Generation counterparts.

Fifth, if you thought Millennials were too sensitive before, then imagine how they will be after the corona trauma? There is no “victory” to be had here for the survivors – all they did was cower at home, sometimes snitch on their neighbors, and often couldn’t even risk trying to volunteer to help the elderly and vulnerable. This is going to create guilt and shame personally, mistrust and resentment socially, and a desire to save, hoard and not take risks economically.

And, please note, this is the bad situation for the White youth class in the West – imagine being non-White, or Muslim, or (gasp!) both non-White and Muslim?

To summarise briefly, the same logic will hold true for individuals as for businesses: anyone without savings or stable access to credit NOW is about to be dragged under. Millennials have the least amount of savings, social credit or economic credit.

So what is to be done?

There is a lot of fear among the corporate MSM, conservatives and corporate neo-fascists that the economic downturn caused by the corona lockdown will cause the Millennials and younger to embrace socialism.

To this I respond: Well, it would be about time.

A hugely common Western misconception during the 1950s and 60s was that the youth class would carry the day and float the elderly off on icebergs to the North Pole. We now know much more about modern Western capitalism: this was undoubtedly misguided, because in the West it is the elder classes which dominate the economic assets and political power, and are just as weighty arbiters of cultural power.

As I have repeatedly discussed, only in China and Iran did the upheavals of the 1960s translate into actual political and economic power for the youth class, and thanks to (the world’s only two) state-sponsored Cultural Revolutions. Contrarily, in the West their victory was limited to the pop culture sphere – their Cultural Revolution was repressed and halted, yes, because the real failure lay within the populace: they simply weren’t real, class-warfare, anti-imperialist leftists, apparently.

Maybe this will change now?

However, (truly) fake-leftist Bernie Sanders just bowed out (hilarious timing from a reliable Democratic Party toady); Jeremy Corbyn’s (fake-leftist) anti-Brexit stance failed (of course) and his replacement is far more conservative; France’s (fake-)left wants four things: wine, pornography, no religion whatsoever and to smash the superb Yellow Vest movement’s call for a French Cultural Revolution by any means necessary.

So what is to be done?

The political nihilists – who are stupid, wrong, lazy and cowardly – insist that leftism has failed everywhere in 2020, but there are a dozen or so examples which prove them wrong (simply look to the countries the US organises Western sanctions against). The West, being evangelical, chauvinistic and used to leading for two centuries, ignores and/or denigrates all of these examples.

Now one thing I always try to do is to shoot myself in the foot – as far as getting my articles rebroadcast, retweeted and the like – by praising Iran when deserved. I mean, what surer way is there today to terrify fake-leftist, rabidly-secularist Anglophones and Westerners than to stick up for not just Iran but also (and I’m not sure which is worse to them) Islamic Socialism?

But I feel compelled to point out that the corona-situation of Iranian Millennials (i.e. their youth class) is not anywhere as dire as for their Western counterparts, and I need only one reason to prove why: most of them live at home until they are married or around 30.

Iranian young adults who aren’t working now – at least they aren’t racking up rent/mortgage debt, eh?

What’s more: there are no Western credit card companies in Iran due to the Western blockade, and formal interest rates are constrained by the morals of Islamic finance, so what credit card debt? University eduction is widespread and cheap, so what university debt? The medical system is the best in the region and, while absolute poverty has not been totally eradicated anywhere, it is undoubtedly within the reach of Iran’s lower class, so what medical debt? Europeans usually enjoy the latter two realities, at least, so you can’t say I am talking about impossibilities. Corona quarantines are hardest on the lower class everywhere, but Iran is a socialist-inspired society so political policy actually addresses their needs first and has done so since 1979.

Unlike Europeans (especially Anglo-Saxons), Iran’s entire (allegedly) “failed to launch” youth class also have far more emotional support than in atomised Western households. This is not a small thing for some people during the corona crisis, but also post-corona.

However Iran is not the only example of success amid the post-1980 neoliberal era: it’s grounds for calls of “traitor” in the US, but is not Russia’s amazing rebound after the tragedy of the USSR’s implosion not worthy of interest? How did they do that? They are a socialist-inspired culture to some degree, but what about the continent of China and tiny Cuba as well? The point here is: the primary obstacle Millennials have to overcome are lifetimes of Gen X, Boomer and Silent Generation TINA (There Is No Alternative (to neoliberalism)) to realise that socialism is an actual, still-viable, never-going-away source of solutions.

Without openly promoting socialism all the complaints and public disavowals of Western imperialism-capitalism ultimately reach a dead end, after all. Millennials need to learn that class warfare exists, but in the West only the 1% is cognisant of this reality.

Unfortunately, to see how wide the political-intellectual gap is simply consider: US imperialism more dangerous than coronavirus for international community: Iran president. What other national leaders would say such thing in 2020?

How many actually did say it in 1918 amid the Spanish Flu pandemic? In 2020 you would be crucified for saying that – despite its obvious accuracy – and certainly not retweeted.

But Western Millennials are free to ignore existing examples, and also to go on hating God, Mom, Dad, socialism, central planning, strong social safety nets, all governments etc.; they are perfectly free to stay focused on the current corona “War on Dying” and to not immediately demand socialist-inspired policies for a youth class which keeps being forced to bear the domestic brunt of Western neoliberalism and (never even broached domestic) neo-imperialism.

They’re still young – maybe they’ll get drafted by the NBA?

***********************************

Corona contrarianism? How about some corona common sense? Here is my list of articles published regarding the corona crisis, and I hope you will find them useful in your leftist struggle!

Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience? – March 22, 2020

Corona meds in every pot & a People’s QE: the Trumpian populism they hoped for? – March 23, 2020

A day’s diary from a US CEO during the Corona crisis (satire) March 23, 2020

MSNBC: Chicago price gouging up 9,000% & the sports-journalization of US media – March 25, 2020

Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s? – March 26, 2020

If Germany rejects Corona bonds they must quit the Eurozone – March 30, 2020

Landlord class: Waive or donate rent-profits now or fear the Cultural Revolution – March 31, 2020

Corona repeating 9/11 & Y2K hysterias? Both saw huge economic overreactions – April 1, 2020

(A Soviet?) Superman: Red Son – the new socialist film to watch on lockdown – April 2, 2020

Corona rewrites capitalist bust-chronology & proves: It’s the nation-state, stupid – April 3, 2020

Condensing the data leaves no doubt: Fear corona-economy more than the virus – April 5, 2020

‘We’re Going Wrong’: The West’s middling, middle-class corona response – April 10, 2020

Why does the UK have an ‘army’ of volunteers but the US has a shortage? – April 12, 2020

No buybacks allowed or dared? Then wave goodbye to Western stock market gains – April 13, 2020 – April 13, 2020

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’.

Bernie Sanders, the ultimate fake Socialist, now shows his true face

The Saker

Bernie Sanders, the ultimate fake Socialist, now shows his true face

April 14, 2020

RT just posted an article entitled “Sanders joins Biden livestream to give full-throated ENDORSEMENT” which begins like this:

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders made a surprising appearance on former Vice President joe Biden’s livestream to give the rival for the Democrat presidential nomination an enthusiastic endorsement against President Donald Trump.

Denouncing Trump as a “racist, sexist, homophobe” who “lies all the time,” Sanders announced he was now supporting Biden’s presidential bid. The self-described democratic socialist had suspended his campaign last week, saying he would stay on the ballot to influence party policy at the convention – but apparently changed his mind on Monday.

“I am asking all Americans — I’m asking every Democrat, I’m asking every independent, I’m asking a lot of Republicans — to come together in this campaign to support your candidacy which I endorse,” Sanders said.

Finally that SOB showed his true face, the face of an ultimate fake.  His appeal to identity politics (“racist, sexist, homophobe”) also shows were his REAL values are, and that sure ain’t Socialism!

In the past, Bernie already showed his true face when he endorsed Hillary or when he backed the Israeli murderous attack on Lebanon (which, glory be to God, resulted in the “Divine Victory” of Hezbollah and arguably one of the worst defeats in modern military history for the Zionist entity).

I don’t like Trump any more than Bernie does, but I also realize that Trump is probably the main reason why we did not have a major war involving the USA (yet?), whereas Hillary and Biden are the ultimate pseudo-liberal war-mongers.  I can understand somebody hating Trump and voting for a real pro-peace candidate, but being anti-Trump and pro-Biden makes exactly *zero* sense.

Yet both Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders did exactly that.

This proves their total hypocrisy which is now simply undeniable.

This entire debacle just shows that what the USA needs is not a different, putatively better, president, but what the US State Department calls “regime change”.

I am not a Socialist, but I do know Socialism (I took the time to actually *study* Marxism-Leninism) and I have always felt offended when US Americans referred to Bernie, or even Obama, as “Socialists”.  This is utterly ridiculous and has no connection to reality.  There are NO real Socialists (of whatever variety) amongst US politicians and only a terminally brainwashed population can mistake folks like Obama or Bernie for “Socialists”.  Heck, some US Americans even believe that government bailouts of major corporation are also evidence that the US government is “Socialist”!  The lack of political education of most US Americans is nothing short of amazing.

Now you know why Socialism (nevermind Marxism or Dialectical Materialism) is never taught in the USA, not even at a college level (and when it is, it is mostly fake; Michael Parenti would be a pretty good teacher, but he is one guy in a huge system, so nobody hears his voice).

Okay so now we know that the pseudo-liberal pseudo-Left has now fully endorsed Biden.  This just goes to prove that the entire Dem Party is, and has been for a very long time, a tool in the hands of the Deep State.

I would like note that Trump succeeded in getting elected against the wishes of the folks who ran the Republican Party.  This would be impossible in the Democratic Party, which just goes to prove that while both parties are corrupt to the bone, there is still some real diversity in the GOP.  But the Dem Party truly walks in lockstep, probably towards its own demise.

For the time being, let us all rejoice in the fall of Bernie, the shyster and scumbag who tried to pretend that he was a Socialist while, in reality, being a safety valve for the Dem Party, a warmongering Zionist and a tool of the US Deep State.  Bernie will go down in history as the ultimate fake.

Why does the UK have an ‘army’ of volunteers but the US has a shortage?

Why does the UK have an ‘army’ of volunteers but the US has a shortage?

April 12, 2020

By Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker Blog

In just 24 hours the UK saw nearly a half-million people volunteer to deliver food and medicine to the nation’s 1.5 million elderly and vulnerable people. Nearly 750,000 signed up, so many that they had to turn people away.

In the US the situation is the opposite: there are no shortage of stories such as NPR’s, Coronavirus Drives Away Volunteers Just As They’re Needed Most. But it’s not just the local holy-rolling church and the local food bank – the professional charity services have seemingly turned tail and ran away even though soldiering through a crisis is their job. In an “only in America” type of headline – The Peace Corps isn’t just bringing home 7,300 volunteers because of the coronavirus. It’s firing them.

With 17 million made jobless in 15 days, but with no government aid system to help them permitted to exist under US neoliberalism, food banks are not only increasingly short on food but short on people to hand out what little food they have left. Their malnutrition situation is so very dangerous that The New York Times reported that, “Uniformed (national) guardsmen help ‘take the edge off’ at increasingly tense distributions of (food) boxes,” and without even commenting on what an abnormal “edge” that is to have.

Doesn’t that all seem very American?

