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Chris Hedges “American Sadism” 

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Chris Hedges "American Sadism" 
Streamed live on Jun 27, 2021


 


Liberals like Chris Hedges are almost always extremely efficient and eloquent in their diagnoses of what ails society. In this talk, Hedges provides, for example, a good anatomy of what constitutes the main working parts of the imperialist organism, currently managed by Joe Biden (the collective Biden, not the real, physical Biden). This, Hedges insists, is just an army of professional bureaucrats dedicated to the design and implementation of policies conducive to the perpetuation of a global, deeply undemocratic oligarchic cabal, with HQ in Washington. For ideological and career reasons, these individuals are not likely to change their views easily. Many, like graduates from fancy universities working on blue ribbon foundations, NGOs, and think tanks, or as part of the national "security" apparatus,  are embedded in the most prestigious and (financially) rewarding parts of the imperialist structure.  The status quo is good for such people, who also suffer from an inherent short-term and myopic kind of thinking. The problem with Chris is that his analysis, good as it is,  does not advance much in the manner of solutions, aside from recommending extra-electoral mass mobilizations (something we certainly agree with).  And Chris's anti-communism and anti-Sovietism do not help matters much, either. A great deal of our dissatisfaction with Hedges stems from his diehard eurocentric values, which naturally privilege the US/EU way of looking at things. In an intro to Rainer Shea's critique of Hedges, we said:

We think the author is spot on with this critique of Hedges. For a long time we too have watched with mounting frustration Hedges spout fiery revolutionary rhetoric invariably laced with wild denunciations of communism and Marxism redolent of rightwingers, mainstream liberals and crafty anticommunists. Like Chomsky, who shares some of these traits, and most left-liberals, Hedges is excellent at describing the evils  of capitalism, but disgraceful when it comes to viable tactics and strategies. (In the 1970s Chomsky even declared that, due to its exceptionalism, capitalism could be eliminated in the US through the ballot box.) In Hedges case, maybe the muddle-headedness and praxis shortcomings stem from his apparent religious temperament, after all he's a graduate of Harvard's Divinity School, one of the more esoteric and elegantly anachronistic schools in that temple of bourgeois privilege and underhanded reaction. Whatever the reason, Hedges remains stuck on a paradox: he seems to want revolutionary change and the elimination of capitalism, but he cannot bring himself to embrace precisely the only —or shall we say the only historically-tested—tools that can make that future possible.

See Chris Hedges’ counter-revolutionary advice for revolution, by Rainer Shea, also on this site. 


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Hungary in 1956 & Czechoslovakia in 1968 – Answering a Superchat Question

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Caleb Maupin


EDITED BY PATRICE GREANVILLE
Streams of clarity, irony, humor and wisdom seen & overheard on the Net
Dispatch dateline:  Jun 7, 2021



The obligatory toppled statue of the tyrant du jour, in this case Stalin.

The struggle against the anti-communist left —mostly liberals but also people who see themselves as in revolutionary ranks,  like anarchists, revisionists of the Krusschev type, and Trotskyists, never stops. Indeed the class struggle even within party ranks never ceases until the construction of socialism is substantially completed and the road to communism is finally secured. And the latter may require the defeat of global imperialism. In this video Caleb tackles this important subject, reminding the audience that those who play with imperialist ideology almost always end up doing the bidding of imperialism. It bears repeating that the "Hungarian revolution" was one of the great propaganda coups of the postwar organised by the US and its allies in the Western imperialist camp. Let us recall that the same people who were crying so many tears for the Hungarian patriots supposedly crushed by the coarse Soviet communists and their horrible tanks had been engaging in a genocidal intervention in the Korean peninsula, where they even openly discussed the use of nuclear weapons to "turn the red tide". But truth is a quickly disposed inconvenience in bourgeois history, so instead this is the kind of rhetoric people got about the Hungarian revolt:


On November 4, 1956, Soviet tanks rumbled through the ancient cobblestone streets of Budapest, crushing a true “people’s revolution” that had wrested control of Hungary from Soviet stooges and thugs. The drama began in late October with spontaneous demonstrations by students and intellectuals against Soviet tyranny. The Soviets immediately unleashed their forces in the country, battling revolutionaries in several major cities. The escalation of violence eventually toppled the regime of Mátyás Rákosi, replacing the Communist dictator with Imre Nagy, who became Prime Minister and János Kádár First Secretary of the Communist Party. Revolutionaries began an aggressive offensive against Soviet troops and the remnants of the Hungarian army still loyal to Rakosi...(Read more at: https://dailynewshungary.com/the-end-of-hungarian-uprising-of-1956-november-4/)


