NICK CRUSE • CARLOS GALLEGO
The Identity Paradox Podcast
ANNOTATED BY PATRICE GREANVILLE
THIS IS A REPOST • FIRST RUN MAR 9, 2022
Judge for yourself
Below a clip from Vaush's Wiki page. Note that, obviously to gain credibility as "left" champions or simply confuse the naive, these characters frequently endorse genuinely popular positions in left circles, such as ending the embargo on Cuba, or US withdrawal from some doomed imperial project such as Afghanistan. However, when it comes to more immediately meaningful positions, such as where you side on the Ukraine War, they invariably side with the Deep State. Thus, their fatuous verborrhea aside, their core contradictions are easy to spot but unfortunately invisible to the politically callow. Probably no genuine leftist would ever support capitalism, the fount of innumerable ills—from grotesque inequality to economic insecurity and endless militarism (not to mention chief progenitor of fascism and imperialism). Such vices never seem to bother libertarians, of course, who thrive in ahistoricism. Vaush is a proud "libertarian socialist", a popular label in some circles that really hides a devious oxymoron, the definition of someone who in reality does not understand, nor wishes to understand, what true socialism is, and who, by choosing such obviously tendentious label, is proclaming to one and all that socialism is inherently tyrannical. (The "tyranny" of socialism is an article of faith among capitalism's adherents). Nor would a true leftist ever recommend a vote for Joe Biden! Biden, the very incarnation—as Hillary is—of duopolist corruption, liberal interventionism, WOKE imperialism and many other crimes.
Stylistically, Vaush and his ilk seem to specialise in facile, superficial scholarship and machine-gun recitation of facts and pseudo facts designed to overwhelm the opponent. Entering the ring with one of these guys is like subjecting yourself to a gratuitous mental mugging. It's an unfortunate fact that bourgeois culture naturally, and I should say abundantly, produces these types. All the CIA and the rest of the imperial goons have to do is cultivate them a bit. Give them some support through their vast network of propaganda assets, and voilá, another influential charismatic faker to the defense of the status quo. —PG
|[Ian] Kochinski [Vaush] is a self-described progressive, anti-fascist, and libertarian socialist. He has also described himself as a "dirtbag leftist" and "a big fan of democracy". In the 2020 United States presidential election, he opposed the "Bernie or Bust" movement and urged people to vote for Joe Biden, calling a refusal to vote "stupid" and motivated by "[an] incredibly narcissistic 'doomerism' that prevents people from engaging in meaningful action".Kochinski opposes the United States embargo against Cuba and supported the withdrawal of United States troops from Afghanistan. He also opposed Donald Trump's withdrawal of United States troops from Rojava. While believing that tech companies have too much power, Kochinski also felt that Donald Trump being banned from various social media websites was an "unequivocally good thing". In 2022, Kochinski posted multiple videos and broadcast multiple livestreams condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The co-optation of the real left by the fake left, the "breadtubers", the WOKE crowd, etc., is such an important and urgent topic, that I thought I should mention here that Caleb Maupin, a well-known journalist, blogger and Marxist Leninist (founder of the CPI), wrote a whole book on the Breadtuber phenomenon. It is aptly called BreadTube Serves Imperialism: Examining The New Brand of Internet Pseudo-Socialism. Like everything Maupin does in the political realm, this volume is extremely well-argued, accessible, and an education to those with little knowledge of imperialism's tricks to confuse would-be revolutionists, and a perfect intro to actual leftist principles. One of the reviewers filed this fine evaluation which I think sheds more light on this often muddled topic:
Reviewed in the United States on July 4, 2021
In this clearly provocative, yet wildly informative and at times entertaining study of a heavily-publicized section of the American Left, Caleb Maupin reveals the true colors of BreadTube: nothing more than a US-sponsored counter gang filled with wild pessimism, a disturbing advocation for violence against anyone that disagrees with their mindset, and other bizarre mindsets that do not seem out-of-place in a cult; all sprinkled with leftist buzzwords.
Before delving into the book, one must ask: just what in the world is “BreadTube?” Maupin devotes the first chapter in his book defining what BreadTube is and who are the most prominent members of the group. In short, Maupin states that BreadTube is a collection of YouTube personalities with pseudo-leftist rhetoric and near-high quality videomaking that usually devote time into debunking right-wing ideas while disturbingly spending more time attacking actual left-wing personalities such as Maupin himself.
