Andre Vltchek: Where is the antidote?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Jerry Russell, Feb 2, 2018.

  1. Jerry Russell

    Jerry Russell Administrator Staff Member

    And even more importantly: what can we do to fix the problem?

    I've just discovered the journalist Andre Vltchek, who agonizes a great deal about this question. And furthermore, he would certainly agree that both the elite and the Western masses are equally responsible.

    Here are some choice quotes.

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/04/14/only-rational-thinking-will-save-the-world/

    Scenario ONE: Imagine that you are on board a ship, which is slowly sinking. There is no land in sight, and your radio transmitter is not functioning properly. There are several people on board and you care for them, deeply. You don’t want this to be the end of ‘everything’.

    What do you do?

    A) You fix for yourself a nice portion of fried rice with prawns

    B) You turn on the TV set, which is still somehow miraculously working, and watch the news about the future Scottish referendum or on BREXIT

    C) You jump into the water immediately, try to identify the damage, and then attempt to do something unthinkable with your simple tools and capabilities: to save the ship

    Imagine another scenario:

    SCENARIO TWO: By mistake, your wife eats two full tubes of sleeping pills, supposedly confusing them with a new line of candies. As you find her on the floor, she appears to be unconscious and her face looks rather bluish.

    What would your course of action be?

    A) After you realize that her high heels do not match the color of her pantyhose, you run to the closet in search of a much better pair of shoes to achieve the balance

    B) You carry her without delay to the bathroom, pump out her stomach, and try to resuscitate her while calling the ambulance using the speakerphone function

    C) You recall how you first met, get nostalgic, and rush to your living room library in order to find a book of love sonnets by Pablo Neruda, which you then recite to her kneeling on the carpet

    Now brace yourself for a great surprise. Unless you choose C) for scenario one, and B) for scenario two, you can actually consider yourself absolutely “normal” by most North American and European standards.

    However, if you opt for C) or B) respectively, you could easily pass off for an extremist, a radical and ideological left-wing fanatic.
    OK, so it's time for a true confession. I often feel that operating this website is a gesture along the lines of option (C) in Scenario Two. Not that we don't mean well, but we haven't achieved all we set out to do, and we haven't attracted much of an audience.

    I like to think of myself as someone who would take effective action, but I have to admit it's not happening so far.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
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  2. Jerry Russell

    Jerry Russell Administrator Staff Member

    Vltchek has nothing but contempt for ineffective Western progressives:

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/06/19/in-the-usa-i-cannot-write

    I was invited to speak and I spoke at some huge conference in southern California, and I gave talks at peace and opposition gatherings in Monterey, San Jose and Fresno. Exposing Lies of the Empire”, which became a bestseller, defined my stand against the Empire, showing horrors it has been committing all over the world.

    I showed films, excerpts from my films on Africa: on Rwanda and Congo, on refugee camp for Somali refugees, and on the horrific slums of Nairobi.

    I was asked to show all this and more, but at the end, a man stood up and asked: “Why are you showing all this to us?”

    “Because your country is murdering millions, right now”, I replied.

    “What are you expecting us to do?” He asked again, in a cool voice.

    As he uttered this, I was still recovering from a monstrous jetlag, after travelling for 48 hours from South Africa, arriving in California only one day before the presentation. In South Africa, I was among my comrades. Everything was different: there is a tremendous struggle for a better world, poor people confronting and pressing their government, the great UNISA (University of South Africa) getting deeply involved. There I spoke at The 14th International Symposium on the Contributions of Psychology to Peace. There I spoke and spoke, and fought and fought, and was involved in negotiations, and was helping to shape the concepts: of how no peace could and should exist without justice, without social justice and how no progress could be made anywhere on the Planet, without confronting Western imperialism and fascism.

    In California it was up side down: all totally different. In California I stood alone, facing cold faces of self-righteous crowds; crowds convinced of their superiority, even when they were, “benevolently” and mildly critical of several murderous actions committed by their country in countless parts of the world.

    “They are not telling us the truth”, I heard people repeating on several occasions.

    The citizens of the Empire were eager to describe themselves as “victims”. Did the same spectacle appear in Nazi Germany in the 1930’s? Most likely yes! “Defeated Germany was hit by hyper-inflation, reparations, therefore it was a victim!” It felt it became a victim of the Bolsheviks and the Jews and the French, and the Roma… The United States was not defeated externally, only internally. The two settings are different. Yet there are many similarities, especially in how two empires have treated “un-people”.