Hungarian revolt, 1956


Alexander Dubcek

Dubcek was removed by the Soviets because they saw clearly he was being supported by the most rabid Western reactionaries, and the CIA, of course. The script was to bring Czechoslovakia into NATO. His brand of "socialism with a human face" (like "democratic" socialism, these propagandistic labels try to hammer the idea that all socialism is brutal, robotic, and ultimately inhuman, and certainly—god forbid!—undemocratic! ) would have ushered in a complete dismantlement of socialist institutions, something that eventually did happen throughout the Soviet periphery as Western-minded reformers ended up supporting and implementing neoliberal, NATO-allied regimes. 


The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of The Greanville Post


[su_shadow][su_panel color="#1d1919" border="4px solid #24476d" padding="10" shadow="2px 0px 1px #eeeeee" radius="7" target="blank"] Caleb Maupin has worked as a journalist and political analyst for the last five years. He has reported from across the United States, as well as from Iran, the Gulf of Aden and Venezuela. He has been a featured speaker at many Universities, and at international conferences held in Tehran, Quito, and Brasilia. His writings have been translated and published in many languages including Farsi, Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, and Portuguese. He is originally from Ohio. As a reporter with RT.com, Maupin's focus has been the United States. He has had many intense interactions with US State Department spokespeople including John Kirby, Mark Toner, and Heather Nauert confronting them about diverse issues like Syria, Russia, and the existence of Israeli nuclear weapons. Maupin was the primary US correspondent for RT’s international broadcasts during the 2016 Presidential elections. He reported from both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, and also directly from the riots in Oakland, California, during the aftermath of the vote.  [/su_panel][/su_shadow]

 

Rev. 11.11.20

All captions & pull quotes by the editors, not the authors (unless stated)..

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LOST AT SEA: LEFT LIBERALS HAVE NO PARTY

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In the face of the protests against the police killing of George Floyd and many other black Americans, the Democratic Party has done nothing. Even worse, in the face of these uprisings the Democratic Party candidate for president has named a vice-president who might be labelled the Queen of Prosecutions. Kamala Harris would be one of the first to prosecute the very blacks who are part of the uprising.

The only thing I want to add to this article is to define the term “left liberal” more precisely. The old liberals of the Enlightenment were committed to a constitution under law. They were against monarchies, for tolerance of divergent views and for separation of church and state. Left liberals during the FDR era have the following characteristics:

  • They were for Keynesian economic policies which admit that free market capitalism does not work and has to be monitored by state policies.
  • They supported what I call the “matriarchal” state. This means robust free public education, pensions and unemployment insurance. In the 1960s food stamps were added to social programs, and today there is strong liberal support for universal healthcare. The FDR liberals also supported infrastructure through building mass transportation systems, bridges and roads as well as maintaining those systems.
  • They were active in their support of science and technology. They believed science was the best way to understand the world and that building technologies would make life easier and better for most people.
  • They supported the existence of the military as a defensive measure only. They did not believe in imperial wars or overthrowing other governments.
  • They recognized and supported unions, which allowed for collective bargaining and strikes in support of the working class.
  • They made a distinction between communism and fascism. For example, liberals like John Dewey and Bertrand Russell actively gave the Soviet Union a chance before rejecting it.
  • Left liberals were committed to more economic equality in relation to gender and race.

Most people I know who consider themselves liberal support all or most of these characteristics, though they might not be able to name them all. Yet they ignore the fact that the Democratic Party, in practice, for the last 50 years, has had little or nothing to do with any of these core beliefs.


Liberal Slide Toward Centralism

In the periphery of the circles in which I travel, people do not actively defend what it means to be a member of the Democratic Party. They come on much stronger when they say they are against the Republican Party. And why not? The Republican Party is the party of old money, inheritance, white supremacy and fundamentalist Christianity. Republicans and their followers are up front about this and don’t apologize. By implication, a Democrat is supposed to be opposed to such extremes. But what Democrats are for is simply left implied, and dissolves into a mist before the end of the conversation.