But in the UK national solidarity is now off the charts, and it’s not of the fundamentally conservative, nonsensical “Keep calm and carry on” variety from 2008: commentators say that the volunteer wave is healing the divide caused by Brexit, as well as erasing generation gaps because WWII-era Brits are seeing what their youth can and will do in a crisis.

How can we explain this disparity?

I think I should relate that to an Iranian this disparity is especially perplexing.

After all, “Marg bar (down with) England” is always right up there with, “Marg bar the United States”. Those two comprise 40% of the reliably unholy pentagon of your standard “Marg bar …!” chant, along with Israel, the MKO/MEK hypocrites, and those who oppose the guardianship of the Islamic jurist principle.

But look at all those volunteers – has England changed drastically and grown a conscience? Has Iran got it wrong? Are we supposed to stop marg bar-ing them now?

What?! Have you lost your head during this corona crisis?! If anything, we should be adding marg bars, not reducing marg bars! For example: why not “Marg bar Wales”? Don’t you think they feel left out often enough? And why are we leaving Scotland off the hook?

So the very notion of not marg bar-ing England practically makes me want to add a, “Marg bar you!”

But I get carried away easily, so I think it’s time for a marg bar on jokes in this article.

The reason for the difference is quite simple, but very sad

Are all of America’s healthy men and women aged 20-40, who have a statistically infinitesimal chance of dying from coronavirus, too busy to volunteer? Of course not – they’re mostly on lockdown now.

Are they too self-centred to volunteer? Is this more out-of-control Western individualism? Are they too lazy? Have they been scared into submission by an atrocious and irresponsible national media?

I honestly don’t think it’s anything like that: I think it’s that Americans are scared of the health care costs they might incur if they got sick while volunteering. Contrarily, able-bodied, young, patriotic Britishers have the National Health Service.

It’s really that simple: young Americans want to help their elder class, but they can’t go (even deeper) into debt to do so.

And that is really a sad, sad commentary on “Capitalism with American characteristics”, isn’t it?

I’m sure we can all immediately perceive how so very many negative, anti-social, self-defeating, wasteful and truly lamentable cycles of all sorts are kept in constant motion by the atrocious neoliberal principles which have been foisted on the US populace since 1980.

(Similarly, the US food bank charity is a recent development that exploded beginning in the Reagan era.)

Think of all the helplessness, hopelessness, anomie, anger, bitterness and (that old American standby) rage which could have been alleviated in America by both the act of volunteering and the benefits volunteering would bring, but which cannot even be attempted due to the incredibly difficulty of mere self-preservation in the US?

In their article To Fight Coronavirus, U.K. Asked for Some Volunteers. It Got an Army The New York Times does not mention this obvious explanation for the difference between these two across-the-Atlantic brothers. They either cannot put two and two together, or they refuse to broach the simple fact that the UK can marshal such a force because their youth class has no reason to fear indebtedness due to volunteering.

This disparity – and the explanation is hardly complex, although the ramifications are embarrassing for the US to honestly discuss – is precisely the kind of issue which fake-leftist media similar to The New York Times are steadfastly not discussing in favor of obsessive Trump-bashing and corona “deathboard-watching”.

Because fake-leftists in the US are so prone to turning their rage into false righteousness – this is not a problem caused by Trump: Obama made huge cuts to food stamps for a million households in 2014, which increased the number of people forced to rely on food bank charity, and his health care reform was a pathetic capitulation to the health care corporations and their medical lobbyists. The problem is not Republicans – Democrats are just as rabidly anti-socialist and pro-neoliberalism.

But in a pandemic any nation is necessarily going to live and die on the strength of its existing health care system. The US has to go on lockdown (they say) because their terrible health care system cannot bear even a moderate strain; the same rationale also silently explains why the average American cannot dare to attempt to humanely alleviate the ramifications of such a drastic, anti-lower-class measure.

I’m sure that many American readers are no doubt feeling quite mixed feelings about how such a simple thing – a promise of merely decent health care – could have made such a huge cultural difference during this time of huge cultural upheaval. America has just as many cultural divides to heal as Britain… but they are forced to remain alone, helpless, scared, hungry, untreated and debt-fearful.

One often has to laugh to keep from crying, so permit me one last marg bar – for those who are obsessively making every waking moment and every tiny thing about one subject and one subject only: marg bar religious corona fundamentalism.

The corona fundamentalists in the US could instead spare some time to wonder why it’s too expensive to volunteer for charity work.

***********************************

Corona contrarianism? How about some corona common sense? Here is my list of articles published regarding the corona crisis, and I hope you will find them useful in your leftist struggle!

Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience? – March 22, 2020

Corona meds in every pot & a People’s QE: the Trumpian populism they hoped for? – March 23, 2020

A day’s diary from a US CEO during the Corona crisis (satire) March 23, 2020

MSNBC: Chicago price gouging up 9,000% & the sports-journalization of US media – March 25, 2020

Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s? – March 26, 2020

If Germany rejects Corona bonds they must quit the Eurozone – March 30, 2020

Landlord class: Waive or donate rent-profits now or fear the Cultural Revolution – March 31, 2020

Corona repeating 9/11 & Y2K hysterias? Both saw huge economic overreactions – April 1, 2020

(A Soviet?) Superman: Red Son – the new socialist film to watch on lockdown – April 2, 2020

Corona rewrites capitalist bust-chronology & proves: It’s the nation-state, stupid – April 3, 2020

Condensing the data leaves no doubt: Fear corona-economy more than the virus – April 5, 2020

‘We’re Going Wrong’: The West’s middling, middle-class corona response – April 10, 2020


Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’.

‘We’re Going Wrong’: The West’s middling, middle-class corona response

‘We’re Going Wrong’: The West’s middling, middle-class corona response

April 10, 2020

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog

I found out today
We’re going wrong.
– Cream – We’re Going Wrong – 1967 album Disraeli Gears

Shortly after reading about the latest 7 million Americans who made unemployment claims this week that song shuffled on my iPod. It’s a haunting and even frightening song, and while that makes it sound like some lame emo band we must remember that it’s being played by the rock super-dupergroup of Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce.

The song is a psychedelic ode to the terrifying realisations caused by a middle-class freak-out, which were occurring regularly across the West back in 1967. Somebody’s mind has just been opened to the fact that the path they were on is not right. Why was it not right? Because they had failed to ever look inward – they had accepted the prevailing nonsense without questioning it.

Today it’s hard not to have this same feeling that the Western trajectory is veering out of control… but only because that is entirely the case: capitalist – i.e. growth-demanding – economies are hysterically yanking out the single-most important pillar of their economic culture (competitive demand) as if their house won’t collapse immediately.

Because there is none of the dependability provided by central planning, Western capitalism is flying blind because it has wilfully broken its fundamentals – how can any investor, CEO or supply clerk accurately foresee the economic future for at least several months (at a minimum)?

Thus a good comparison is Gorbachev’s “fatal error” in 1987, so-called “self-financing”: that yanked out the single-most important pillar of their economic culture – central planning – for enterprises which controlled 60% of all Soviet output. The immediate, radical reordering sparked economic chaos, then bread lines, then the undemocratic, top-down implosion of the USSR.

In my previous article I condensed the economic data and gave the undeniable conclusion: Who now needs a bailout in the West as a result of the poverty-inducing corona response? Wall Street, Main Street, the County Seat, State Capitol Plaza and Corporate Circle. Everybody.

Of course “bailout” is a euphemism for “loan”, meaning that the “lucky” in these sectors will simply get more and more indebted to a 1% which actually only gets smaller, smaller, richer and richer (as Marx proved).

Want mediocrity? Turn to the middle-class

What was rather fascinating is that among all the articles I have read about our new corona-world I found only one single instance of a Mainstream Media relaying a complaint of how the corona response was a middling, “middle-class” solution.

The entire plan had the imagination of a middle-class person,” was the tough assessment of Harsh Mander, director of the New Delhi-based Centre for Equity Studies. “People were asked to maintain social distance, wash their hands and stay home assuming they have homes and salaries going into bank accounts.

It is interesting that open resentment towards the middle class seemingly surfaced only in India: It’s hard to imagine a middle-class with a more disagreeable sense of entitlement than the pudgy middle managers from the mighty continent of India. One need not be an untouchable Dalit to believe that while a college degree might be a marginally-impressive achievement, using it to work at a Western corporation’s call centre is really not proof of hot stuff; one need not question the reactionary caste system to point out that such a middling life is not sufficient justification for maintaining a system of alleged karmic supremacism. Thus, I would imagine that in India today the term “middle-class” carries as many condescending connotations as it did in the Anglophone world back in 1967.

“But the West is not India”, you will object. Indeed, nobody talks about class or caste in the former. But high-and-mighty Westerners must concede that it is also not 1967 for them, back when union membership was high and an 18-year old male could exit high school assured of not just a decent-paying job but even house and car loans from private banks. (LOL, Millennials think I am making this up, but ask your grandparents – this was actually the case!)

Let’s accept Harsh’s mild definition of “middle class”: somebody who has a nice home, savings and the resources to comfortably weather months of societal turmoil. Using that definition, how very few qualify as “middle class” in the West in 2020!

The 17 million Americans who have been added to unemployment ranks in the past 15 days now have not only no income but no health care and no pension (which had become nearly non-existent in their private sector, anyway). The number is not higher than 17 million in 15 days only because the USA’s antiquated 1980s computer infrastructure could not process more claims. These people are definitely not middle-class.

You could have a family of four and an income of $90,000 in the US but how can you call yourself “middle class” when you strain to afford middling versions of health insurance plans, college education, child care and elder care? And heaven forbid you have to pay for all four at once. These people lack the stability to be called middle-class.

What is middle-class in France? I rarely meet anybody taking home more than 2,000 euros per month. That sum was fine in 1980, but after a Lost Decade produced by austerity – with its increased taxes, steady price inflation and social services which are no longer paid for by the state – their middle-class now suffers from lower-class instability as well.

The reality is that “middle class” in the West in 2020 is actually what used to be called the “upper-middle class” – their entire society has been devalued by a standard deviation since 1980 due to neoliberal capitalism.

Across the West doctors are telling 64-year old Uber drivers to quit in order to avoid exposure to coronavirus, and their journalists are agreeing with this remedy, as if such a person is only Ubering because they have a passion for people-moving? Such advice is middling, middle-class nonsense.

Corona is forcing the West’s upper class to learn that the middle-class mentality has been blown apart, and not by Cream and loud bass but by inequality-provoking socioeconomic policies which fundamentally disregard the needs of the middle and lower classes. Contrarily, the needs of those classes are always and indisputably the primary policy focus of socialist-inspired nations, which is why the West declares Cold War on them.

The West’s upper-class is telling their lower classes to commit suicide

The US fake-left has practically deified Dr. Anthony Fauci mainly because he openly contradicts Trump, but also because middle-class Westerners slavishly worship at the altar of technocracy, which rests upon the false idol of their imaginary meritocracy.

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson made the correct observation that not only is this lockdown economic “national suicide” but that Fauci had “bulletproof job security”; this meant that, “He has the luxury of looking at the world through the narrow lens of his professionHe doesn’t seem to think much outside that lens.

For anyone who thinks Carlson pegged him wrong, Fauci recently said: ‘I don’t think we should ever shake hands ever again, to be honest with you.” That is the “cultural suicide” assessment and bizarre goal of the man who essentially has been given the power to guide US socio-economic policy.

Fauci is not middle-class, but his workaholic, narrow view certainly is stereotypically middle-class; his total disregard for life as it is lived by living, pulsating, hungry, unstable workers certainly is middle-class.