    ***

    I felt no urgency from people living in Southern California; I felt no urgency in Fresno, Monterey or San Jose. Life was going on. Their life… About other lives, they knew nothing. They actually made sure to know nothing.

    Once in a while they protested, to feel good about themselves.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2018
  3. Jerry Russell

    Jerry Russell Administrator Staff Member

    Continuing, Vltchek makes it clear that he blames all Westerners, and not just the elites, and not just the left:

    “Do you believe in collective guilt, in collective responsibility?” Someone challenged me from the public.

    “Definitely!” I shouted back. “The responsibility and the guilt of the West, of the white race, of Christianity, of the Empire! Collective responsibility and guilt for hundreds of millions of victims defined as un-people. Victims gassed, bomber, starved, mutilated… Collective guilt and responsibility for raping the free will of billions in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania. Collective guilt and responsibility for the ongoing global apartheid!”

    ...There are almost no revolutionaries left in the United States or Europe, just the morally defunct masses, emotionless, insincere, selfish individuals scared to lose their privileges. At least the right-wingers are honest!

    The regime takes full advantage of the situation. It feeds, and upholds the state of things. But both the rulers and selfish, hypocritical masses became inter-dependent; they push the same line. That is why fascist parties are never voted out of power: almost everyone in the US and Europe wants the exploitation and rape of the rest of the world to go on!
     
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  4. Jerry Russell

    Jerry Russell Administrator Staff Member

    But, maybe our analysis of the nexus of religion and politics might help. Or at least, Vltchek seems to be thinking generally along similar lines.

    http://www.vineyardsaker.co.nz/2014/12/20/christian-dogma-should-be-questioned-andre-vltchek/

    This year as in every other year, Christianity and fundamentalist capitalism, two great allies, are joining their forces to extract billions of dollars, all over the world, mainly from the poor.

    As money flies towards the coffers of the church and into corporate accounts, over-sugary, kitschy Christmas carols and gospels are soaring out from the audio systems of department stores and malls all over the Empire and in almost all of its colonies (Saudi Arabia being an exception).

    ‘White Christmas’ is re-enacted and faked in the steaming-hot tropical ‘client states’, into where Christianity with all its nomenclature was forcefully injected decades and centuries ago.

    Christmas trees, colorful balls and stars camouflage the sharp teeth, swords, torture instruments and propaganda tools. This faith was built on all conquered continents, on fear, never on love! Righteousness, aggressiveness and intimidation have been some of the trademarks of Christianity, for centuries. The faith which murdered hundreds of millions of people worldwide, reducing hundreds of great civilizations to ashes, is, until now, unapologetic and self-assured.

    It is no wonder, as the greatest pillars of the modern-day oppression support it: the Empire itself as well as its unchallengeable fundamentalist capitalist doctrines.

    [......]


    Let us talk, openly, because the crimes of Christianity were committed everywhere, because they still are committed everywhere. Because the Empire is Christian, and because the rulers are! We have to define what Christianity really is and what it has done, because there is no way forward for this humanity, unless this dogma is prevented from controlling the world!

    Let us throw away clichés erected by the Empire and its religion. Let us talk loudly, because Christians are in stupor: most of them have no clue that they belong to the most violent group on earth. I spoke to Christian men and women, in Europe and Asia, in the Middle East, Oceania and Africa, and in North and South America. Most of them, especially those who were educated in their lobotomizing private religious schools, have never heard about the onslaughts by their faith. They live in total darkness, in absolute torpor.

    Let us open this difficult discussion, now, when Western neo-colonialism, a shadow and delayed twin of the Christian crusades, is trying to bulldoze out of its way, everything that may prevent it from taking final control over the world.

    How is Christianity, which directly participated in colonialism, crusades, and extermination of entire nations, in Nazism… how is it still, now, shaping those brains of the neo-cons, of mass murderers who are leveling entire nations into the ground, at this very moment, as these words are being written.

    Once again, I don’t want to talk about ‘bad Christians’ who ‘give Christianity bad name’. I want to talk about the dogma itself, about the essence of the belief, one which has created so many monsters, and so much suffering all over the world.