The case of the relationship between liberals and conservatives is pretty much similar. Long before political parties, the conservatives were considered to be the “Party of Order”, proudly supporting class, race and gender hierarchies, obedience to authority and respect for tradition. In the time of French Revolution, to be liberal also meant to take a firm stand by opposing conservatives. But in the United States today, to be liberal does not seem to stand for much. For example, today’s liberals are a bit more willing to recognize racial inequality than conservatives, and are more tolerant of differences in religions. But on the issues of social class and capitalism they are one party.

Above all, to be a Democrat or a liberal means that you are not "extreme" in your views. In fact, liberals have abandoned so many of the traditions they once fought for historically that the socialist movement has, unfortunately, taken over the causes of liberals. These include state intervention in the economy, raising the minimum wage, and introducing single payer healthcare as if this were the core of socialism. The fact that Bernie Sanders can claim to be a “democratic socialist”, promoting a program that is not even the equal of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s liberalism, demonstrates the failure of liberalism to defend its own best heritage.

Academic socialist leftists add more confusion to the mix by blithely calling the economic and political organization in the United States “neo-liberal” as if this term explained everything. The term neoliberal does not describe the state of the economy very well. It is not simply a return to Adam Smith’s economic liberalism of the “invisible hand” of the market. More importantly, liberalism is primarily a political stance that has undergone at least eight changes in the last 220 years. The fact that the general public has no understanding of this term, “neo-liberal”, doesn’t seem to faze these academics. The term does little to help the public understand the slide of liberalism into a morass. [In practice, "neoliberalism" is simply another latter-day mask won by those who support unfettered global capitalism and its infernal spawn, imperialism. Capitalists have long realized that their beloved system is not exactly embraced or happily accepted by most people, whose dim memories of its early brutalities continue to haunt it. That's why in the US—the nation of shameless hucksterism and spins—they soon came up with alternative labels, i.e., "Free Enterprise" (to associate it with freedom), and the most insidious of them all, "the American Way of Life", a triumph for those who would denounce fellow Americans as "un-Americans" should they raise objections to the rule of social Darwinism. See, for ex. American Brainwash: Guess what, Ma, capitalism is not Americanness!  —Ed.]

Democracy Slides Towards Centralism

Just as the Democratic Party and liberalism have allowed themselves to be defined by the Republican Party on the one hand and the conservatives on the other, the same fate has occurred in the case of what democracy is. During the 1920s and 1930s there was genuine concern that the American and European masses did not seem to act as democratically as Alexander Tocqueville had imagined. A few political theorists started asking questions about the political structure of electoral politics because so many people didn’t seem to show much of an interest in the candidates or the way issues were framed. But a not-so-funny thing happened to most political scientists in the 1930s, at least in the United States. Instead of challenging the set-up of these so-called democratic electoral processes, U.S. political scientists ignored their internal problems and turned outward. They compared their democracy to the newly invented term “totalitarianism” to describe both fascism and Stalinism. The term totalitarian was toned down during World War II because the Soviets were on the side of the U.S., but the term “totalitarian” returned with a vengeance after the war to describe communist societies. (Hanna Arendt, who popularized the term, was a member of the rising postwar anti-communist "synthetic left" intelligentsia nurtured by the CIA. —Ed)

In the late 1940s political scientists abandoned the very serious study of the problems of democracy, which were pointed out by left-liberals like philosopher John Dewey, cultural critic Upton Sinclair and historian Charles Beard in the twenties and thirties. Instead, they accepted a new right-wing, elitist theory of democracy first championed by Joseph Schumpeter. Democracy was all about voting for the circulation of elites.

To sum up, in the case of Democratic Party, the political tradition of liberals, as well as democratic theory, the pattern is the same. All three concepts in practice have slid to the center-right of the political spectrum. This rightward slide has occurred behind the scenes because each has been contrasted favorably with the extreme right, the Republican Party – conservative elites or fascists. The Democratic Party, liberals and elite democratic theory have also been favorably compared to the "extreme" left – communism. In fact a Cold War Liberal like Daniel Bell could even dissolve the term liberal altogether in the book The End of Ideology. Arthur Schlesinger Jr. would write a book called The Vital Center. Liberals for him were synonymous with centrists.