Instead of a vanguard party which is in touch with the lower classes, the US has promoted the singular view of this germ-obsessed technician (and I’m sure Fauci is considering the broader effects of a lockdown on the municipal bond market in his non-lab time/non-hand washing time).

In an interesting article by USA TodayThis is what China did to beat coronavirus. Experts say America couldn’t handle it, we can see a government which is invasive, or we can see a government which is actually touching and in-touch with the average person – which you see depends on your lens.

But have no doubt: testing, tracing, treating, quarantining – these are all things which require mass mobilisation of pulsating humans, and which were done under an unassailable Chinese government slogan of, “No one left behind”.

China demands the ill have “zero contact” with healthy people, and that is rigorous; Fauci seems to want everyone to have “zero contact”, period, permanently.

Fauci’s slogan is more like “I want to leave you behind”, and is that not the middle-class Western dream: To leave the sick, hungry and poor – including their White Trash – behind in their rear-view mirror?

Insist that socialist-inspired nations are totalitarian and unfeeling all you want, but nothing is more synonymous with “mediocrity” than the Western middle-class: “The approach we should be taking right now is one that most people would find to be too drastic because otherwise, it is not drastic enough,” Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health,” said to USA Today.

What a middling and mediocre statement. And what a middling and mediocre Western response to the corona crisis (which still could wind up as middling and mediocre, as far as pandemics go).

Expect many more freak-outs.

In a crisis mediocrity is not needed, but truly exceptional conduct and resolve. Unfortunately their most inspirational conceptual ideas – which could really help people through these tough times – go unreflected upon and not relayed by the Western corporate media.

***********************************

Corona contrarianism? How about some corona common sense? Here is my list of articles published regarding the corona crisis, and I hope you will find them useful in your leftist struggle!

Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience? – March 22, 2020

Corona meds in every pot & a People’s QE: the Trumpian populism they hoped for? – March 23, 2020

A day’s diary from a US CEO during the Corona crisis (satire) March 23, 2020

MSNBC: Chicago price gouging up 9,000% & the sports-journalization of US media – March 25, 2020

Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s? – March 26, 2020

If Germany rejects Corona bonds they must quit the Eurozone – March 30, 2020

Landlord class: Waive or donate rent-profits now or fear the Cultural Revolution – March 31, 2020

Corona repeating 9/11 & Y2K hysterias? Both saw huge economic overreactions – April 1, 2020

(A Soviet?) Superman: Red Son – the new socialist film to watch on lockdown – April 2, 2020

Corona rewrites capitalist bust-chronology & proves: It’s the nation-state, stupid – April 3, 2020

Condensing the data leaves no doubt: Fear corona-economy more than the virus

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’.

MSNBC: Chicago price gouging up 9,000% & the sports-journalization of US media

MSNBC: Chicago price gouging up 9,000% & the sports-journalization of US media

March 25, 2020

By Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog

The Chicago Tribune – seemingly the only major newspaper which did not endorse Hillary Clinton in 2016 (they endorsed Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson) – has reported that price gouging in Chicago has skyrocketed a spectacular 9,000% since March 1.

What’s worse, that figure only includes complaints to the city’s Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Department from March 1, excluding the first two months of 2020.

From some it’s a dagger in the heart of perceptions of superior codes of polite conduct in the Midwest. For others it’s verification of all the worst accusations of moral, and especially financial, corruption in the city forever linked in the global imagination with gangster Al Capone.

Now… this is all entirely accurate. I have even presented it with hallowed (and phony/naive) “objectivity”. Nobody can sue me for anything.

But it’s terrible journalism.

It’s eye-catching, newspaper-selling, ratings-grabbing, if-it-bleeds-it-leads journalism. It’s journalism designed to grab eyeballs by inciting panic… and panic is what the West is doing very, very well during the Corona crisis.

The City of Chicago received 175 price gouging complaints so far this month – there were only 2 such complaints all of last year, per The Chicago Tribune. The newspaper’s journalists handled the story ok: only got quotes from the government – nothing from victims, grassroots groups or even vox pops – but it’s not terrible.

Now my headline was rather click bait-y and terrible – irresponsible/negligent use of a colon, certainly. See what I can do if I decide to use my powers for evil rather than good?

Was there an 8,650% increase? Yes. I can say I was, “Just reporting the facts,” which is the ultimate journalistic cop-out. This was exactly the defense used by the reporter in Clint Eastwood’s fine new movie on Atlanta Olympics non-bomber Richard Jewell when confronted by Jewell and his lawyer. MSMers would do the same if you questioned their constant, provoking “Corona death toll reaches ___” headlines.

But even The Chicago Tribune knew better than to phrase this trend that way. Is price gouging a real concern? Yes, and more to me than The Chicago Tribune, judging by the space they gave the story.

But it probably won’t be a concern at all to MSNBC because Illinois is a solidly Democratic state which has no chance of flipping to Trump, and Illinois also has a (billionaire, aristocratic) Democratic governor. The hyper-partisan channel is happy to excuse in Democrats what they shame Republicans for; their editorial line is – ignore blue state malfeasances, attack red states.

(FYI, my headline’s colon is negligent because MSNBC has not reported on this story, and the colon implies that. Should have been a comma.)

I like to read the business sections of the world’s top papers and media when I can – you often find the most serious hard news there – and certainly we all have time off now. I figure it’s either do that or panic. That’s how I found this price gouging story.

I also had time to check out fake-leftist darling/rightly-guided prophet Rachel Maddow’s latest show: she opened with the Spanish ice rink converted to a morgue story, which was the most eye-catching, panic-inducing, if-it-bleeds-it-leads choice possible to start her show.

That was terrible journalism.

In my first article on the corona crisis I quickly got to the point: “The problem in the West is that those in power during the corona crisis should not be in power.”

Maddow, incredibly, has become the Walter Cronkite of seemingly one-third of the US despite constantly evincing atrocious and sensationalistic journalism standards.

In 2018, for fun while on vacation, I wrote a minute-by-minute analysis of one of her shows, which just happened to be about (of course) her one-woman Russophobia campaign: “This was supposed to be a funny article, but when you diagram it out…I rather feel like I just watched Joseph McCarthy at work.”

Why would we assume that instead of McCarthyist red-baiting (and I have more red in my pinky toenail clippings than Maddow has in her whole body) or Russophobia-baiting or Trump-baiting, Maddow isn’t now fine with corona-baiting? Her viewers do not seem to ever ask themselves this fundamental question.

Of course, as many foreigners know: in the US there is no such thing as “propaganda” – that only exists in other countries.

Kudos to Maddow for being a Rhodes Scholar, but that does not make her qualified to be a journalist, and certainly not one holding such a vital position.

Journalists, of course, need no official qualifications. It’s a craft and not a profession – there is no single code of conduct, nor any board to revoke your license as no such license exists. A journalism degree is a nice way to start learning the craft but not necessary (Maddow does not have one), and who on earth would waste their time getting a Master’s in Journalism (except journalism professors)? The US public airwaves are not nationalised, and nearly all privately-owned, so forget about governmental review boards for civil servant journalists.

My irresponsible/negligent use of colons is thus no problem: my colon, my business. And that’s no matter how much confusion I sow. And maybe this is all a problem? But in the “free speech” loving West such ideas are verboten.

From what I can gather Maddow’s only serious daily journalism job was as a local morning radio talk show host. FYI – US morning talk radio is about as serious as the regular flu (although that may now be upgraded to semi-pandemic status). Then she was tapped for hosting a show with a US rapper. I simply don’t observe in her work any solid grounding in the craft of journalism and the importance of its social responsibilities. As I wrote in that article: “As a journalist you can’t make an unproven claim just because you hope the future proves you right.”

CNN’s Anderson Cooper may be a scion of the oligarch Vanderbilt family, and while he did admit to working for the CIA for two summers he has way, way more serious journalistic experience than Maddow: He waited 10-15 minutes before running the Spanish ice morgue story on his show last night.

Not such good politicians, not such good governors, not such good journalists = a really good response to the Corona crisis? That’s pretty funny math.

What’s stunning as well is to see how – even amid what they are telling us is a huge global pandemic which rivals the Spanish Flu of 1918 (even though it clearly does not) – the Western MSM continues to obsess with degrading Donald Trump: in their broadcast media it’s still taking up a huge proportion of their coverage. But how can a daily habit dating from November 2016 be shut off so easily?

Well, journalist, it’s your job to roll with the punches, eh? You should be able to easily transition from a pandemic story to a cat-in-the-tree-rescue story to covering the local high school football game. This is what good journalists can do.

But the MSM doesn’t want good journalists, especially in front of the camera or at the editor’s desk; you do get good journalists writing columns. Newspapers, after all, are a whole different kettle of fish than TV, radio and internet journalism.

There has been a long-running trend in Western journalism: I call it the “sports-journalization of news journalism”. Everything is presented as a dramatic game, or a “war”; statistics (minus analysis and discernment) are paramount; incredibly juvenile attitudes and behaviors are not just considered normal, but expected.

Have you ever dealt with any sports journalists? I have: they are by far the most juvenile, emotionally-stunted people in any newsroom.

They often are gamblers and drunks – how else can you possibly get excited about covering a local high school football game time after time? Of course they are emotionally-stunted: they are covering something which can be fairly called more juvenile than the fashion or (what they used to call the) society pages, and how juvenile are those sections? These guys hope to make it to the big time one day: to stand next to the used jock strap laundry basket while naked men answer questions about why the ball bounced funny that one time.

Don’t give me anecdotal evidence – I know sports journalists who are intelligent, artistic, suave, upstanding people, sure. But if I had a daughter who said she was marrying a sports journalist I’d think: “Well, I should get some free tickets, which are so expensive now due to inflation… but I can’t talk about inflation with this guy: This guy probably only wants to talk about stuff 8-year olds excitedly discuss.”

My point is: in broadcast journalism the journalists who get promoted in the West best apply the absurd, childish dramatics of sports journalism into hard news issues, and especially in the US. France’s media isn’t nearly as bad: they have far more newspapers; they actually have normal-looking people as anchors on the top channels; they have far more state-run channels; they have state subsidies for media to provide some stable revenue. The UK is, of course, terrible and tabloid, but at least they are hilarious.

So of course the US is hyper-partisan, hyper-panicked, hyper-dramatic and hyper-susceptible to things which adults should not be. A sign of adulthood is putting away childish things and acting responsibly on serious issues.

Sports is the ultimate reality TV – yes, we men grasped that first! – but who doesn’t know it’s only an empty-calorie diversion? The sports-journalization of US media, contrarily, has made their hard news an empty-calorie diversion, and this trend diverts the public’s attention into the worst, bloodiest, scariest aspects of the Corona virus situation.

This article from the great website CounterPunch is an extension of my first article on Corona: Starvation, bad water, urban violence, imperialist war – these, and others, kill far, far more innocents annually than Corona: Where has been the panic for those?

Such things often don’t come near to touching the White fake-leftist class in America, which slavishly follows MSNBC. However, Corona might touch them – thus the panic and, above all with them: outrage, outrage, outrage.

If we judge by the Western MSM sports scoreboard (and what’s more capitalist-imperialist than competition?): Western good sense is getting its butt kicked during the Corona crisis.


Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’.

Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience?

March 22, 2020

Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience?

by Ramin Mazaheri, exclusive for the Saker Blog

In the UK an average of just 600 people die from influenza every year, a testament to the major socialist concept the incredibly rich island has tolerated – the National Health Service.