    After hundreds of millions of deaths, I believe that such a demand is justifiable. Were Christianity to be a political party or a movement, it would be condemned, banned and declared to be the most brutal creation of humanity.

    But it is hiding behind some abstract figure of God, of divinity, which it arrogantly claims it represents! It made itself ‘untouchable’. It is not. It should never be!

    Are some believers going to be offended? But of course! Their faith can murder the world, but others, even the victims, have to be ‘sensitive’! But should some ‘sensitivities’ of those who believe in fairytales, and are willing to sacrifice hundreds of millions of human lives on the altar of irrational invents, be put above survival of humanity? By no means! Those who believe in the Christian doctrine, or in market fundamentalism, imperialism, slavery or racial superiority, should be questioned, challenged and confronted.

    It is all very urgent, especially now when the Empire and its lackeys are once again threatening survival of our planet.

    Let us talk, when there is still some time left, let us analyze, and let us contain the dogma, which has been poisoning this planet, by murdering, frightening and ruining human lives for endless centuries!
     
  5. Jerry Russell

    Jerry Russell Administrator Staff Member

    And here, like any honest person, Vltchek admits that he doesn't know what to do either.

    But Vltchek has my admiration, because he works harder than I do!! And because he is brave enough to do real on-the-ground reporting at the scariest places in the world.

    http://www.greanvillepost.com/2014/05/31/how-should-we-write-and-fight/

    I have asked many questions today. I’m not sure I know the answers:

    How to be effective? How to move people? How to inspire them, so they join the struggle for a better world, even if it were against their own immediate interests and privileges?

    What I write is for you, my readers. I do not write in order to hear myself speak, but to convey to you what others have said, as well as how others are suffering and dreaming.

    To quote a great poem and song by the Chilean artist, Violeta Parra:

    Thanks to life, which has given me so much
    It gave me laughter and it gave me longing
    With them I distinguish happiness and pain
    The two materials from which my songs are formed
    And your song, as well, which is the same song
    And everyone’s song, which is my very song

    I want you to talk to me, my readers. I have written so much; you have read what I have written, patiently. Now write to me. I want to listen. How do we go forward? You and I, together… What touches you? What makes you cry? What would make you rise up and struggle for a better world? How do we coordinate our steps and walk forward, together?
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
  6. Richard Stanley

    Richard Stanley Administrator

    It does usually feel that way, but there is no motivation for people to adequately change when they remain blissfully ignorant, or that they have been systematically provided plenty of scapegoats (besides just the Jews). Today, we are playing the distractionary 'Memo Game', but we have been constantly playing such Hegelian games from cradle to grave for hundreds of years ... as the veiled empire advances like a glacier. Slowly, so that all of our relatively petty distractions make us ignore the glacier.

    I take issue that the problem is merely Christians, however, it is at least the wider Abrahamic paradigm.

    As such, I think what we are attempting is a necessary part of the educational process. Many people are aware that they are indeed problems, but they see the solution as drawing back into the (Cultural) institutions that created, or helped create, those same problems. This is because such as the Church advertises itself as a solution to its literal brother-in-crime, Satan. Everything bad can be lumped into this bucket, whether using a literal or metaphorical interpretation.

    At the end of the day, Christianity and Islam are forms of competing super-tribalism, which slyly use their moral and spiritual 'superiority' to absorb and digest other 'lesser' tribes, spitting out anything undigestible. Along the way, the elites of the super-tribes get prime dibs on the spoils of literal or figurative conquest. It's all theologically Justified, and thus the lesser members of the tribe can look the other way.

    Our biggest problem is how to best formulate this to otherwise sleeping zombies or those desperately looking in the wrong directions - convinced that they are correct ... and righteous as Mommy and Daddy lovingly taught them (even in the 1950's).

    In my opinion we are dealing with a Cultural inertia well more than 3,000 years old, controlled by elites that likely have a much higher than average level of genetic psychopathic brain wiring, as well as sociopathological 'nurturing' within their elite subcultures. The average person has the struggles of everyday life to contend with, numerous artificial distractions and mindless entertainments, and such as Church.

    One thing that is necessary for any better progress is to find and network with like minded individuals. Unfortunately, the terrain is littered with those awakening ones that are ever busy searching down hundreds of dead-end rabbit-holes, and/or yet to realize that there are many more layers to the problem than the latest true revelation they've happened upon.
     
