Russia = Bad

Screen Shot 2018-08-16 at 1.14.29 PM

Russia is a bad, bad place. Russia is bad. Russia does bad things. Russia, a bad country, is full of bad stuff.

The government of Russia is bad. The president of Russia is bad. Vladimir Putin is a bad man. Russia is bad. Everything there is bad.

Because of Russia, which is bad, Donald Trump is the president, which is bad.

Donald Trump is bad, bad, bad.

The American president is supposed to be good, because the American people vote for the president, which is good.

The American people are good. Democracy is good. But the American president is bad. That’s because of Russia, which is bad. After all, Russia is bad. If Russia wasn’t bad, America wouldn’t have a bad president.

But Russia is bad.

Vladimir Putin, who is bad, is a dictator, which is bad. He is a dictator, because he is bad. He is a dictator, which is bad, even though Russians voted for him, which is bad. Russians are bad. Russia is a bad, bad place.

The American government is still good, but the president is bad. It’s bad.

Russia hacked, which is bad, the elections, which are good.

Hacking is bad. Computers are bad. Elections are good, but Facebook is bad. Vladimir Putin, who is bad, ordered Russian hackers, who are bad, to hack the American elections, which are good. There is a lot of evidence, which is good, but we can’t share it with you yet, which is bad.

Robert Mueller is good. Paul Manafort is bad.

Hillary Clinton is good. Julian Assange is bad.

George W. Bush is good. Donald J. Trump is bad.

America = good.

Russia = bad.

Advertisements

Daniel in the Lion’s Den

What are we to do when “democracy” is the signifier and “imperialism” is the signified?

0825-NICARAGUA-daniel-ortega

In Nicaragua the past few months was plagued by protests. The “Nicaraguan people” were protesting for “democratic reforms” and “the United States” was “deeply concerned about… the violence perpetuated by security forces against demonstrators.” Daniel “I-used-to-be-super-cool” Ortega, the president of Nicaragua, was facing an onslaught of slanderous attacks at the bidding of the Amerikkkan state. But the attacks continue.

Hell, even Noam “My-politics-are-unreliable” Chomsky jumped on board. This is the man who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the Sandinistas against imperialism not that long ago.

The Huffington Post warns us that “we may be witnessing the rise of fascism in Nicaragua.

Remember when there really was fascism in Nicaragua? For decades, the country was ruled by the Somoza family dictatorship as a U.$. client state. Following the revolution in 1979, the Sandinistas came to power and returned Nicaragua to the people.

Like all good Marxist-Leninist governments, the Sandinistas completely reformed the country – increasing literacy, access to healthcare, women’s rights, nationalizing industries, and improving housing, education, and working conditions for everyone.

After Ronald “I’m-a-huge-fucking-piece-of-shit” Reagan was elected president by the Amerikkkan people, his regime set out on funding paramilitaries to destroy Nicaragua. The Contras, U.$.-backed terrorists, stalked throughout the country and sowed chaos, murdering men, women, and children with unbelievable savagery.

Ortega lost the rigged elections of 1990 and the Sandinista revolution was dismantled. This is what happens when you hold elections in a country that the U.$. wants to control, but that’s neither here nor there.

Violeta “I’m-an-anti-feminist-asshole” Chamorro became the head of state and instituted Amerikkkan shock therapy, which Wikipedia summarizes thus:

The Chamorro years initiated a period of significant economic and social decline for Nicaragua. From 1990 to 2001, the country fell from 60th to 116th in the world in terms of human development, and has become the poorest of America after Haiti, according to United Nations Development Programme.

But, of course, she was the first elected female head of state in Latin America, so liberals should just love her, right?

In 2006, Ortega ran again and narrowly won to join our comrades in the Pink Tide: Chavez, Correa, Lula, Morales, Zelaya, Mujica, Kirchner, and the list goes on and on…

Of course, by this time, Ortega had made his peace with capitalism (unfortunately). Since 2006, Ortega has simply mimicked much of Chavez’s 21st Century Socialism – food programs, labor programs, social security.

Is it really a coincidence that the protests in Nicaragua in 2018 are so similar to the protests in Venezuela in 2017?