My Claim

What I’m going to argue is that the best of the left-wing liberal tradition is worth preserving and, as Ralph Nader might say, has nothing in common with the Democratic Party. The practice and politics of the Democratic Party are not liberal and never have been. Left-wing liberals have to face the fact they have no party.

A Whirlwind Tour of Liberalism

It is safe to say that what it means to be liberal has had different political meanings in different historical periods. According to political philosopher Stephen Holmes, in the glory days of the French Revolution being liberal meant being against monarchies and aristocratic privilege. Liberals were militant against the church, claiming it was corrupt and filled with superstition, even as they defended religious tolerance. Liberals were opposed to censorship, and promoted freedom of assembly. They defended free trade against monopolistic trading companies before the working class and poor were driven into the mines and factories as industrial capitalism showed its full face.

In the early 19th century liberalism became entangled with the industrial revolution and moved towards the center of the political spectrum. Liberalism leaned to the right in the second half of the 19th century, buying into philosopher Herbert Spencer’s concept of “rugged individualism” and then slid into bed with Social Darwinism. The early part of 20th century liberalism started moving left again with the progressive movement in the United States. For a while, some liberals were even open to hearing the communist case, with philosophers Bertrand Russell and John Dewey being sympathetic for a while.

Then in the 1930s, catalyzed by the Great Depression, liberalism came to grips with the fact that free-market capitalism wasn’t working and it embraced the remedialist economic policies of John Maynard Keynes. After World War II, Cold War liberals turned rightward, embracing the ideology of the Cold War. The Civil Rights and the anti-war movements of the 60s drove liberalism leftward again in the form of Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty.

As the growth rate of the capitalist economy slowed in the late 1960s and the early 1970s, left-liberalism slid rightward and has never recovered. At least since the late 1970s what has stood for liberalism was defined by neo-conservatives in the early 1980s and by right-wing Democrats in the late 1980s (the infamous "DNC", or Democratic Leadership Council).

It’s not as if liberals are alone in using words that have little relation to a concrete policy. As many of us know, much fraternal blood has been spilled for well over 170 years between social democrats, Marxist-Leninists, council communists and anarchists over what socialism should and shouldn’t be. But at least we socialists understand that in the United States, we simply have no party. Left liberals are still in denial.

Is the Democratic Party Left-Liberal?

Back in the days of the French Revolution, no liberal government would put up with monarchies, even if they existed in other countries. For a short while after the French Revolution, the French government unsuccessfully tried to destabilize monarchies in other countries. But today Democratic (and of course Republican) presidents have no problems meeting with kings or queens and hammering out diplomatic agreements with them. Claiming to be a “democracy”, the Democratic Party forms alliances with states that would be condemned as ultra-royalists 200 years ago.

Nor does the Democratic Party have any problem with inherited wealth. We see no bills in Congress coming from Democrats seeking to limit inheritance or tax the inheritance of many of its members. These days, members of the Democratic Party do not attack the Catholic Church for its wealth or call for the jailing of priests for child molestation. Separation of church and state? How many Democrats are there who don’t support the religious theocracy of Israel?

Protection of free speech? No Democratic presidents had any trouble with raiding homes (the Palmer Raids), McCarthy witch-hunts, or involvement with the CIA and its anti-communist operations. As for free market policy, the Democratic Party has ignored what the best of liberals understood 80 years ago –a free market doesn’t work very well. Drone warfare, militarization of the police? Liberals of the Enlightenment would be appalled by these practices.

The Republican Party is my class enemy. But sometimes I respect my enemies. Republicans form in clear tendencies, they fight, undermine each other and violate virtually every one of Aristotle’s fallacies. However, one thing I admire is that they don’t swear allegiance to each other before, during or after the primaries the way Bernie Sanders did with Hillary.

How obvious does it have to be that the left-liberals have no party? Is the coming genuflection of Bernie Sanders to the neo-con in waiting, Queen Hillary [this year he's abjectly peddling the Biden-Harris ticket], not enough to convince you? The Democratic Party stands for nothing but capitalism – before and during the primaries. It does what it has done for as long as I can remember: it presents a boogeyman Republican – whether it be Trump, McCain, Bush or whoever else. It then defends itself not by the sweet dreams it promises to deliver, but by the Republican nightmares it promises to forestall.