  7. Jerry Russell

    Jerry Russell Administrator Staff Member

    Vltchek says he's looking for allies too, but he's pretty skeptical about Americans. Look at this:

    https://www.telesurtv.net/english/bloggers/It-Is-Cold-in-the-US-20150701-0001.html

    Every year I receive thousands of letters from my readers in the United States. Most of them come from my supporters, but most of them are also full of complaints, weeping, how no one understands them, how alone they feel, how there is nothing they can do. Many readers demand that I engage in regular correspondence. When I don’t, insults often follow.“Go and write this or that!” orders from North American couch potatoes are common. Such arrogance and lack of manners!

    It does not happen with readers from any other part of the world. U.S. readers are extremely demanding. They want attention, compassion, pampering. They think that they own the world.

    .....

    My conclusion and advise: Energy of those of us who are fighting the Empire should be spent on supporting real revolutions and real opposition to Western imperialist rule: for instance that in Latin America, in South Africa, China, Russia, Eritrea and Iran.

    Otherwise we will arrive at total, grotesque absurdity. Trying to sensitize and convince stubbornly ignorant and indifferent people of North America and Europe would be similar to listening to and dealing with economic and other grievances of German citizens during the WWII. I am not ready for it. They are not my allies, and they are not my comrades! They created and they are upholding this monstrous global regime. Let them deal with their own shit!
    For our part, we might also find reasons to feel superior to him. He affiliates with Noam Chomsky and agrees with Chomsky, that 911 truth is just an energy sink. His analysis of the internal structure of the elite is at a very simplistic level.
     
  8. Richard Stanley

    Richard Stanley Administrator

    Maybe he will welcome the reforms that Space Jesus will surely recommend? Since Vltchek is agin Xians, and Xians seem to be the new Pharisees (the morally failed Chosen People of the expiring age), then Space Jesus might be up his alley.

    I can't see much to recommend Russia and China, based upon their behaviors. Yes, I think his worldview is yet too simplistic.
     
  9. Jerry Russell

    Jerry Russell Administrator Staff Member

    I meant that his view of Western oligarchs, secret societies, and the interrelations of Abrahamic religions, is too simplistic.

    But, I think his analysis of Russia and China, and revolutionary movements in South America and elsewhere, deserves more careful consideration. He would argue that we've excessively bought in to Western propaganda against some of these movements. It's far from sufficient to wear a Che Guevara t-shirt; Vltchek is calling for some hard work.

    And neither he nor I would argue that any of those countries or movements are perfect, or above criticism.

    But, I think our analysis shows that the Anglo-American elites, Catholics and Zionists (whose roots and lineages can be traced all the way back to Venice, Rome and Egypt) are at the heart of what Vltchek calls "The Empire".

    And, the armies, missile forces, and economic embargoes of "The Empire"; as well as the most energetic propaganda and vitriol; are directed against Russia, China and leftist movements in the third world.

    Is it possible that even Russia and China aren't as bad as we've been led to believe?

    Being an apologist for those countries is obviously a self-marginalizing position, according to Western propaganda. So I don't want to jump right in. But, Vltchek is definitely in that camp.

    Vltchek agrees that Russia is a capitalist country now. But nevertheless, he considers himself a Russian and is proud of it. See:

    https://www.countercurrents.org/vltchek080515.htm

    20 or perhaps 27 million Soviet people, mainly Russians, lost their lives defending our planet against Hitler's hordes. Then hundreds of millions of others dedicated their lives to building a much better, and egalitarian world.

    Without Soviet Union, without the Russian people, there would be no freedom, no independence for Asian, African and the Middle Eastern countries. There would be no revolutions possible in Latin America.

    This is why the West hated Soviet Union, and that is why it hates Russian people. It lost its colonies, it lost its propaganda war, and it lost its monopoly on defining everything under the sun.

    Only bigots could repeat the most toxic of Western propaganda lies of comparing Nazi Germany with Stalinist Soviet Union. But I will write much more on the topic in the near future. Nazism can be only compared to European and North American imperialism, to colonialism. They are both made from the same stuff, and the Soviet Union smashed, defeated, both! Russia is now holding the old Soviet banner.