“Student Protests” & (Amerikkkan-backed) “democracy” being “repressed” by “an authoritarian leader” – it’s the same old script.

Interestingly, these new rounds of protests started in April, when the government planned to cut social security and pensions.

nicaragua-1980041.jpg

#letsoverthrowsomeshit

You mean the social security and pensions that they created?

That’s exactly what I mean.

And installing some pro-Amerikkkan leader will help them get better social security and pensions!?

Obviously not, dear reader.

But this is all a game, of course.

Some people, such as Jeffrey “Super-wonderful-academic” Gould, are insisting that those of us on the left need to recognize that “Daniel Ortega of today is not the Daniel Ortega of the Sandinista Revolution“, as published in the liberal-left pages of Jacobin.

Gould’s argument is directed at “a segment of the international left whose hatred of US imperialism has affected their capacity for critical thought.”

“Critical thought” here apparently means openly criticizing Ortega’s government and siding with an opposition that, according to Gould, “includes rightists, social democrats, and anarchists, and undoubtedly receives some support from some very dark corners of the hemisphere.”

645x344-lessons-from-us-rapaciousness-in-latin-america-1529271187191

It takes so much “critical thought” to be a liberal apologist for imperialism.

Admittedly, anti-imperialists do have a hatred of U.$. imperialism, although it seems to me that the lack of critical thought here is on the part of these pseudo-leftists who are eager to write damning texts about leftist governments in Euro-Amerikkkan journals and blogs primarily written for people in imperialist countries (shout-out to this blog!).

Here’s some critical thought: if we accept that there is an Amerikkkan hand here (which Gould admits), then we ought to side with Ortega against imperialism. Not because Ortega does everything perfectly or because Nicaragua is some utopia, but because imperialism is the primary contradiction. Imperialism is not the solution.

If there is “regime change” in Nicaragua, the situation won’t get better – it will get much, much worse!

Just as it did, by the way, in 1990.

This is the reason that real leftists need to take a step back and analyze the situation before they go around huffing and puffing about “the increasingly authoritarian tendencies of the Ortega administration”.

The international left needs to engage in some real critical thinking, because otherwise this strain of Amerikkkan liberalism is going to continue to establish barricades (like the protestors) to choke out small, poor, leftist countries and replace them with Western-backed regimes.

The United $tates is clearly involved in the attempt here to destabilize Nicaragua, everyone can see that.

Despite Ortega’s willingness to play ball, it isn’t enough (it’s never enough). There are good reasons for leftists to be dissatisfied with Ortega, but the answer is never to side with Amerikkkan fascists dressed up as democrats.

The Nicaraguan people know this and that’s why they came out in huge numbers in the middle of July to celebrate the anniversary of the revolution. What was aptly called a “coup attempt” was soundly defeated, the protests were quelled, and things have already returned to normalcy.

The Nicaraguan people won’t let Daniel be thrown in the lion’s den. We shouldn’t either.

Pakistan’s Promises and Problems

Imran Khan is set to become the next Prime Minister of Pakistan, following the elections that placed his party in dominance over the Majlis-e-Shura. Although the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (The Pakistan Movement for Justice) will have to form a coalition, it is likely to maneuver into place fairly quickly. Khan is hoping to build the “Naya Pakistan” (“New Pakistan”) that has become the slogan of his campaign.

ImranKhan_1563807c

Already, the propaganda machines in the West are lamenting his victory. With wonderful headlines, such as: “Pakistan’s likely next leader is a Taliban sympathizer” and “Imran Khan near victory in Pakistan but some ask if he is playing fair“, it is clear that Amerikkka is dissatisfied.

Liberal analysts at places like the Diplomat have followed suit with pieces like: “Why the Pakistan Army is Vying to Influence the General Elections” (like that doesn’t happen anywhere else) and “Imran Khan’s Victory in Pakistan: An Outcome Foretold” (because elections are always supposed to be surprises!)

Imran Khan, for better or for worse, is the only major politician who has stood up repeatedly against Amerikkkan domination over the country. He has been a stalwart critic of the CIA/ISI funding of terrorists in Afghanistan in the 80s, he has criticized Musharraf’s military dictatorship and elite corruption, and he has been one of the loudest voices against the drone strikes, the War on Terror, and sectarian violence.