In the US, where the biggest socialist concept they have tolerated is Social Security – to prevent mass elder-class starvation – the lack of health care annually kills 11 times more people than in the UK (proportionally). “It’s fine,” they say in the US – the price of freedom. Freedom of expression above all.

However, all of a sudden everyone across the West cares about preventing mostly-preventable flu deaths. Really?

In fact, apparently the West cares more than anybody: South Korea quarantined some neighborhoods, China one major city, Iran encouraged a national quarantine, but the West wants two entire continents to stay at home.

What overreaction? The West just has a huge heart – haven’t their capitalist and Christian evangelists been saying that for four centuries?

In fact, how dare you possible micro-trigger a Westerner by suggesting an overblown macro-triggering? The vastly, vastly, VASTLY greater reaction of the West than of China, South Korea and Iran is entirely merited, and this cannot be questioned. Or so they keep shouting.

The problem in the West is that those in power during the corona crisis should not be in power.

Firstly, whereas in China it is as hard to get into the vanguard Communist Party as the Ivy League, in the West all one needs is rich friends or friends with clout. So of course the quality of the West’s public service response to corona could have been predicted to be comparatively inferior.

The fourth estate and unofficial branch of government, the media, is similarly compromised: I can’t read Chinese to verify if they are calming a panic instead of inflaming it, but I can read the dire warnings broadcast 24/7 by the Western MSM, whose ratings are surely through the roof. Very over-dramatic, indeed. Personally, I have encouraged anyone who will listen to heed my professional media opinion regarding this corona crisis: the less time you spend watching the Western MSM the saner and more stable you will be during this crisis. Your family will thank you.

In the West technocrats are in power: thus, in an epidemic we must all listen to doctors and statistical-modelling specialists. Both are quite well-paid jobs. Western technocratism means that the West absolutely cannot have policy even partially dictated by the needs or experiences of their legion of middle-aged, single-mother waitresses; or any of the 40% of Americans who don’t have $500 to cover an emergency; or any part of the Yellow Vest-supporting Europeans who have had their social safety net slashed by unending banker bailouts and austerity measures.

The interpretation of statistics, and the public policy such statistics should influence – these things surely cannot be influenced by ideology, can they? I agree though – better to listen to nerds than to not get a second medical opinion.

Let’s not act like they are Cuban: US doctors are perfectly at ease with you being homeless over unpaid medical bills, and they don’t want you forcing them to go work on the front lines to cover this flu crisis. Cynical? Well, I am a daily-hack journalist, but is it such a taboo thought to think when you see yet another doctor handing down a life-and-death proclamation with smug certainty, yet again? Doctors are never wrong… yet the third-largest cause of death in the US is malpractice.

Given this undoubted difference in terms of public policy servants and public policy explainers, why on earth should we assume that the West’s public servants are going to outshine Eastern ones? However, what can and cannot be achieved in these countries is also very different.

On a social level China, South Korea and Iran are Asian societies which are fundamentally more patriarchal and social, whereas Western societies are more matriarchal and individualist. This means that in the West many overworked single mothers are being inflamed into OCD-level sanitizings, while non-deadbeat divorced Dads are proving their all-conquering filial love by fist-fighting over toilet paper for Junior.

As stay at home orders – which vary from suggestions to promises of fines – proliferate across the West I will go out on a limb and say that many Westerners will go far further and treat the orders as if they were martial law. Yes, Westerners insist that they are more freedom-loving and unable to tie down than any Muslim nomad, but I recall a quite compliant response during the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and subsequent lockdown. American libertarianism is only for good times, it seems.

Contrarily, it is rather amusing that on the first day of spring – a day celebrated as Nowruz in Iran – some regions reported that holiday traffic was 98% as high as in 2019 despite official pleas to stay at home. That is very European of Iranians – nothing stops an Iranian’s vacation, too. Of course, their vacations are not to go and cheaply break anti-nudity laws in Tunisia but to visit relative after relative after relative. But the point is made: with warmth, happiness and in a group, all of the Islamic Republic of Iran simply must celebrate this pagan holiday. What a bunch of fundamentalist Muslims, indeed. As regards to the “Great McDonald’s Satan”: Nothing starts their vacations: worker instability and workaholism incredibly translates into half their workforce with paid vacations being too unwilling to use their paltry number of vacation days; half of all US workers overall work in “low-wage” jobs, meaning they can’t afford vacations period.

But the incredibly elevated conscience of the West is indicated by their incredibly more drastic response that that of the East’s: they are apparently willing to trash their already weak, corruption-rotted, unsuccessful austerity/QE economies to prevent flu deaths among the elderly with significant existing medical conditions.

Bottom line: the West is choosing to avoid flu deaths among the sick elderly now but may wind up with far more deaths due to the mass unemployment and economic chaos they view as the only solution to corona. But bad economics kills, too.

Whatever it takes… not to the save the Eurozone, but to end it?

But economics can’t be discussed in the West: TINA – there is no solution to “capitalism with American characteristics”. Those are “global values”.

Anyway, bad economic policies don’t kill – the market does. And the market cannot be stopped or regulated.

Sure, markets can crash, and ruin the 401k retirement plans (i.e. the US “pension system” – ugh! Terrible… but it makes NYC bankers and stockbrokers happy), of the elderly class, but the US can’t close or control the markets. Sorry Gramps! You survived corona but you’re 30% more busted.

Say goodbye to the Bernie Sanders campaign – in a crisis US (fake) leftists will fall in line for stability, pragmatism and personal safety, just like in 2008. The US is a dog-eat-dog capitalist-imperialist society and in a global crisis the US dog has to make sure they can keep eating the foreign dogs, after all. International solidarity is for socialist suckers; Western sanctions on corona medicine must remain to try and implode Iran, Cuba, etc.

But, as I have written about for years: the Eurozone remains the largest macro-economy and yet also the weakest link in the macro-economy. They have, few want to admit, already had a Lost Decade. Quantitative Easing and Zero Interest Rate Policies have only re-inflated the 1%er bubbles in the FIRE (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate) markets. It’s incredible: the Western economy is so kindly shutting down for weeks even though they are even more over-leveraged in 2020 than in the 2008 economic crisis, which was sparked by over-leveraging. Don’t the doctors, epidemiologists and helicopter moms know that?

Contrarily, China has had recent decades of spectacular growth, as has South Korea. So has Iran, from the end of the Iraq War until 2012, when the inhuman triple sanctions (EU, UN, US) were levied, and then successes were further delayed by the 2014 oil price collapse.

Incredibly crucially for the ambitions of the corona virus, those three nations have ideologies, histories and cultures which have given their governments far, far more control over their economies. Certainly, in a time of crisis they have more levers to pull to help their nations as well as the willingness to pull them (unlike, say US Republicans/Libertarians).

Some smart journalists have pointed out to Westerners that corona is showing what life is like under Western sanctions. Nations like Iran, Venezuela, China (sanctioned for over two decades post-1949) are quite used to such a life, but: welcome to the party – you appear quite awkward and nervous.

I understand your concern: the US is proudly dog-eat-dog, and the neoliberal, post-1989-inspired structure adopted by the European Union is the dog-eat-dog model the US wishes their Founding Fathers had been dumb enough to implement.

Corona is bad, certainly, but bad economics kills too. Are we trading fewer corona deaths now for even more regular flu deaths in 6 months, caused by all the people pushed into poverty by the Great Recession tipping into the Great Depression 2? This is a vital question, and not a heartless one at all.

We are all in this together, and that’s yet another affirmation of post-1917 socialist worldviews, but at the end of the corona crisis we can all only reap what we have nationally sown.

China eats dogs, and they will pick up the pieces of those whose sowings compounded the corona crisis; whose overreactions – provoked by a lack of economic stability, physical security and emotional trust in many social areas – threaten to pop Everything Bubble 2, which is a verifiable economic reality and not journalistic hyperbole. Russia and Iran will likely be forced to play custodian, too. This is the same century-old story that we have seen in fascist Germany, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Syria, etc.

I hope wherever you are that you and your family are healthy, and that you have faith in the goodness and capability of your nation’s leaders. You’re going to need them, and me as well. (Joe Biden, really?)

Me, I’m going out. I’m a journalist, the most despised – and by a huge margin – of all the first-responders, LOL. However, watching many of my Mainstream Media colleagues during the corona crisis reminds me why this is the case.

If the West’s response does prove to have been an overreaction – if China’s shut down of Wuhan and a few smaller cities was not supposed to replicated on a multi-continental level, in large part because the West does not have the socialist-inspired policy tools to take such extreme preventative measures – then resentment towards mainstream journalists will, and should, only increase.

So that would be something good from corona. In fact, here will be a lot of positives from Corona, but many of them left-handed.

The new year just began; it’s the second day of spring; the world will not end in the next 30 days – I find it hard to be hysterical, negative and over-dramatic, personally. Enjoy being home alone, if that’s what you insist on.

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’.

Soleimani: The ‘Muslim Che Guevara’ dies, but revolutionary culture continues

January 05, 2020

A demonstrator holds the picture of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani during a protest against the assassination in Baghdad of the Iranian commander by the United States, in Tehran, Iran, on January 3, 2020. (Photo by Reuters)

By Ramin Mazaheri – PressTV

“ A people without hate cannot triumph over a brutal enemy.” – Che Guevara

The assassination on Iraqi soil of Iran’s Qassem Soleimani will produce many things, and global resentment and hatred for Washington is undoubtedly already one of them.

Around the world the assessment is the same: Washington has committed an act of war. In their bloodlust to reverse Iran’s popular and democratic revolution – in order to keep feeding their bottomless neo-imperial greed –  Washington has electroshocked the world into remembering its brutal immorality: one remembers the pain of doctor’s needle with more clarity than the pain of a week-long illness, after all.

There will be so many ramifications to this cowardly, illegal, inhuman act – which so nakedly aims to be of profit solely to the US elite and not the average American – that we should take time to historically assess the true legacy of Soleimani: 

he is the Muslim Che Guevara.

He is not merely the “Iranian Che Guevara” because that makes no sense given Che’s ideals: Just like the Argentinian, Soleimani spent many years of his life fighting US imperialism in many countries and ultimately died in a foreign land out of his certainty in the reality of international brotherhood.

Remains of Gen. Soleimani arrive in Iran for cross-country funeral

Remains of Gen. Soleimani arrive in Iran for cross-country funeralThe remains of anti-terror commander General Qassem Soleimani and his companions have arrived in the southern Iranian city of Ahvaz from Iraq where they were assassinated by the US early Friday.

Limiting Soleimani’s legacy to the “Iranian Che Guevara” also makes no sense given the ideals of the Iranian revolution: Soleimani’s death reminds the world that Iran – seemingly alone in the anti-imperialist struggle in 2019 – repeatedly gives their time, money, blood, love and lives to non-Iranians out of a sense of progressive political internationalism.

Che Guevara died in October 1967 in Bolivia. The group Che died with was international, including Peruvians, Argentinians, Cubans, Bolivians and even two Europeans. Without Soleimani’s presence in Iraq and Syria both of those countries would be under total imperialist domination today, and probably Lebanon as well.

The Iranian revolution is just as international in scope and reach as the Cuban revolution Che was a part of creating and defending. Iran’s critics say they want to turn every Muslim into a Shia and make the laws of Iran the laws of the entire world…. but that is obviously the hubris of the imperialist West – Iran’s progressive goal is not control but liberation of the masses and then their empowerment.