    The Western chauvinists and xenophobes are now fighting for control over the planet, even for their own survival. Unless they divide Russia, China and Latin America, they are finished. They know it! Unless they smear all that is pure and optimistic about the nations resisting their monstrous regime, their days are numbered.

    I've been trying to track down the rumors that Vladimir Putin is the world's richest man, and there really is hardly any evidence. He wears expensive watches?? Also, the government maintains a yacht for him, and might even have built a palace. Look at this story: for all the rumors, and for all the investigative effort that's been expended, that's really the most substantive dirt his critics have unearthed.

    https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/stories/2012-04-19/putin-the-richest-man-on-earth

    A report by Time Magazine doesn't turn up any substantial evidence either. Putin denies it all:

    http://time.com/money/4641093/vladimir-putin-net-worth/

    Unlike Donald Trump, Putin has publicly downplayed his net worth. “It’s just chitchat, nonsense, nothing to discuss,” he has said, according to Bloomberg View columnist Leonid Bershidsky. “They picked it out of their noses and smeared it on their pieces of paper.”

    About Stalin and the old Soviet Union, I've recently become aware of this website by Grover Furr, who has published many articles and books taking the position that Stalin was smeared by Trotsky and Khrushchev as well as Western historians. More later, after I read some of this stuff.

    https://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
  10. Jerry Russell

    Jerry Russell Administrator Staff Member

    Vltchek's answer to Western Left criticism of foreign progressive movements and countries:

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2014/11/14/do-western-leftists-hate-socialist-countries/

    The Western Left is narcissistic, undisciplined and arrogant, self-righteous and morally defunct. That is why it lost. That is why it has no spark. That is why it does not inspire people.

    And the less people it inspires the more bitter it gets, more vitriolic.

    It attacks the Soviet Union (post mortem), it attacks China, and it is buying into yet another Western propaganda scoop, that the Khmer Rouge were Communist genocidal forces, not a band of deranged rural desperados that came to power after the US murderous carpet-bombing of the Cambodian countryside. It attacks Cuba and Venezuela for being ‘undemocratic’, and with unforgiveable and sickening consistency, it attacks South Africa.

    And even when China fights malaria in Africa, and builds schools and hospitals, when it defends tiny nations in Oceania from total destruction, due to the rise of the ocean level by building sea walls and by planting mangroves (I saw all this with my own eyes, as I have lived in both Oceania and Africa), it is still wrong, because the entire world has to be shit, just because the West and its policies are! This nihilism is sickening, it is defeatist and it is having a vile effect even on the people in the West itself.

    One has to conclude, with shock, that most of what remains of the Western Left is actually anti-leftist!

    As a result, the people of Latin America, of Asia and Africa, feel much better in each other’s company than with the progressive wing of their former colonizers, and they are increasingly seeking and finding inspiration in each other. ....

    Instead of preaching, the Western leftists should admit that they have failed, together with that aggressive Western culture, once described by the great Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung as pathology – a culture that has been enslaving the entire world for centuries.

    Then, they should go and learn from the countries where the people have won, countries that are fighting for the survival of mankind!
     
  11. Richard Stanley

    Richard Stanley Administrator

    Does Vltchek realize that the Western and American Left, just like the Right, is not a monolithic Thing? From your quotes above it makes it sound like he lumps everything together, when there are other more substantial dialectics at work. And yet at work inside of dear Mother (ever imperial) Russia. The Chinese building endless ghost towns of luxury condos that no one can afford to live in, except for maybe Donald Trump's money laundering clientele, mostly from the former Soviet Union.

    Vltchek sounds to me like yet another 'romantic' Pied Piper of half-truths for the dawning of the glorious coming new age. I think little has changed from how Flavio Barbiero characterized the initial schism between the East and West Churches, the cultural backbone of the West and the East (led by Russia). And that it that such as Byzantium and Russia are controlled opposition of the larger construct.

    Maybe Vltchek can feel warmed by the Trump Right lionizing Putin and his new found religiosity with the authoritarian and manly Russian Orthodox Church?

    For the West, such as Russia seems to be some exotic Neverland, but its underlying Culture is informed by the Rus, a branch of the Nordic peoples, whose more adventurous piratical sorts were known to us as Vikings. As such, Vltchek's wailings sound more like the pot calling the kettle black.