At the end of the day, Khan has emerged as the voice against poverty, corruption, and, most promisingly, Western control over the government.

Although this has been the result of a long evolution and we certainly can’t be resting our hopes entirely at the feet of a nationalist-oriented liberal, the PTI offers the best chances at the moment of steering Pakistan in a direction of sovereignty and security.

800px-2018_General_Elections_in_Pakistan.svg

One of my friends once said that Pakistan has the shape of a dog and now I can never unsee that.

Khan, notably, has been critical as well of Chinese-funded infrastructure projects in the country. Pakistan’s orientation is likely to shift dramatically with the PTI in power, as new coalitions and partnerships are formed. The geopolitical map is already in flux in region and it will be interesting to see how the new government rides this wave.

Afghanistan today is falling back into chaos, China is pushing its weight around, India’s unlikely to do much until the elections in 2019, and the U.$. and Pakistan have been at odds for a while now (especially since Trump started causing problems).

How Khan will manage things going forward remains to be seen. After all, this is the first time that the PTI will be at the helm of Pakistani politics, after 22 years of being an opposition party. Will Khan’s Islamic welfare state become a reality? Will Pakistan crawl out from under the thumb of the Amerikkkans? Will the PTI usher in an era of stability?

And what does this mean for the multipolar world?

547338-femalevotevoterwomenONLINE-1368226913-216-640x480

In the coming weeks, as the coalition is formed, we will be able to see whether or not Khan is able to build his dream of an Naya Pakistan and what that means for the world.

Breaking up with Anarchism

The following letter was inspired by a discussion with a close friend who suggested that my dislike of anarchism was excessively hostile, because of my personal history with anarchism. I felt that it was time that I gave anarchism its due.

Dear Anarchism,

It’s not you; it’s me.

In some ways I’ll always love you. But it’s time that we both moved on.

I remember when we first met. It was while I was reading Daniel GuĂ©rin’s book about you, with its preface by Noam Chomsky. It was like love at first sight. All of my instincts led me to you and I saw you through perfectly tinted rose-colored glasses. Eventually, through our friend Noam, we came to a much deeper understanding.

I’ll always cherish our first few years together the most.

After our relationship developed, rather than stagnating, you led me to more exciting places than I had ever been. All of a sudden, I met other people who loved you in the same way that I did. I had unimaginable fun meeting your friends and spending hours with them just talking about how wonderful you are.

And it was those friends who showed me how I could see you differently.

They gave me different books about you and even called you by different names. I was exposed to your other pet-names, like “Council Communism” and “Insurrectionary Anarchism“. Your multi-dimensionality drew me in even more. You were all things for all people, but you were unique for me.

You gave me the tools I needed in order to see the world properly.

You introduced me to theory. Like really, over-complicated theory. For that I am eternally grateful, because you taught me to think. It was because of you that I began reading French post-structuralists and German critical theorists. It was because of you that I first interacted with radical feminists, queer activists, and people of color fighting against white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy.

Those were undoubtedly some of the best days of my life. I’ll always owe that time to you.

In the end, however, those days had to come to an end. And that ability to think eventually made us incompatible. I took off my rose-colored glasses and saw our relationship for what it was.

You see, I realized that despite my love for you and your friends love for you, it was impossible for everyone to love you. And that meant that your promises of perfect equality and anti-authoritarianism couldn’t be kept.

And, unfortunately, those promises meant everything to me.

My idealism faded and that left me ultimately dissatisfied in our relationship.

I’m sorry, Anarchism, but things just weren’t meant to be.

You’ll be fine, though, I’m sure. Others will meet you and fall in love in the same way that I did. You’ll draw more and more people in as time go on – I can guarantee that.

I end this relationship without bitterness, but with honest disappointment that things didn’t work out. I would have loved to stay forever. I ought to add that I’m sorry for all the times I misrepresented you or did a poor job of dealing with your friends. I tried my best and learned a lot from you.

And I’ll never forget the great times that we shared together.