Why Bother Writing About Left-Liberals?

I do not make these criticisms because I hope that if left-liberals build a “Tea Party of the Left” that I would join. We socialists have our own work to do. I consider the pessimism of the Frankfurt School, structuralism, post-structuralism and the nihilist and relativist posturing of postmodernism as a 50 year embarrassment, and it is these folks who blithely paint right, center and left-liberalism with the same brush. I think the ideas, programs and skepticism of John Stuart Mill, Bertrand Russell and John Dewey are just as relevant today as they were at the time they were written. Anyone who thinks these left liberals are worth defending should have nothing to do with the Democratic Party.

Neither do I think that liberals and socialists are ultimately “on the same side” as the term “progressive” seems to imply. Liberals are closer to conservatives than they are to left-socialists because both liberals and conservatives are committed to capitalism. In the long run, left socialists and left liberals will differ. But in the short run, it would be good to have a left-liberal party for company while we hopefully build our revolutionary socialist party.

One last way to make my point is by naming names. I trust Ralph Nader much more than I trust Bernie Sanders, Noam Chomsky or Cornel West. Ralph Nader is a straight-up New Deal liberal. He knows the Democratic Party is the graveyard for left-liberals. Neither does he play games with the term “socialism”. He is against it and he says so. On the other hand, while I see little or no difference between Bernie Sanders’ program and anything Ralph Nader proposes, Bernie insists on calling his New Deal program “democratic socialism” – and he joins the Democratic Party to implement it! Why would I trust him? Then there are the Left Gatekeepers who are also untrustworthy. Noam Chomsky writes about workers’ councils between elections, then every four years tells us to vote for a Democrat. Cornel West talks about democratic socialism, yet he too, instructs us to vote for a Democrat when push turns to shove.

Why doesn’t the socialist left have a party? We have good reasons. Socialist organizations were crushed in the 40s and 50s in the US by corporations, Cold War liberals, McCarthyism and spy agencies. In addition, to the extent that the socialist parties are really a party of the poor, working class and some middle class, building a party costs money, is time consuming and takes years. Most of us have little time and not much money.

But what excuse do left-liberals have? Most left liberals are upper middle-class. They have the resources to build a party. Why don’t they? What keeps left liberals from pouring resources into the Green Party, which has always been at least truly left-liberal? Clearly the number of people in the United States who are for Bernie Sanders convinces me that the population would welcome such as party. For decades surveys have shown that Americans say there should be more than two parties. What is the hold up? It’s past time.

Conclusion: I can imagine those who support the “lesser of two evils” telling me “you are undermining us, and weakening our commitment to Biden and Harris and this article will help deliver the election to Trump”. On the contrary, nothing in this article is suggesting that you vote any differently than you already intend to. In fact, I am completely cynical that I can convince any of the “Vote Blue No Matter Who” folks to change their minds about the upcoming election. Rather, I hope to convince you that your support of the Democratic Party has nothing to do with being liberal. After the election if you want to rebuild liberalism get out of the Democratic Party and build your own party. 

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Bruce Lerro has taught for 25 years as an adjunct college professor of psychology at Golden Gate University, Dominican University and Diablo Valley College in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has applied a Vygotskian socio-historical perspective to his three books found on Amazon. Read more of his articles and get involved at Planning Beyond Capitalism He can be reached at mailto:goethe48@pacbell.net
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SOURCE: https://socialistplanningbeyondcapitalism.org/left-liberals-have-no-party-how-about-facing-the-music/

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LEFT GATEKEEPERS THROUGH THE NEW LEFT: MONITORED REBELLION PART II

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BY BRUCE LERRO / PERSPECTIVES

I wrote this article almost four years ago in reaction to the public’s claim to be inconvenienced by Oakland protesters stopping traffic on the freeway of Interstate 880 in Oakland in solidarity with the two black men shot and killed by police in Louisiana and Minnesota. The point of that article was to show that bystanders’  ideas of where violence starts, when it starts and who the perpetrators of violence are betrays an adherence to a liberal social contract theory rooted in Locke, Hobbes and Rousseau. Even those who claim to be “non-violent” are trapped in social contract theory. At the end of the article I argue for a political-economic understanding of where, when and who is responsible for the violence.