    Both sides of Right and Left, and East and West are being being led into a demoralizing funk, whose purpose is to make welcome the new synthesis, the New Boss, same as ...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2018
  12. Jerry Russell

    Jerry Russell Administrator Staff Member

    What substantial dialectic within the American Left are you referring? His generalization strikes me as correct, as far as it goes. The vast majority of the Left offers very little support for the old Soviet Union, or for modern China.

    But by lumping the entire world into the same cultural construct, perhaps you are also failing to discern some important and significant differences?

    Vltchek has done a lot more traveling than you or I, and so has broader real experience to base his opinions.

    Why so quick to dismiss him as a crude romantic promulgator of half-truths? Where does he have anything nice to say about the Russian Orthodox Church, for example?
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  13. Richard Stanley

    Richard Stanley Administrator

    I find it hard to believe that I have to answer this question.

    Within the American Left (as similar with the Right) there is a vast schism between the true 'progressives' and the so-called Corporate wing, which such as the Clintons have long cynically exploited. The corporate wings of both the Democrats and Republicans are more similar to each other than with their grass-roots. Other terms that can be loosely applied are neo-liberals and neo-conservatives (collectively and loosely the deep Deep State?). That Vltchek is mostly correct that many of the Western 'progressives' are functionally unrecognizable by those in other countries is besides the point. That's simply a manifestation of circumstances, identical to the Roman plebian class yet being patriotically proud of their glorious empire, despite generally knowing all the crap swept under the carpet.

    Based upon what you've related about Mr. Vltchek, it sounds like I correctly know about 10 times more about Russia and China than he knows about America and the West. And it appears that, from actual first-hand contact with former citizens of the Soviet Union and from reading the reports of visiting 'socialists' to the USSR, that Mr. Vltchek is indeed overly romanticizing his roots. I do not do chauvinistically the same for mine. Maybe he's just a Useful Idiot Pied Piper.

    Unlike Vltchek (and the Western reactionary right BTW), I do distinguish between Communists and Socialists, as would many Germans of Hitler's time. But now we can't even distinguish between even progressives and the corporate Left, the Tea Party and corporate Right?

    Indeed I grew up watching John Wayne in the lily white Bible Belt of the Bircher West, but at 11 I spent several weekends in Watts, in the direct aftermath of the Watts riots, because my father decided to spend 6 weeks living there to find out what was going on.

    My first job out of tech school was in the Marshall Islands, waiting for ICBMs to be sent my way from California. I got to observe how we had crammed all the natives on one small island, except for a handful living on my island. Some of these natives were really natives of yet another atoll that was too radioactive to live on any more.

    I have driven through the hopeless squalor of American Indian reservations, and know how it got that way. Dick Eastman told his Yakima Indians that it was all because of 'the Jews', but I have a somewhat different theory.

    Why are the Chinese making massive economic bubbles, as with ghost cities? Why does their army operate so many 'capitalist' businesses? For the good of humanity? In any case, it sounds like technical fascism, while the US military operates on a fully communist structure, except when the generals and admirals enter the corporate revolving door.

    I'm sorry Jerry, but between my various travels, life experiences, and significant reading appear to put me far ahead of Vltchek's vast travels and rose-colored interpretations. Travel Schmavel.

    If one travels the world (excepting the USA which he admits he couldn't stay in) and talks to people with the same POV, then one will come to one distorted set of conclusions, especially if they help confirm one's formational cultural biases. I've already related telling the story of conversing with a former Franco police functionary in a hotel bar, and I'll guarantee that Mr. Vltcheck is selling a one-sided bill of goods, wittingly or not.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2018
  14. Jerry Russell

    Jerry Russell Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, he is correct about that. Furthermore, I doubt that he would even recognize the "corporate wing of the Democrats" as any type of progressive at all.

    His point was, that the American Left can be lumped together in terms of their cynical and negative view of various international Left movements. And isn't that a fact? Everyone is competing to see who can denounce the Soviets and Chinese in the most lurid terms, to avoid the stigma of being marginalized as a Stalinist or Maoist.

    What did Vltchek say, that leads you to believe he would be confused about the difference between "the corporate wing of the Democrats" vs. the grassroots types that he would've been invited to talk to?

    I don't see any claim that Vltchek knows a lot about America and the West, other than that he doesn't like them. He does claim to be an expert about what America and the West are doing to the rest of the world.

