The news was terse: “Svetlana Alexandrovna Alexievich is a Belarusian investigative journalist and non-fiction prose writer, writing in Russian. She was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time”. She is the first writer from Belarus to receive the award.” Sounds factual enough, but quiet waters often hide terrible undercurrents, and this is one such case. Simply put, the Nobel prize committee is by now largely bankrupt in terms of moral integrity, one more totally infiltrated tool of Western—read: US—propaganda. Reflecting the gradual but alarming erosion of Scandinavian independence and the triumph of globalist corporatism, prizes are often given for purposes that can only be defined as insults to the intelligence of people (who still think), or as all-time avatars for glaring oxymorons.
The disease gave us warning. In 1973 the Nobel Peace committee cowardly decided to give the prize to both Le Duc Tho, who, representing a viciously victimized state, amply deserved it, and Henry Kissinger, who as chief architect of a Machiavellian policy to advance imperialism and illegitimate war on behalf of the victimizer, did not. More recently (and equally scandalously) the awarding of the peace prize, of all things, to an obvious corporate politician like Barack Obama, barely out of the barn at the beginning of his disastrous and criminal tenure, is just another case in point. Obama’s thickly hypocritical record of nonstop war and reckless support for the most unsavory players on the international scene has eviscerated any credibility this prize ever managed to retain.
Prizes in other areas are also subject to heavy political arm-twisting by the West, which seeks to accumulate them as trophies to demonstrate its inherent superiority. None are more coveted than the literature prize, which is only logical. Public intellectuals—whether working in fiction, journalism, or philosophy— are supposed to articulate the conscience of society. They are supposed to be as impartial in their verdicts as a human being can ever hoped to be. Often as novelists or journalists, their work is accessible to the public. These are the crucial “clerks”, whose trahison —as J. Benda warned us—dooms a society to eventual tyranny and downfall. Even in a civilization in which mediocrity and banality reign supreme, such people command attention and admiration. In a world as permeated by uber-propaganda as we inhabit today, largely a reflection of the invasion of modern media into every crevice of our consciousness, not to mention the maturation of contemptible arts such as opinion manipulation, itself a natural offshoot of a civilization that depends on marketing, literary giants are powerful commodities, great assets to have in the global persuasion game. Thus huge advantages can be gained by their implicit endorsements or castigations. This reality then makes it inevitable that a morally bankrupt and irredeemable system would seek to manufacture them to order, which is where the Nobel prizes fit in so well, and why—it is our contention—in the present historical context the latest winner, Svetlana Alexandrovna Alexievich, an objectively (whatever else she thinks she’s doing is another story) anti-Soviet, anti-Russian journalist, was chosen for the accolade. Pasternak must be quietly approving in his grave.
Why do we go at such length over these matters? Because the destiny of the world, as usual, runs on two tracks: ideology and organized violence. Bombs —criminal and righteous—shape current history as much as ideas, what ordinary people in supposedly free societies carry in their heads, and that’s why the US and its satellites invest so much time and effort in maintaining information supremacy. Puncturing their gross adulterations of truth is our mission, and few do it better than our colleague Luciana Bohne. Her elegant essay on the awarding of the Nobel for Literature to Svetlana Alexievich will vaccinate you against further infections from this source. Be sure to pass it on.—P. Greanville
The 2015 Nobel Prize for Literature Is a Disgraceful Choice
An open letter to Jean Paul Sartre
Dear Jean Paul Sartre,Thank you for refusing the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1964, although, I must say, Harold Pinter made spectacular use of its pulpit by hurling an uncompromising indictment against the Axis of Good.
While the assault on Iraq was dismembering a people and a country, Pinter noted in 2004 that in the collective culture of empire, “Nothing ever happens even as it’s happening.” Therefore, along the ecocidal and homicidal path of empire, the victims—the legions of unremembered dead—remain nameless and uncounted.
Pinter’s speech was a linguistic airstrike of explosive proportions, so the empire ignored it. “Nothing happened.”
Some of the picks since your refusal in 1964 have been good: the awards to Dario Fo and Gabriel Garcia Marquez spring to mind, but this year’s choice vindicates your reasons for refusing the honor. You said that cultural interchange between East and West must flow between people and cultures—not through institutions. You said that the awards of past prizes were not conferred equally on all ideologies and countries. You said that:
“A writer who adopts political, social, or literary positions must act only with the means that are his own – that is, the written word . . . all the honours he may receive expose his readers to a pressure I do not consider desirable.”
In formulating your refusal, you may have recalled Ralph Waldo Emerson’s belief that “Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. ” Indeed, the Nobel committee chose you for “for [your] work, which, rich in ideas and filled with the spirit of freedom and the quest for truth, has exerted a far-reaching influence on our age.”
Our age, dear Sartre, is not an age basking in the warmth of freedom or journeying in the light of truth—even in spirit, as yours did, after the sobering carnage of WW II. This year’s Nobel Prize for Literature honors an age of intellectual dishonesty, dullness, and opportunism. Even a lethally bathetic intellectual age.
The Nobel Prize for Literature in 2015 goes to Svetlana Alexievich, a “dissident” Belarusian scribbler who, in the post-communist era, has flattered the Only Remaining Superpower with tales of the new Evil Empire of Russia and of its bloodthirsty Tsar Vladimir the Terrible. She joins the canon—past and present– of cultural-imperialist, orientalists, sovietologists, russologists, sinologists, and sundry praise-singers of Western liberalism with vintage Cold-War bollocks that maintain the image of the moral superiority of the West.
This year’s prize is a cruel, almost witty inversion of all that you stood for and turns Hannah Arendt’s “banality of evil” into the evil of banality (there’s one who may have vitiated her prize with that phrase!).
Yours respectfully and most sincerely,
The Anglo-American empire never rests in its Anti-Russian bile. Below an example how the putatively impartial BBC covered the award. (The BBC is in many regards the equivalent of the New York Times. While regular rags and vociferous propaganda outlets like the Murdoch “press” use the bludgeon, these elegant folks prefer the poisoned stiletto. Omission and innuendo, and repeated falsification, is their preferred m.o.).
Nobel laureate for Literature Alexievich: Exposing stark Soviet realities
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