Few Westerners seem to realize that the primary motivation of Che – perhaps the very picture of internationalism –  was undoubtedly Latin American nationalism: his dream was the same as Bolivar’s (and Cuba’s Marti and others in Chile, Nicaragua, etc.). For those who see the anti-imperialist struggle with historical accuracy, there is in an obvious parallel here with the “Muslim World nationalism” of Iran’s Soleimani.

Only the religion-phobes, the uselessly pedantic and the outright Iranophobes and Islamophobes will fail to see that.

Soleimani’s assassination may trigger end of US military presence in Iraq: Paper

Soleimani’s assassination may trigger end of US military presence in Iraq: PaperGeneral Soleimani’s assassination may trigger the ultimate objective of ending the US military presence in Iraq, a British paper says.

It’s no matter to billions of people if such persons remain blind: Just like Soleimani, Che was disavowed by the leading leftists and revolutionaries of his day – the USSR detested Che and his bold resistance to Washington, which few recall. (Like Iran today, Che was appreciative of the Chinese view.) Moscow insisted – in their quite European fashion – that only they should lead and strategise the fight against Western imperialism. In short: now that the USSR had been liberated from foreign imperialism, nobody else needed to take up arms anymore. Of course, at the time of Che’s death the USSR was no longer led by the anti-fascist hero Che affectedly called “Daddy Stalin” – Khrushchev, Brezhnev and finally Gorbachev would grow decadent, corrupt, even renounce Soviet support for international anti-imperialist struggles, and finally wilfully implode the USSR from the very top and against the overwhelming democratic will of the Soviet people.

To the Western leftists – or anywhere else in the world – who can’t see clearly: Why did they kill Soleimani, too? Do they still think he was, to use a term popular in the US around 2003, an “Islamo-fascist”? Washington is certainly fascist, but they are not so very Islamophobic to kill Soleimani over being a Muslim. I hope this group keeps trying – one day they’ll finally understand. 

Che was assassinated because his explicit goal was to create “multiple Vietnams”. Surely many streets will be named after Soleimani in Syria, and Iraq, and even Palestine (if Iran could get some help from Arab nations). Soleimani was undoubtedly a success.

But the invasion, sanctions, re-invasion and occupation of Iraq never motivated the West like Vietnam. Why? Islamophobia, perhaps. The injustice towards Iraqis did, however, motivate Iranians like Soleimani.

Was Che a success? He failed in Bolivia and the Congo, but Cuba remains the “first free country in the Americas”, and many would rightly say the only. Less appreciated is how Cuba fought alongside non-Latin Angola – who had the misfortune of being colonised by the most backwards Western imperialist (Portugal) – and how this directly led to the end of Apartheid in South Africa. Che was undoubtedly a success.

Axis of resistance to respond decisively to Gen. Soleimani’s assassination: Top Hezbollah official

Axis of resistance to respond decisively to Gen. Soleimani’s assassination: Top Hezbollah officialA top Hezbollah official says the response of the axis of resistance to the US assassination of General Qassem Soleimani will be decisive.

In the West Che is only a successful way to make money – his face sells all types of merchandise – but the notion that his ideas are remembered, understood or (LOL) taught is laughable. For the West Che merely symbolises romance, not revolution, politics or morality.

And that’s where this article moves on from placing Soleimani in his proper historical context.

If Iranians think that continuing their revolution is just romance and posing – instead of a necessary self-sacrifice, which is undertaken with no expectation of earthly reward (and in fact more likely to produce quite the contrary), in order to prevent brutality and hate ruining the lives of tens of millions of Iranians – then their revolution will fail. Revolutions often fail: ask the French. They still celebrate it every Bastille Day, but that is more romance and posing.

For those non-Iranians who think the Iranian revolution is not needed globally, and especially regionally, urgently – just go ask an Iraqi, Syrian or Palestinian if they agree. Other countries will be included one day, and I am first thinking of those areas which are so deeply vital to Islamic culture, such as Egypt, Morocco and Arabia. One day the sons and daughters of Che and Soleimani will unite in countries which are neither Muslim nor Latin, Inshallah.

For those who think Soleimani will be the last atrocious slaying it is necessary to recall that the death of Che was only the first – Sukarno, Nkrumah, Ben Bella, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy soon followed.

However, we should not forget they were preceded domestically by Malcolm X and John Kennedy – assassination is not at all a new policy for the US, and we should not imagine that suddenly is now. The goal of such assassinations is clear: to discourage future revolutionaries, and also to retard ongoing anti-imperialist movements.

Iraqi parliament passes law legalizing Popular Mobilization Units

Iraqi parliament passes law legalizing Popular Mobilization UnitsThe Iraqi parliament votes to transform Popular Mobilization Units into a legal and separate military corps.

However, I am not worried that the Iranian Revolution will fall with Soleimani, and I mean that with reverence for his sacrifice and achievements: the idea that a popular revolution can (or should) rest on the work of one man alone… this is not revolution, nor popular, but the “great man-ism” of Western capitalism-imperialism. This is Macron, Rhodesia, Louis XIV, Churchill, and, of course, Trump. A successful revolutionary culture produces a system which is able to produce moral and capable leaders over and over and over until the revolution is truly secure – Iranians have more than 40 years of successful revolution upon which to justifiably base their faith in the future, despite these sad days.

Trump has committed an act of war, but a quick, hasty revenge will almost certainly be detrimental to the many just causes Soleimani and others have sacrificed so much for. Soleimani did not become the Muslim Che Guevara and repeatedly triumph over a brutal enemy by placing the good of one person over the good of the nation and the good of the struggle.

Angola provides the best example of how Che’s death should have been dealt with: they launched an anti-imperialist offensive called “Che is not dead”, which proved to be the beginning of the end of Portuguese control over Guinea-Bissau and then of the entire Portuguese empire by 1974.

Thanks in large part to Soleimani’s efforts, after so many decades of Western-led corruption, hate and brutality Iraq appears strong enough that they may even be able to expel the US immediately and even peacefully. I don’t think Soleimani would ask for any greater legacy than that – this is what he died for.

(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism.’

سليماني: وفاة “مسلم تشي جيفارا” ، لكن الثقافة الثورية مستمرة

بقلم رامين مظاهري

رامين ماظاهري هو المراسل الرئيسي في باريس لتلفزيون برس ، ويقيم في فرنسا منذ عام 2009. عمل مراسلاً لصحيفة يومية في الولايات المتحدة ، وقد نشر تقارير من إيران وكوبا ومصر وتونس وكوريا الجنوبية وأماكن أخرى. وهو مؤلف كتب “سأحطم كل شيء أنت: إنهاء الدعاية الغربية بشأن الصين الحمراء” و “الاشتراكية المتجاهلة النجاح: الاشتراكية الإسلامية الإيرانية” المقبلة.

“لا يمكن لشعب بلا كراهية الانتصار على عدو وحشي” – تشي جيفارا

إن اغتيال قاسم سليماني على أرض العراق سينتج عنه أشياء كثيرة ، ولا شك أن الاستياء والكراهية العالميين لواشنطن هو أحدهما بالفعل.

التقييم في جميع أنحاء العالم هو نفسه: لقد ارتكبت واشنطن عمل حرب. في غمرة دمائهم لعكس ثورة إيران الشعبية والديمقراطية – من أجل الاستمرار في إطعام جشعهم الإمبريالي الجديد الذي لا نهاية له – صدمت واشنطن العالم بأسره لتتذكر مخالفته الوحشية: يتذكر المرء ألم إبرة الطبيب بمزيد من الوضوح أكثر من ألم الأسبوع. مرض طويل ، بعد كل شيء.

سيكون هناك الكثير من التداعيات على هذا العمل الجبان وغير القانوني واللاإنساني – الذي يهدف بشكل مكشوف إلى تحقيق ربح فقط للنخبة الأمريكية وليس المواطن الأمريكي العادي – لدرجة أننا يجب أن نأخذ الوقت لتقييم تاريخياً للتراث الحقيقي لسليماني: المسلم تشي جيفارا.

إنه ليس مجرد “تشي تشي جيفارا الإيراني” لأن هذا لا معنى له في ضوء مُثُل تشي: تمامًا مثل الأرجنتيني ، قضى سليماني سنوات عديدة من حياته يقاتل الإمبريالية الأمريكية في العديد من البلدان وتوفي في النهاية في أرض أجنبية بدافع اليقين في حقيقة الإخاء الدولي.

إن قصر تراث سليماني على “تشي تشي جيفارا الإيراني” ليس له أي معنى أيضًا في ضوء مُثُل الثورة الإيرانية: إن وفاة سليماني تذكر العالم بأن إيران – التي تبدو وحدها في الكفاح ضد الإمبريالية في عام 2019 – تعطي مرارًا وتكرارًا وقتهم وأموالهم ودمائهم ، الحب والعيش لغير الإيرانيين بدافع الإحساس بالأممية السياسية التقدمية.

توفي تشي جيفارا في أكتوبر 1967 في بوليفيا. كانت المجموعة التي مات بها تشي دولية ، بما في ذلك البيروفيين والأرجنتين والكوبيين والبوليفيين وحتى الأوروبيين. وبدون وجود سليماني في العراق وسوريا ، سيكون كلا هذين البلدين تحت السيطرة الإمبريالية الكاملة اليوم ، وربما لبنان أيضًا.

إن الثورة الإيرانية ذات نطاق عالمي ومدى انتشارها كما كانت الثورة الكوبية تشي جزءًا من الإبداع والدفاع. يقول منتقدو إيران إنهم يريدون تحويل كل مسلم إلى شيعة وجعل قوانين إيران قوانين العالم بأسره …. لكن من الواضح أن هذا هو غطرسة الغرب الإمبريالي – فهدف إيران التدريجي ليس السيطرة بل تحرير الجماهير ثم تمكينها.

يبدو أن القليل من الغربيين يدركون أن الدافع الأساسي لتشي – ربما صورة الأممية – كان بلا شك القومية الأمريكية اللاتينية: كان حلمه هو نفسه حلم بوليفار (ومارتي كوبا وغيرها من تشيلي ونيكاراغوا ، إلخ). بالنسبة لأولئك الذين يرون النضال ضد الإمبريالية بدقة تاريخية ، هناك في موازاة واضحة هنا مع “القومية العالم الإسلامي” من سليماني إيران.

فقط رهاب الدين ، الإيرانيين الفاشلين غير المجاهدين والصواب والخوف من الإسلاموفوبس سيفشلون في رؤية ذلك.

لا يهم المليارات من الناس إذا ظل هؤلاء الأشخاص عمياء: تمامًا مثل سليماني ، تم التخلي عن تشي من قبل كبار اليساريين والثوريين في عصره – الاتحاد السوفيتي كره تشي ومقاومته الجريئة لواشنطن ، وهو ما يذكره القليلون. (مثل إيران اليوم ، كان تشي يقدر وجهة النظر الصينية). أصرت موسكو – بأسلوبها الأوروبي تمامًا – على أنها فقط يجب أن تقود وتضع استراتيجية للحرب ضد الإمبريالية الغربية. باختصار: الآن بعد أن تم تحرير الاتحاد السوفيتي من الإمبريالية الأجنبية ، لم يعد هناك من يحتاج إلى حمل السلاح بعد الآن. بالطبع ، في وقت وفاة تشي ، لم يكن الاتحاد السوفييتي يقوده البطل المعادي للفاشية تشي المتأثر “دادي ستالين” – خروشوف ، بريجنيف وأخيراً غورباتشوف سوف يزداد الدعم السوفييتي للانحطاط الدولي المناهض للإمبريالية النضال ، وأخيرا تنفجر عن عمد الاتحاد السوفياتي من القمة وضد الإرادة الديمقراطية الساحقة للشعب السوفياتي.