    As to whether your view of Russia and China (and, formerly, mine) isn't colored by cultural prejudices, I find myself suddenly not feeling so self-assured.

    The travels you describe, are all within the USA and Europe -- except for the Marshall Islands, which is basically a US military sacrificial zone.

    I get that somehow Vltchek makes you really angry. But can you point to a single false statement in anything I've quoted, or anything you can find that he's written?
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  15. Richard Stanley

    Richard Stanley Administrator

    Of course he would not, since you state that he has lumped all of them, and all other Americans in the same boat. Again, that he claims that most Americans, even 'progressives' are all virtual oligarchs is besides the point.

    I get the distinct impression that he lumps anything American as Evil, and conversely anything with 'Rus' is the front of it as Good.

    This is all distractionary. Yes the American Left is generally forced by the word games of the American Right to be counter-reactionary.

    I've already stated that my position is that of a hybrid economy, and thus I can be attacked by the Right as being Communist and by the far Left as being reactionary, or whatever. In any case, there was nothing good about Stalinism.

    OK, what was so good about the Soviet Union, or Tsarist Russia, or Putin.

    That Chiang Kai-shek was a crook doesn't make Mao a saint. OK, Mao et al. did stop the opium trade, inside China that is.

    Oops, now I wont get back into the ROC again. And they have the world's best tea Jerry. But the food is very bland.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2018
  16. Jerry Russell

    Jerry Russell Administrator Staff Member

    They don't (or didn't) need to be very good at all, to be better than the Anglo-American empire.

    Maybe this quote from Vltchek will help? (Or, maybe not.)

    https://countercurrents.org/2017/04/05/love-western-nihilism-and-revolutionary-optimism/

    What is on the other side of the barricade?

    I don’t want to glorify our revolutionary countries and movements.

    I don’t even want to write that we are the “exact opposite”of that entire nightmare that has been created by the West. We are not. And we are far from being perfect.

    But we are alive if not always well, we are standing, trying to advance this wonderful ‘project’ called humanity, attempting to save our planet from Western imperialism, its nihilist gloom, as well as absolute environmental disaster.

    We are considering many different ways forward. We have never rejected socialism and Communism, and we are studying various moderate and controlled forms of capitalism. The advantages and disadvantages of the so-called ‘mixed economy’ are being discussed and evaluated.

    We fight, but because we are much less brutal, orthodox and dogmatic than the West, we often lose, as we recently (and hopefully only temporarily) lost in Brazil and Argentina. We also win, again and again. As this essay goes to print, we are celebrating in Ecuador and El Salvador.

    Unlike in the West, in such places like China, Russia and Latin America, our debates about the political and economic future are vibrant, even stormy. Our art is engaged, helping to search for the best humanist concepts. Our thinkers are alert, compassionate and innovative, and our songs and poems are great, full of passion and fire, overflowing with love and longing.

    Our countries do not steal from anyone; they don’t overthrow governments in the opposite parts of the world, they do not undertake massive military invasions. What we have is ours; it is what we have created, produced and sown with our own hands. It is not always much, but we are proud of it, because no one had to die for it, and no one had to be enslaved.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  17. Richard Stanley

    Richard Stanley Administrator

    That's not much of a recommendation.

    Vladimir Czar (Caesar) Putin is passing laws in line with Russian Orthodox (Eastern Catholic) values, and he favors his oligarchs that do his bidding. No, they didn't steal their industries from the proletariat did they? They did it the old fashioned way. Maybe the West is killing Russian journalists and opposition politicians and blaming it on Putin?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2018
  18. gilius

    gilius Active Member

    Nice quotes... spot on - like these, for example:

    "...There are almost no revolutionaries left in the United States or Europe, just the morally defunct masses, emotionless, insincere, selfish individuals scared to lose their privileges. At least the right-wingers are honest!

    The regime takes full advantage of the situation. It feeds, and upholds the state of things. But both the rulers and selfish, hypocritical masses became inter-dependent; they push the same line. That is why fascist parties are never voted out of power: almost everyone in the US and Europe wants the exploitation and rape of the rest of the world to go on!"

    So at least I'm not the only one who understand the devil dictators and satanic masses....
     
  19. Jerry Russell

    Jerry Russell Administrator Staff Member

    Giles is, of course, quoting Vltchek. And here's a point of subtle disagreement: I would say that many in the US and Europe who understand that the rest of the world is being raped and exploited, would still want it to continue.