Given the recent police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the subsequent torching of police stations and the shutting down of bus lines, we will surely hear even greater howls from bystanders that they are being inconvenienced, that their rights are being infringed on, they had nothing to do with the violence and that the police are a neutral force. All these claims are rooted in the same social contract theory that becomes increasingly moth-eaten as capitalism continues to disintegrate. —BL

 

In Part I of this article, I raised some questions about the uneven distribution of media coverage (radio, newspapers, magazines) between leftists, social democrats and anarchists on the one hand, and Leninists on the other. The social democrats and the anarchists receive the most media attention.  Next, I showed how the social democrats and the anarchists can be grouped into a single category of “New Left,” while Leninists represented the “Old Left”. I looked for patterns in their differences as I compared them across thirteen categories.

In the second half of Part I of the article, I discussed the machinations of a CIA front group in the 1950’s and 1960’s called the Congress for Cultural Freedom. The purpose of this organization was to keep communism from spreading into Europe by drawing anti-Stalinists into their organization, writers and artists, to make the case against communism through books, movies and modern art produced by non-communist left.

In Part II of this article, I explore the presence of other organizations today that perform the same monitoring function, except that Left Gatekeeping is directed primarily within Yankeedom. In the second half of this article I identify the characteristics of a left organization that would threaten the Left Gatekeepers. I complete the article by revisiting the characteristics of the New Left I laid out in Part I and show how its theory and practice can work quite well with the goals and purposes of liberal foundations, think tanks, political campaigns and mainstream media. As it turns out, the Left Gatekeepers of the 2nd half of the 20th century use the New Left to do their monitoring of any kind of movement that has any independent aspirations from the Democratic party. These organizations perform a very similar role as the Congress for Cultural Freedom played in the 50’s and 60’s. The leftist patron saints I named at the beginning of Part I are all unintentionally being used as tools of the Left Gatekeepers today.

Stratospheres of the Ruling Class

William Domhoff is a political sociologist who spent his entire life as a social scientist tracking empirically how the ruling class rules. Two of his books that detailed this were The Powers that BeandWho Rules America?Domhoff found that the three most powerful organizations in the United States are the National Association of Manufacturers, The Business Roundtable and the Rockefellers’ group, The Council on Foreign Relations. These organizations rule through eight descending levels, culminating in the control of both the Republican and Democratic parties.

 

"Like the Cold War liberals of the 1950s, Chomsky is a dogmatic and relentless critic of any kind of state socialism and does not make a distinction between communists and fascists..."

The first level is through university trustees and the setting up of foundations and grants. The second level are the think tanks which represent conservative, centrist and liberal viewpoints. More on this later. From the think tanks come policy discussion groups which develop public relations campaigns. Out of these public relations campaigns come reports, testimonies, books and newspaper editorials. From these are drawn “opinion leaders” who speak regularly to mass media. Policy discussion groups also lead directly to lobbyists and these lobbyists control the political candidate selection, whether they are Republican or Democrat. Lastly, there is the pageantry of elections where the public gets to vote. The important thing to notice is how passive both political parties are. They are the creatures of the upper levels, both liberal and conservative.

Most pertinent to Left Gatekeeping are the think tanks. Conservative think tanks include the Rand Group, American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Hoover Institute and the Manhattan Project. A centrist think tank is the Brookings Institute. Liberal think tanks include the Center for American Progress, the Ford Foundation, the Economic Policy Institute and the Center for Economic and Policy Research. [These are all establishment-funded and recognised think tanks, thereby automatically able to inject viewpoints and personnel into governmental policy. A left think tank, the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), produces important policy papers, but is largely ignored by the media gatekeepers and the political establishment as a whole.—Ed]

While the Congress for Cultural Freedom has supposedly dissolved, the ruling classes have learned quite well the importance of controlling alternative visions to capitalism through think tanks, media and selected personalities. Their goal is to exclude any serious organizing of a socialist movement independent of the Democratic Party.