BreadTube Serves Imperialism goes further and states that the ideas that BreadTube offers are not new or revolutionary, but the same tired pessimistic deviant middle-class trends known since the past two centuries, but with a twist: misinforming people interested in left-wing politics and attacking actual socialist and progressive countries across the globe.
Among some of the interesting personalities Maupin attacks is Ian “Vaush” Kochinski, a pampered video game-playing kid from Beverly Hills who twists the words of Marxist intellectuals to fit the US liberal agenda while labelling anyone in the socialist camp (or at the very least, progressive minded or sympathetic to actual and historic socialist countries) as fascists. How such mental gymnastics are conducted in Kochinski’s mind is almost Olympic gold-medal worthy (good luck justifying how Albert Einstein is the same as the people he fled from), and this is not mentioning his citation of US-backed media platforms or Kochinski’s pedophilic behavior.
Another personality that Maupin attacks is Matt “Thought Slime,” a Canadian internet personality who spends most of his time discussing depression and suicide on his YouTube channel while either cyberbullying actual leftists (imitating Kochinski’s tactic of labelling leftists as fascists) or sloppily explaining socialist or other leftist ideas, notably believing that a Leninist political concept called Democratic Centralism is some type of economic planning.
Much time is devoted towards debunking BreadTube lies while at the same time explaining actual socialism, and Maupin [has] clearly done his research. His labelling of BreadTube as a counter gang comes from the term that British officer Frank Kitson used during his time in suppressing an anti-colonial revolt in Kenya. During that operation, Kitson directed the British army to provide support towards Kenyan gangs that spoke the language of the anti-colonial Kenyan fighters, but actually fought against the anti-colonial movement and commit atrocities that can be blamed on the anti-colonial fighters. It was this concept of counter gangs that also steered US policy during the Cold War, where the US provided covert support to alleged leftist movements who do not fight for actual leftist goals, but spend time attacking leftists. The atrocities of the Khmer Rouge come to mind, and it convincingly makes sense to call BreadTube another countergang.
Although Maupin does not flat-out state that BreadTube is some CIA-organization, but the fact that BreadTube is given publicity by mainstream outlets like the New York Times certainly adds fuel to the fire.
As of July 4, 2021, Maupin’s book is number one book on anarchism on Amazon. In my opinion it is probably because of the internet publicity that the book is getting, although it is a well-researched and incredibly informative book. The people of BreadTube certainly have some interesting reactions towards the book, and that is putting it mildly. Kochinski claims that BreadTube Serves Imperialism is all about him, even though Maupin only devotes 3 ½ pages to him. “Thought Slime’s” twitter feed has him on the self-defense, while his fans constantly name-call Maupin (notably the bizarre mispronunciation of Burger King labelled at Maupin, even though “Thought Slime” was the first person to use the mispronunciation). Among many accusations labelled (sic) against the book is the belief that it has no sources or citations. Of course, simply reading the book will show that Maupin does cite his sources and has a vast bibliography backing up his argument (granted, the citation is rather unorthodox from my perspective, a grad student majoring in history, but this is just nitpicking). Looking further into the book’s Amazon page, it seems that actual criticisms of the book are not really actual criticisms. The top critical review of BreadTube Serves Imperialism is nothing more than a rage-induced diatribe from someone who clearly has not read the book (and that is not because the username has a verified purchase label in it). Among the many claims, the reviewer claims that Maupin does not define or understand socialism (he does cite the definition of socialism in the very first paragraph of a section in chapter 2 titled “The Marxist Definition of Socialism”). Another baffling “critique” this particular reviewer makes is that BreadTube Serves Imperialism has no logical consistency; as if one chapter devoting time into what BreadTube is before devoting the next three chapters debunking BreadTube accusations into explaining socialism, communism, fascism, counter gangs, and the mindset of left-wing pessimism is not considered logical consistency.
Maupin has a gift that not many Marxist and socialist theorists have: translating these ideas into an easy and understandable language as well as arguing for socialism with economic data (something that BreadTube suspiciously rejects, (not with one of them foolishly stating “What does life expectancy prove?”). The addition of an appendix detailing his journey into Marxism certainly helps make Maupin a relatable human being who does not display a sense of self-righteousness or a superiority complex. Breadtube Serves Imperialism is a book that is definitely worth reading for anyone who has a genuine interest in socialism or to actually help improve the current state of affairs in a collapsing country like the United States.
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