    But I don't know what percentage would have this understanding. And I hope that among those that do, there are at least some who want it to stop.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  20. Jerry Russell

    Jerry Russell Administrator Staff Member

    About the Chinese, here's some information about the business dealings of the Politboro and their corporate friends:

    https://www.icij.org/investigations...rds-reveal-offshore-holdings-of-chinas-elite/

    Chinese officials aren’t required to disclose their assets publicly and until now citizens have remained largely in the dark about the parallel economy that can allow the powerful and well-connected to avoid taxes and keep their dealings secret. By some estimates, between $1 trillion and $4 trillion in untraced assets have left the country since 2000.

    The growing onshore and offshore wealth of China’s elites “may not be strictly illegal,” but it is often tied to “conflict of interest and covert use of government power,” said Minxin Pei, a political scientist at Claremont McKenna College in California. “If there is real transparency, then the Chinese people will have a much better idea of how corrupt the system is [and] how much wealth has been amassed by government officials through illegal means.”

    Top-level corruption is a politically sensitive issue in China as the country’s economy cools and its wealth gap continues to widen. The country’s leadership has cracked down on journalists who have exposed the hidden wealth of top officials and their families as well as citizens who have demanded that government officials disclose their personal assets....

    China’s Politburo Standing Committee is the all-powerful group of seven (formerly nine) men who run the Communist Party and the country. The records obtained by ICIJ show that relatives of at least five current or former members of this small circle have incorporated companies in the Cook Islands or British Virgin Islands.

    China’s “red nobility” — elites tied by blood or marriage to the current leadership or Party elders — are also popularly known as “princelings.” Ordinary Chinese have grown increasingly angry over their vast wealth and what many see as the hypocrisy of officials who tout “people-first” ideals but look the other way while their families peddle power and influence for personal gain.
    And here's one apologist for the Chinese attempts to explain or justify the situation, with reassurances that ring hollow if the amount of capital flight is as extensive as claimed by ICIJ above:

    https://journal-neo.org/2017/12/21/a-rising-tide-in-defense-of-socialist-billionaires/

    The common charge of hypocrisy against wealthy people with leftist views (“Champaign socialists” “limousine liberals”) now has a new twist, as the growing number of billionaires in China, or the purported wealth of leaders in Bolivarian countries, is presented as proof that socialism is simply a myth utilized by power hungry politicians.

    These very common charges are based on a misconception, and fundamental lack of understanding about what socialism really is, and why it is different from capitalism. Furthermore, if one looks into the lives and activities of various figures labelled as “Socialist Oligarchs” and sees how they acquire their wealth, and how they function in their respective society, it is apparent that they are quite a different breed than the western profiteers they are compared to.

    Wang Jianlin, the second richest man in China, is a member of the Communist Party. He owns a huge real-estate and financial conglomerate called Dalian Wanda. He was once a member of the People’s Liberation Army, serving as a border guard and moving up the ranks.

    Wang’s entire career in China’s nominally “private sector” has been done under the complete control and supervision of the Communist Party. Wang has arranged for foreign investors to help him beautify China’s cities with modern housing. As Vice-Chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, Wang ensures that all economic activity in the country is carried out in accordance with the state’s Five Year Development Plans. ....

    In the lead up to the 19th Communist Party Congress in China, concerns about capital flight were abundant. The Communist Party felt that Chinese corporations should be focused on operating within the country, not in overseas adventures. So, the world watched as Wang Jianlin, the second richest man in China, complied with the party’s wishes and stopped investing overseas. The financial giant that Wang built may have acquired him a great deal of wealth and power, but in essence, this empire does not belong to him. The party has control.

    In 2015, Liu Han, a Chinese billionaire mine owner who was heavily involved in organized crime was executed at the age of 49. Since 2013, a large number of Chinese officials have been charged for corruption and sent to prison. Xi Jinping’s “8 Point Regulations” are being harshly enforced in order to ensure that the Chinese government doesn’t become a group of hired corporate stooges. Bribery is harshly penalized, in order to make sure that the 90 million members of the Communist Party keep control over the growing number of millionaires and billionaires.
    Note to those who may have been following this thread: I've cleaned it up to remove some distracting back-and-forth between Richard and I. We were both having a bad day.
     

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