But if the Old Left died with the fall of Stalin as I argued in Part I, what do the ruling classes have to worry about? The truth is that the Leninist tradition has not died out, especially outside the United States. It continues to be present in Cuba, in parts of South America, in Europe and in parts of Asia. The job of the liberal think tanks in the United States is to either censor them or vilify them. How do they do this? By indirectly supporting the Old Left’s competition – the social democrats and the anarchists of the New Left.

Liberal Think Tanks, Media, and Left Patron Saints as Left Gatekeepers

In his powerful research paper, Left Gatekeepers, Bob Feldman created a flow chart with ruling class powers such as Council of Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, the CIA, with the Carlyle Group at the top. The funding for liberal think tanks comes from the Rockefellers, Carnegie, and Soros.  The Ford and MacArthur Foundations establish grants for left liberal news and media sources such as Mother Jones, the Nation Magazine, Z magazine, AlterNet, Fair, NPR, Pacifica, and Democracy Now.

The funding of any leftist organization depends on the organization’s willingness to “play ball” if it expects to get regular funding. In his paper, Feldman asks:

“Are the interests of the people being served by dissidents who are being subsidized by the very agencies of the ruling class whom they should be exposing? What does it say about the motivations behind the left establishment ideological warfare against conspiracy researchers, and their adoption of an increasingly watered-down analytical view which fails to look closely at the inner power structures and conspiracies of the ruling elite”?

What is Left Gatekeeping?

The purpose of both the CIA, the upper classes and the entire Left Gatekeeping organizational apparatus is to combat communism, whether at home or abroad. Left gatekeeping is a practice by the ruling class of setting up organizations, foundations and think tanks which funnel money into leftist organizations that are:

  1. To the left of Leninism (anarchism)
  2. To the right of Leninism (social democracy, and New Deal liberals)

They do this in order to infiltrate independent working-class movements, whether Leninist or not. This is the job of the CIA and FBI. The second purpose is to indirectly fund what is perceived as the weaker and less threatening tendencies of the left for the purposes of isolating the Leninists. This is the job of foundations, think tanks, the policy making discussion groups and the political campaigns. Thus DSA, Jacobin magazine, Socialist Alternative and Global Exchange will always find a welcoming ear on the radio waves and journals of the Left Gatekeepers. Noam Chomsky, proclaimed anarchist, can come onto Democracy Now whenever he wants. But Michael Parenti, who will defend the Soviet Union or China and who is quite capable of matching Noam Chomsky, rarely gets on the air. Then, in election years, without too much nudging, DSA, Jacobin and Socialist Alternative will, one way or another, collapse themselves safely inside the Democratic Party. The rightward turn of the Green Party was orchestrated so that they limited themselves to campaigns in “safe states”. This way the Democratic Party will have no competition coming from the Left.

Left Gatekeeping in Action: Let’s Get Personal

In 2002 Naomi Klein made a wonderful documentary with Avi Lewis called “The Take”. The movie was about workers taking over bankrupt factories and running them without bosses. This was followed by a well-researched and popular book of hers called The Shock Doctrine. It described the destruction of economies around the world by a neoliberal economic policy founded by the “Chicago Boys”. A book or so later, she wrote This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate. In this book she uses the term “capitalism” in a manipulative way. The word “capitalism” is provocative for selling the book. However, the book does not criticize capitalism as a system, but only the more neoliberalism version of it. So we are left to wonder, is she a Keynesian or is she a socialist?

Naomi Klein could have gone all over the world in a follow-up to her documentary and described workers’ self-management projects. She could have linked that to the workers’ councils that were present and operating in Russia from 1917-1921 and in Spain from 1936-1939. But this was perhaps not a project that a publisher would be interested in or a think tank or a foundation might support or promote.  So, Naomi Klein swings the gate between sympathy towards anarchism (worker occupations) and New Deal liberalism.

Cornel West is another critic who gives his followers mixed messages. In non- election years, he promotes a social democratic program. In most election years he bows to the “lesser of two evils” scenario and tells his followers to vote for the Democrats. Whether or not he promotes the Democrats or the Greens depends on who is running as a Democrat. So, for him, if he likes the person, which party the person is in is not so relevant. From a structural Marxist viewpoint, it doesn’t matter who is running as a Democrat. The Democratic Party is a ruling class party and whoever the individual may be is irrelevant. West also swings the gate between social democracy and New Deal liberalism.