إلى اليساريين الغربيين – أو في أي مكان آخر في العالم – الذين لا يستطيعون رؤية بوضوح: لماذا قتلوا سليماني أيضًا؟ هل ما زالوا يعتقدون أنه ، لاستخدام مصطلح شائع في الولايات المتحدة حوالي عام 2003 ، “فاشي إسلامي”؟ من المؤكد أن واشنطن فاشية ، لكنهم ليسوا من الإسلاميين الذين يقتلون سليماني بسبب كونهم مسلمين. آمل أن تستمر هذه المجموعة في المحاولة – في يوم ما سيفهمون في النهاية.

تم اغتيال تشي لأن هدفه الواضح كان إنشاء “فيتنام متعددة”. بالتأكيد سيتم تسمية العديد من الشوارع باسم سليماني في سوريا والعراق وحتى فلسطين (إذا كانت إيران قد تحصل على بعض المساعدة من الدول العربية). كان سليماني بلا شك نجاحًا.

لكن الغزو والعقوبات وإعادة الغزو والاحتلال للعراق لم يحفز الغرب مثل فيتنام. لماذا ا؟ رهاب الإسلام ، ربما. ومع ذلك ، فإن الظلم تجاه العراقيين قد حفز الإيرانيين مثل سليماني.

كان تشي النجاح؟ لقد فشل في بوليفيا والكونغو ، لكن كوبا لا تزال “أول بلد حر في الأمريكتين” ، وكثيرون سيقولون بحق فقط. أما الأمر الأقل تقديراً فهو كيف قاتلت كوبا إلى جانب أنغولا غير اللاتينية – التي عانت من سوء حظ الاستعمار من قبل الإمبرياليين الغربيين الأكثر تخلفاً (البرتغال) – وكيف أدى ذلك مباشرة إلى نهاية نظام الفصل العنصري في جنوب إفريقيا. كان تشي بلا شك نجاحًا.

في الغرب ، ليست تشي سوى وسيلة ناجحة لكسب المال – وجهه يبيع جميع أنواع البضائع – لكن فكرة أن أفكاره يتم تذكرها أو فهمها أو تعليمها (LOL) أمر مضحك. بالنسبة للغرب ، تشي فقط ترمز إلى الرومانسية وليس إلى الثورة أو السياسة أو الأخلاق.

وهنا ينتقل هذا المقال من وضع سليماني في سياقه التاريخي المناسب.

إذا كان الإيرانيون يعتقدون أن استمرار ثورتهم هو مجرد حب وتظاهر – بدلاً من التضحية بالنفس الضرورية ، والتي يتم القيام بها دون توقع لمكافأة دنيوية (وفي الواقع من المرجح أن تنتج عكس ذلك تمامًا) ، من أجل منع الوحشية والكراهية تدمير حياة عشرات الملايين من الإيرانيين – ثم ثورتهم ستفشل. الثورات غالبا ما تفشل: اسأل الفرنسيين. ما زالوا يحتفلون به في كل يوم من أيام الباستيل ، لكن هذا هو المزيد من الرومانسية والتظاهر.

بالنسبة لأولئك غير الإيرانيين الذين يعتقدون أن الثورة الإيرانية ليست ضرورية على المستوى العالمي ، وخاصة على المستوى الإقليمي ، على وجه السرعة – ما عليك سوى أن تسأل عراقيًا أو سوريًا أو فلسطينيًا إذا وافقوا على ذلك. سيتم إدراج بلدان أخرى في يوم من الأيام ، وأنا أفكر أولاً في تلك المجالات التي تعتبر حيوية للغاية للثقافة الإسلامية ، مثل مصر والمغرب والجزيرة العربية. في يوم من الأيام ، سيتحد أبناء وبنات تشي وسليماني في بلدان ليست مسلمة ولا لاتينية ، إن شاء الله.

بالنسبة لأولئك الذين يعتقدون أن سليماني سيكون آخر جريمة قتل فظيعة ، من الضروري أن نتذكر أن وفاة تشي كانت الأولى فقط – سوكارنو ونكروما وبن بيلا ومارتن لوثر كينغ وروبرت كينيدي سرعان ما تبع ذلك.

ومع ذلك ، لا ينبغي لنا أن ننسى أن مالكوم إكس وجون كينيدي سبقهما على الصعيد المحلي – الاغتيال ليس على الإطلاق سياسة جديدة للولايات المتحدة ، ويجب ألا نتصور أن الأمر أصبح مفاجئًا الآن. هدف مثل هذه الاغتيالات واضح: لتثبيط الثوار في المستقبل ، وكذلك تأخير الحركات المستمرة المناهضة للإمبريالية.

ومع ذلك ، لست قلقًا من سقوط الثورة الإيرانية مع سليماني ، وأعني بذلك تقديسًا لتضحياته وإنجازاته: فكرة أن الثورة الشعبية يمكن (أو ينبغي) أن تعتمد على عمل رجل واحد بمفرده … هذه ليست ثورة ، ولا شعبية ، ولكن “العظم العظيم” للإمبريالية الغربية. هذا هو ماكرون ، روديسيا ، لويس الرابع عشر ، تشرشل ، وبطبيعة الحال ، ترامب. تنتج الثقافة الثورية الناجحة نظامًا قادرًا على إنتاج قادة أخلاقيين وقادرين مرارًا وتكرارًا حتى تصبح الثورة آمنة حقًا – يتمتع الإيرانيون بأكثر من 40 عامًا من الثورة الناجحة التي يمكن أن يبني عليها إيمانهم في المستقبل ، على الرغم من هؤلاء أيام حزينة.

لقد ارتكب ترامب عملا حربيا ، ولكن من المؤكد أن الانتقام السريع المتسرع سيضر بالكثير من الأسباب العادلة التي ضحى بها سليماني وآخرون ضحوا بالكثير من أجلها. لم يصبح سليماني المسلم تشي غيفارا وانتصر مرارًا وتكرارًا على عدو وحشي من خلال وضع مصلحة شخص واحد على خير الأمة وخير النضال.

تقدم أنغولا أفضل مثال على كيفية التعامل مع وفاة تشي: لقد شنوا هجومًا معاديًا للإمبريالية أطلق عليه “تشي لم يمت” ، والذي أثبت أنه بداية نهاية السيطرة البرتغالية على غينيا بيساو ثم الإمبراطورية البرتغالية بأكملها بحلول عام 1974.

ويرجع الفضل في ذلك إلى حد كبير إلى جهود سليماني ، بعد عقود طويلة من الفساد بقيادة الغرب ، والكراهية والوحشية ، يبدو أن العراق قوي بما يكفي حتى يتمكن من طرد الولايات المتحدة على الفور وحتى بسلام. لا أعتقد أن سليماني سيطلب أي إرث أكبر من ذلك – هذا ما مات من أجله.

(الآراء المعبر عنها في هذا المقال لا تعكس بالضرورة آراء Press TV).

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Why the ‘Left’ is Dead in the Water (revisited)

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Introduction: Following his party’s catastrophic defeat, humiliated Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn announced this morning that he would discuss with the party its need for a ‘process of reflection’ and promised that he himself “will lead the party during this period to ensure this discussion takes place.”

I will not hold my breath waiting for Labour to overcome its most acute problems. As a first step toward a recovery I would advise Corbyn and his caricature party that instead of suspending and expelling party members for reading yours truly, instead of expelling MPs for supporting my right to make a living as musician, or spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayers money trying to appease a foreign ardent right wing Lobby., the Labour partly/hardly should instead make my work compulsory reading for its members and leadership.

In this commentary from February 2019 I explain why the Left is dead in the water and why Corbyn’s Labour is a symptom of the total disaster that is the contemporary Left.

Why the ‘Left’ is Dead in the Water

By Gilad Atzmon

28.2.19

It seems that there is not much left of the Left and what remains has nothing to do with ‘Left.’

 Contemporary  ‘Left’ politics is detached from its natural constituency, working people. The so called ‘Left’ is basically a symbolic identifier for ‘Guardian readers’  a critical expression attributed to middle class people who, for some reason, claim to know what is good for the working class. How did this happen to the Left? Why was it derailed and by whom?

 Hierarchy is one answer. The capitalist and the corporate worlds operate on an intensely hierarchical basis. The path to leadership within a bank, management of a globally trading company or even high command in the military is of an evolutionary nature. Such power is acquired by a challenging climb within an increasingly  demanding system. It is all about the survival of the fittest. Every step entails new challenges. Failure at any step could easily result in a setback or even a career end. In the old good days, the Left also operated on a hierarchical system. There was a long challenging path from the local workers’ union to the national party. But the Left is hierarchical no more.

 Left ideology, like working class politics, was initially the byproduct of the industrial revolution. It was born to address the needs and demands of a new emerging class; those who were working day and night to make other people richer.  In the old days, when Left was a meaningful adventure, Left politicians grew out of workers’ unions. Those who were distinguished in representing and improving the conditions of their fellow workers made it to the trade unions and eventually into the national parties. None of that exists anymore.

 In a world without manufacturing, the working class have been removed from the consumption chain and demoted into an ‘under class.’ The contemporary Left politician has nothing to do with the workless people let alone the workless class.  The unions are largely defunct.  You won’t find many Labour politicians who have actually worked in factories and mixed with working people for real. No contemporary Left politician including Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders is the product of a struggle through a highly demanding hierarchical system as such a system hasn’t really existed within the Left  for at least four decades.

In most cases, the contemporary Left politician is a middle class university activist groomed through party politics activity. Instead of fighting for manufacturing and jobs, the Left has embraced the highly divisive identitarian battle.  While the old Left tended to unite us by leading the fight against the horrid capitalists rather than worrying about  whether you were a man or a woman, black or white, Jew or Muslim, gay or hetero, our present-day ‘Left’ actually promotes racial differences and divisions as it pushes people to identify with their biology (skin colour, gender, sexual orientation, Jewish maternal gene etc.) If the old Left united us against the capitalists, the contemporary ‘Left’ divides us and uses the funds it collects from capitalist foundations such as George Soros’ Open Society Institute.

 The British Labour party is a prime example of this. It is deaf to the cry of the lower classes. It claims to care ‘for the many’ but in practice is only attentive to a few voices within the intrusive Israeli Lobby. As Britain is struggling with the crucial debate over Brexit, British Labour has been focused instead on spurious  allegations of ‘antisemitsm.’  It is hard to see how any Left political body in the West even plans to bring more work to the people. The Left offers nothing in the way of a vision of a better society for all.  It is impossible to find the Left within the contemporary ‘Left.’

 Why has this happened to the Left, why has it become irrelevant?  Because by now the Left is a non-hierarchical system. It is an amalgam of uniquely ungifted people who made politics into their ‘career.’ Most Left politicians have never worked at a proper job where money is exchanged for merit, achievements or results. The vast majority of Left politicians have never faced the economic  challenges associated with the experience of being adults. Tragically such people can’t lead a country, a city, a borough or even a village.

The Left had a mostly positive run for about 150 years. But its role has come to an end as the condition of being in the world has been radically transformed. The Left failed to adapt. It removed itself from the universal ethos.

The shift in our human landscape has created a desperate need for a new ethos: a fresh stand point that will reinstate the Western Athenian ethical and universal roots and produce a new canon that aspires for truth and truthfulness as opposed to the current cancerous tyranny of correctness.


My battle for truth and freedom involves  some expensive legal services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me.

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Khashoggi Part 4: fake-leftism identical in Saudi Arabian or Western form

 

December 04, 2018

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker BlogKhashoggi Part 4: fake-leftism identical in Saudi Arabian or Western form

File it under “things we’d like to be true…so we never examine it”: The West’s unstated belief that their politics are exponentially morally superior to those of Saudi Arabia. “We only work with them – we are not at all like them,” is what it boils down to.

This article aims to show just how similar “Oriental despotism” is to “Occidental domination” in 2018 by revealing the similarity of Jamal Khashoggi’s socio-political vision to that of Westerners.

This is the final part in a 4-part series which aims to pull the sheet off Khashoggi, who is as much as a “reformer” as Hillary Clinton was a “leftist” or Emmanuel Macron was “centrist”. I think it’s necessary because there has been so much talk about Khashoggi, but very little examination of “Khashoggi-Thought” – what he espoused and stood for.

Part 1 showed what true “dissidents” in the Muslim World look like and why the elite-defending Khashoggi does not qualify; Part 2 showed how his rabid anti-Iran warmongering and his hysterical anti-Shia sectarianism precluded any possibility of his being even merely a “reformer”; Part 3 demystified and stripped the Islamophobia from “Salafism” to show that many in the West want to “return to a golden era” – like 1776 in America – just as Khashoggi and other Salafists want to return to 676; and also reminded readers that the West and the Muslim World are the only two regions of the world where we still find supporters of monarchy, which is an inherently reactionary and inegalitarian concept in 2018.

Khashoggi, just like Western conservatives and centrists, denied any sort of modern leftist political movement – socialism, Islamic socialism, etc. – which could undermine the social powers as apportioned up until the 19th century.

Pushing technocratic & elitist bourgeois democracy, anti-socialist economics, window-dressing cultural liberality, and rationalising warmongering is what modern fake-leftism is; because this definition fits Khashoggi, the Clintons, Macron, Blair and others, we now see how similar they are. Therefore, the death, and alleged martyrdom, of Khashoggi allows us to show what Western democracy truly wants to defend: we will see it stands 100% in favor of modern despotism – either/or monarchical or bourgeois – both in the Orient and the Occident.

Non-jingoistic Westerners should not be dismayed at such a thesis: it allows us to increase global unity by showing the similarity of the 1%.

Rationalising China’s success is a must across the West, but how do they do it in Saudi Arabia?

A good test to see if someone is a fake-leftist is to get their views on China. Everybody loves Cuba – music, dancing, beaches, cigars – so supporting them is too easy; it takes a real leftist to squint hard at China and see their leftist commitment and beauty.

If someone claims to be a leftist but only talks about the only-crimes-and-never-successes of the Great Leap Forward or the Cultural Revolution, instead of their 266% GDP increase since 2008…this person is a centrist at best – i.e. a fake-leftist. (I write from the Lost Decade-denying Eurozone, which is at -12% since 2008) Such persons get seriously annoyed at being properly pegged on the global political spectrum like this…but I did not invent the spectrum.

Absolutely everybody is starting to notice China’s huge leaps amid the West’s austerity-imposed suicide. But how do they explain it?

Is it the result of their rock-solid socialist constitution, written in 1982? Or is it by accusing the Chinese of having a totalitarian system? Or is it by accusing them of being “radishes” – only red on the outside. Due to their undeniable success, we journalists simply must make some explanation – what did Khashoggi choose?

Khashoggi provided the answer in this article run by Saudi media giant Al-Arabiya, Saudi Arabia, the Chinese model and Vision 2030.

It’s an interesting article because he basically tries to equate the Saudi monarchical governing class with the Chinese Communist Party. LOL, unexpected, no? The Long March, the Cultural Revolution, the Century of Humiliation – all that produced something…just like the blood-red commie “House of Saud Party”, if you believe Khashoggi!

“In fact, the Chinese economy has always been and continues to be a fair economy compared to similar totalitarian regimes. Moreover, the Chinese economy is suitable for all classes of the society and displays a firm determination to fight corruption to the point that leaders, who get involved in corruption, including receiving briberies or committing frauds, are executed.

I think Saudi Arabia can achieve the same because of its cultural background. It is an Islamic country….”

Seemingly no Muslim outside of Saudi Arabia would say that Saudi Arabia is an “Islamic country”; it is the “Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” and not even the “Islamic Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”. As I related in Part 3, a common line in the Muslim world is “Saudi Arabians are not Muslims, they are Wahhabis.”

Beyond the Islamic objections…it is rather hilarious that a total monarchist – a system based purely on class elitism, anti-democratic disempowerment, intimidation, and blood instead of brains – thinks that the House of Saud can all of a sudden produce something which “is suitable for all classes of the society”.

Such a misguided idea, since we must classify it in order to fully understand it, is an 18th century idea known as benevolent despotism…and it is totally reactionary. It’s unofficial motto of “Everything for the people, nothing by the people” is not remotely similar in essence or practice to the Peoples Democratic Dictatorship in China; it is, however, extremely similar to the ideal in Western Liberal Democracies in the 21st century, as they expound a (allegedly) merit-based, “benevolent technocratism”.

Benevolent technocratism – which was essentially the campaign platform of Hillary Clinton, and which provides the justification for (still-failing) economic policy domination by the Eurozone’s “best” economists – is 100% fake-leftism.

Benevolent technocratism is the same old despotism of the bourgeois, and thus fake-leftism

Khashoggi’s view of ideal governance is perfectly described for us in this same article:

“I like to simplify things for a better understanding before I try to make others understand them. That’s why I try to imagine the National Center as an operating room where in the middle is the Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman as the chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs surrounded by ministers, members of the Council, and other experts.

Right in front of them, I imagine personal computers linked to the room’s database and a few meters far many screens showing numbers and graphics with goals set for each ministry and government institution. I also imagine the chairman of the Council zooming in on one screen to see the reasons behind flaws and the concerned minister explaining why they occurred and suggesting solutions to tackle them. This system, as I imagine it, is able to make every minister work hard and held accountable.

From this scope, can the plan be monitored and its executors held accountable with complete transparency without an elected Council and without the basis of democracy to achieve the success of both the transformation plan and the Vision? Personally, I think this is possible but it can only happen in Saudi Arabia considering its social and cultural background, which is based on Islamic ethos and considering the fact that others have done it as well.”

Does anyone not envision Eurozone/EU leadership operating in the same “too smart to be touched by commoners” style? Khashoggi’s vision is basically to be a West European-aping technocracy where the “talented tenth” rules with assumed but unproven moral aims.

Khashoggi admits – and without shame – that this fantasy lacks democracy, but this fantasy is also robotic, technocratic, clinical and nearly inhuman. There is no way any of these so-called experts have spent a day sweating in the Saudi sun, yet they sit in total removal from Saudi society and decide policy for 33 millions. (Oh, and they’re all related, LOL; or, like in France, they all went to the same school.)

Crucially, because they have the data and computers then of course they will have the same success as China! Too bad political science is not a “science”, and that moral motivations matter. What Khashoggi fails to realize is that China’s “technocrats” get to the top by having a PhD in something not offered in any Western university: socialism (with Chinese characteristics).

The US, being not Western Europe, also aspires to ape this aristocracy, but for various reasons they only recently became even less class-mobile than Europe. This is why the loss of Hillary was so significant – it was a blow against this aristocratic technocratism which long-ago swept the West’s intellectual centre, Europe.

Contrarily, China’s President Xi spent seven years in the countryside during the Cultural Revolution (LOL, or according to The New York Times where he “fled” to), where he taught farmers how to read by firelight. In Cuba an admired and beloved small-town cobbler who just got elected to help keep Cuban parliament real – an unthinkable development in Western Liberal Democracies. In Iran there are plenty of representatives of the lower class all throughout the government, and this policy has been cemented by the totally-misunderstood Basij, which I tried to explain here.

Never uttered in the West: they believe that technocratism is more important than democracy

“The second frame of reference is China’s huge economic success, comes alongside arguments related to democracy being a precondition for progress. Therefore, we are witness to a new ‘Chinese model’ different from the commonly spread model of Western democracy.”

Khashoggi is obviously implying that China has had success despite not having democracy, therefore anti-democratic Saudi Arabia can do the same.

Too bad that Khashoggi’s frame of reference – the alleged anti-democracy of China – is not at all accurate. The Chinese frame of reference is “socialist democracy”, which is qualitatively different from “Western bourgeois / liberal democracy”. Calling socialists “anti-democratic” is as false as socialists who say the liberal democratic West is “anti-democratic”: the two are structurally different, making both sides right about each other, but only partially. Liberal Democracy, I must admit, does have certain freedoms socialist democracies do not…these freedoms are not universally-guaranteed, but are reserved for those with money, but that is technically a “freedom”.

Again, Khashoggi is failing to see socialism’s motivations, concerns, demands and goals anywhere – he sees Chinese success solely as resulting from technocratism.

But in socialist democracy, where non-elite-born hold at least SOME top posts, then we will inevitably find that all technocrats do not interpret all social data the same: this is the exact point of conflict where Western Liberal Democracy totally collapses and reveals its essential, unmodern elitism.

Khashoggi, like Macron or Hillary, does not want this socialist-style of representation in their governance, nor do they want socialist-style policies, because such policies are not 100%-focused on maintaining the elitist lifestyle of the bourgeois/monarchical/1% class which they are a part of.

But any objective reading of postwar China – a country under blockade, refusing foreign investment, long-banned from top international organisations (like modern Iran), pulling itself out of swamps caused by a “century of humiliation” solely via their own policies, efforts and domestic investments – shows that China’s success is due solely to socialism. The same goes for Iranian Islamic Socialism, which has had similarly spectacular redistributive success amid similar global Cold War. Not so to Khashoggi who, like all journalists and commentators, must find an explanation for China’s astounding success in the past decade:

“The reason might be principles of Confucianism”, which is more utter nonsense.

China had Confucianism all through their Century of Humiliation…and also totally undemocratic inequality. They had it in the Ming and Ching eras and long, long before…and totally undemocratic inequality. I adore Confucianism, but as a social-moral model – as a political model it is totally outdated. Pushing pure Confucianism is “Chinese Salafism”, and this is what China’s Cultural Revolution explicitly overturned: the political disempowerment of the rural Chinese peasant caused by politically-outdated Confucianism.

But a Salafist’s only tool is an old calendar – they want to wax nostalgic and turn the pages backwards, never forwards.

Khashoggi is an anti-socialist, monarchy-loving Salafist – he will always only hunt around China’s past for its success, and never objectively examine its present.

Trump’s entire “Make America Great Again” hinges 100% on mining an allegedly-perfect late 18th century past.

Macron, in combination with EU-technocratism, is a Petainist Salafist – a few days after a far-right assassination plot was uncovered, Macron praised the Nazi collaborator Petain as an inspiration for today.

In a time when France’s president enforces detested policies by decree, when democratic votes are ignored across Europe, we should see that there is very little difference between modern Muslim un-democracy and Western un-democracy.

The only people who don’t admit this are ethnocentric Europeans, who can apparently subsist on the pride produced by flattering themselves with feelings of superiority, and also by those Christians who refuse to have fraternal feelings towards Muslims as Muslims have towards their fellow Abrahamic believers (those who are also not imperialists, of course). Such flattery is indeed the manna of their far-right, but also the Western fake-left, and this is the point of this article.

Fake-leftism means never admitting the small circle democracy is limited to

When we start calling things by their proper names, “fake-leftism” becomes more and more obvious in journalists like Khashoggi.

Fake-leftism leads to absurdly unreflective statements such as this, which have no basis in modern facts: “Western countries are adept at finding the reasons behind low voter turnout in elections or to determine why people are unhappy with the parliament’s performance.”

I suppose Western countries are adept…compared to Arab monarchies. Turnout is quite low and in 2016, when this article was written, any citizen-observer of the Eurozone (as well as the European Union) could see that disapproving performance registered no “democratic” impact on economic policy whatsoever. Both Khashoggi or a self-aggrandising Westerner could have written that sentence – both are fake-leftists.

Fake-leftism means someone who is out of touch with what Leftism means on the global scale, as they assume “left” and “right” only matter domestically; but it also means someone who pretentiously believes they are in tune with the average person despite spending their entire lives pointedly avoiding the average person. Khashoggi revealed this in an article titled The Saudi labor ‘shop’ must close, undergo reforms:

“I listened to the new Education Minister Ahmed al-Issa talk of his plan to transform education and enable it to produce competitive youth by launching “independent” public schools. He said children in private schools do not exceed 15 percent of the kingdom’s students, while 85 percent attend public schools. This surprised me as I used to think the rate of those in private schooling was higher, since that is the preference of all of my relatives and acquaintances.

I discovered then that those of us at the GCF (the annual Saudi Global Competitiveness Forum) are a small minority in a much bigger community that was totally absent, despite being the target of the forum. This community is supposed to be the working class to whom ministers keep promising hundreds of thousands of jobs year after year. Although the organizers want the whole Saudi economy to be more competitive, most citizens who graduate or fall out of public schools and universities are unable to compete.

Competition

If we want King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) to be more appealing than Dubai or the free-trade zone in Ethiopia, for example, we must make our environment more competitive for business investments.”

The first paragraph reveals what Khashoggi is: A journalist who was totally out of touch with the 99% of Saudi Arabia…or at least the 85% (“99%” is, of course, not statically accurate, but it has become a useful byword and tool of understanding). He’s also a bad journalist for not knowing such a basic fact of life about his own country – it is reminiscent of a parliamentarian from Macron’s party who recently provoked outrage from a “Yellow Vest” protester on TV because she did not know the minimum wage.

I included the 2nd and 3rd paragraph because it’s important to show how abruptly his line of thought ends: Khashoggi does have a class epiphany, and he even relates it honestly…but he blames his fellow citizens for being “unable to compete”. He then drops the idea altogether and moves on to “Competition” and free trade.

Furthermore, he clearly believes that in this article he has established a plausible link between societal-domestic-interpersonal competition between citizens and competition between businesses, corporations, trade zones and nations. That is so wrong and so false that I do not have the time to disprove it; if you have to ask, you’ll never know, as Louie Armstrong said about jazz.

“Arab citizens are losing faith in democracy even though it has been at the forefront of their demands.”

Reading Khashoggi finds that he specialises in this type of nonsense typified by Thomas L. Friedman of The New York Times, truly one of the world’s greatest fake-leftists. (Indeed, it is amazing that such a warmonger and elitist votes for the “left party” – only in the West…) For the average Muslim or Saudi Arabians it is just as shocking to see Khashoggi described as a “reformer”. Again, there is no difference in 2018 between the Oriental or the Occidental despot.

Anyway, the truth is that Arab citizens are losing faith in one type of democracy – Western Liberal…and so are Westerners themselves. This realisation is great because it increases global unity, so why resist it? Socialist Democracy, however, is in bull form in any country which can withstand the decades of capitalist-imperialist blows, and the failure to recognise these trends and to abandon socialism makes someone a fake-leftist, as we all know.

I could go on and on dissecting Khashoggi’s writing for “fake Muslim leftism”, but the point has been established. I doubt anyone with an income under $100,000 / not working at a major Western NGO thought for a single moment that Khashoggi was a “reformer”, but hopefully this article showed how he is truly no different from Western rightists, centrists and fake-leftists.

Conclusion: Why Kare for Khashoggi? Why anything in the Muslim world? Answer: more imperialism

Western shareholder control of Aramco would give them the most powerful economic weapon in the world today. Talk about Google and Apple and smartphones all you want, but the global economy rises and falls according to the price of oil; because of this fact, Western capitalist logic dictates that they must control oil-producing nations.

The introduction of Western Liberal Democracy & their constitutional monarchy in Saudi Arabia would inevitably result in the control of Arabia’s oil by the international 1%. What that nefarious group has now is merely secondary control, with primary control held by the House of Saud.

Say what you want about Saudi Arabia – their leaders control their oil, at least. Say what you want about Iran – their People control their oil (which is why the West wants to ban Iranian oil, as if it contained the contaminating ideas of Muslim democracy, Islamic socialism, etc.). Saudi Arabia is also one of the world’s relatively untapped markets for international capitalists, much like Iran. Both nations have economies which are hugely state-controlled – and this cannot be tolerated in neoliberal capitalism, and thus it inexorably moves to change them & to Westernise them. Even if the Pentagon and Tel Aviv want no changes to the status quo in the region, we must see that the forces of capitalism are stronger than the forces of nationalism (or Zionism), and we all see this painfully plainly in Europe today.

Crucially, many in the House of Saud are anti-neoliberal (but not anti-capitalist) because they correctly understand that the monarchy cannot stand in 2018 without explicitly anti-neoliberal economic measures: two-thirds of all Saudi workers are employed by the government, major welfare programs, etc. Few leftists will objectively remark on this fact, but that is leftist economics in a very significant, real-world sense: Just as all capitalism is not “neoliberal”, not all socialism is “perfect socialism”, and the House of Saud is undoubtedly using socialist-related economics to buy their People’s support.

Double-crucially, while the old guard of the House of Saud realises this reality, many of the younger princes do not. Like the younger generation of Westerners, their young princes have been inculcated in anti-socialist neoliberal capitalism, and this inherently imperils the monarchy’s ability to buy off the Arabian People.

This line of thinking was rendered excellently by the prolific Whitney Webb for MintPress (whose leftist analyses were not ruined by her study of religion in university, I note) in her article The Real Reason the Knives are Out for MBS, so I only need to make a brief summation here:

What is of primary importance to the Western ruling factions are the Aramco Initial Public Offering and the $6 trillion in potential privatisation schemes of Vision 2030. However, as Webb notes: where does Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman really stand on the economic spectrum? Foreign investment into Saudi Arabia has plummeted, the IPO for Aramco (the world’s most profitable company) still has not taken place, and maybe MBS is not such a neoliberal traitor after all? He thus incarnates this shifting conflict between the neoliberal, younger generation of princes (and their Western puppeteers) and the older generation which grasps that neoliberalism – foreign control of a nation’s economy – can only lead to the loss of the monarchy’s absolute control and thus their pampered existence.

Let’s not forget why the West needs traitors in charge: Saudi Arabia’s collusion with Washington is what allows the “exorbitant privilege” of the US (petro)dollar, which makes the US financially impregnable; Saudi oil money is truly the liquidity which fuels the many risky investments of Wall Street; the Saudis make enormous US arms purchases not just for themselves but for the entire region.

We must look at the defense of Khashoggi by the West via the economic lens (which, of course, is verboten in Western mainstream discourse): how can international high finance finally get full control over Saudi oil, especially if MBS is not so neoliberal anymore yet remains in power?

Answer: Reduce the power of the Saudi absolute monarchy to a Western Liberal Constitutional monarchy (like the UK, Canada, Denmark, Netherlands, etc.), which would create bourgeois “rule of law” and thus allow Saudi assets to be sold to Western capitalists.

I have demonstrated that there are myriad capitalist pressures pushing the West to make Saudi Arabia conform and to not be independent: and, after all, conformity merely means “Western Salafism”, i.e. Western Liberal Democracy in the form of constitutional monarchy. Khashoggi was playing the leading propaganda role in this effort calling for a constitutional monarchy, which amounts to a soft coup against the absolute monarchy of the House of Saud.

And that is ultimately why MBS had Khashoggi killed.

By killing the West’s head propagandist MBS is saying: there will be no bourgeois, Western constitutional monarchy. The West is so up in arms over Khashoggi because it is a red flag that they are perhaps dealing with a Crown Prince who will not play neoliberal ball, as he had falsely promised to Western puppeteers in order to get their approval to ascend to Crown Prince.

Because the Western 1%, and the Mainstream Media they own, wants to obscure this lens – how the defense of Khashoggi fits in with the inevitable capitalist pressure from international high finance to get control over Saudi oil – they thus want us to believe that Khashoggi was a “reformer”. But the West doesn’t care at all about democratically empowering the 99% in Saudi Arabia, of course; and the mere step up from absolute to constitutional monarchy is no “reform” in the 21st century – modern political thought declares that this is a bogus reform.

Webb did not stress enough the existence of an alternative – socialist democratic control of Saudi oil. Nor did she stress that Khashoggi was actually facilitating this neoliberal takeover, not hindering it.

Khashoggi was no journalist but a pro-Western, pro-neoliberal propagandist – he had no importance to MBS otherwise.

Capitalism-imperialism always plays multiple destabilising games at once – in order to ensure their interests prevail: thus, there is no conflict between their supporting MBS but also supporting Khashoggi at WaPo as a back-up plan. However they get control of Saudi resources is fine – whether it’s via a puppet or a soft coup, they don’t care.

Khashoggi was no “dissident” against the monarchy, but I’ve reminded readers that this was no problem for the monarchy- and bourgeois-loving West; he was tapped to be the Western 1%’s “Head Saudi Propagandist” because his writings clearly show that he wanted a Western-style bourgeois technocracy & constitutional monarchy in order to rule Saudi Arabia more “efficiently”…which means becoming Westernised as much as possible, economically unequal as much as possible, and Socialist Democratic not at all.

Time well tell: Mehdi Ben Barka, PressTV’s Serena Shim and others will be remembered as true martyrs for the Muslim world and for all of humanity; Jamal Khashoggi will soon be forgotten, except for the gruesome details, and that is because he was no friend nor supporter of the People but of the elite of which he was a part and which he unquestioningly and immorally supported. I hope this series shed light on that.

But I also hope that this series showed how Khashoggi is no different from the fake-leftists in the Western world. Muslims and Saudi Arabians are not any different from those in any other global region, and emphasising, clarifying and promoting our common humanity – and the common struggles of the 99% worldwide – is the goal of leftism.

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This is the final article in a 4-part series which examines Jamal Khashoggi’s ideology and how it relates to the Islamic World, Westernization and Socialism. Here is the list of articles slated to be published, and I hope you will find them useful in your leftist struggle!

Khashoggi, Ben Barka & PressTVs Serena Shim: A 4-part series

Khashoggi Part 2: A reformer’…who was also a hysterical anti-Iran/Shia warmonger?

Khashoggi Part 3: Liberal Democratic Salafism’ is a sham, Islamic Socialism’ isnt

Khashoggi Part 4: fake-leftism identical in Saudi Arabian or Western form

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television. He can be reached on Facebook.

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