Noam Chomsky swings the gate in a way similar to Naomi Klein. In election off-years, besides criticizing US foreign policy, he will promote anarchism by writing forewords to anarchist books. However, during election years his anarchism seems to disappear, and we will be told that the Republican Party is the most dangerous party in history, and we must vote for a Democrat. Chomsky swings the gate between anarchism and New Deal liberalism. Like the Cold War liberals of the 1950s, Chomsky is a dogmatic and relentless critic of any kind of state socialism and does not make a distinction between communists and fascists. Christopher Hedges also equated Antifa to the Proud Boys as equally dangerous in that both advocate armed conflict. All these unwitting Left Gatekeepers share the characteristics of the New Left in Table A in Part I of my article.

Who do the Left Gatekeepers Censor and Vilify?

Any organization that is clearly for the working class. This doesn’t mean unions necessarily. In the business unionism of the United States from the 50s onward, union leadership lost all sense of vision, of fighting for workers to manage the workplace. Union dues were spent by the leadership on promoting voting for the Democratic Party rather than on organizing workers. Union bureaucrats were much more at home with Democratic politicians than they were with their own members. One organization that we predict will not ever make the news at either NPR or the Pacifica radio station is Labor Notes. Labor Notes has been in operation for 40 years. It tracks working class struggles around the United States from the point of view of the rank-and-file. Their goal is to “put the movement back in the labor movement.”

Another enemy of the Left Gatekeepers is the formation of a working-class party that is independent of both political parties. In his article on our website, Joe G. Kaye has nicely identified all the reasons a working-class party has not been formed in the United States. However, he has not included the machinations of the ruling class – the foundations, think tanks, etc. Despite whatever good intentions they may have, DSA, Jacobin, Socialist Alternative on the right, and anarchists Noam Chomsky and Michael Albert on the left, all are colluding in keeping a working-class party from forming when they invite us every four years to vote for the ”lesser of two evils”.

Whatever their shortcomings, Leninist parties all over the world have had some success in Russia, China and Cuba in organizing socialism at a national level and sustaining it over decades. Despite their political "authoritarianism" (essentially an upper-class, western-centric notion), they have done very well in reducing poverty, raising the literacy rate, and providing inexpensive housing, (not to mention free higher education and full universal healthcare—Ed). Leninist parties will always be condemned. The social democratic parties of Denmark, Sweden and Norway have also done well but only because their social democratic movement was a separate party and did not try to influence a ruling class party like the Democrats, as DSA has done here. While social democracy in these countries has not been condemned by the Left Gatekeepers, they are ignored as examples of how to be socialist and also produce a high standard of living. An independent socialist party terrifies the Left Gatekeepers.

The third group to be disinvited is any New Left group that is anti-Zionist. US foreign policy is very dependent on having a friendly base in the Middle East and we can rest assured that any group that is pro-Palestinian such as the ANSWER coalition will be attacked as being anti-Semitic. There is good reason why the scholar Norman Finkelstein has never been able to receive a full-time teaching position because of his defense of the Palestinians. The entire New Left must get a permit paper from AIPAC, the most powerful lobby for Israel in Yankeedom.

Another group targeted by the Left Gatekeepers are organizations that actively support anti-imperialism. Any Pan-African movement leaders like Gaddafi in Libya will be condemned as “authoritarian dictators”, mouthing CIA positions. The African People’s Socialist Party in Yankeedom would also be dismissed.

Furthermore, on an international level, any organization or media outlet that show the slightest sympathy to nations deemed an enemy of the United States will be targeted. The Left Gatekeepers will have no problem with anarchists who condemn both US foreign policy and the "authoritarian" governments of Russia, China and Iran. But any news source that reports some sympathy for Russia, China, Iran, Cuba or Venezuela are deemed enemies. It is very important to the Left Gatekeepers (whether inside or outside the CIA) that the left in the US toe the party line about its perceived enemies.

So, for example, it is impossible to say that that yes, China has an authoritarian government (by Western definitions) and yes there is a deep class structure and yes, it is state capitalist. Nevertheless, the Chinese state has raised the standard of living for [hundreds of] millions of people and internationally it is doing what Marx said what was best about capitalism: developing the productive forces through building the New Silk Road. China is also going off the dollar, as is Russia, and they are backing their economies in gold. We think that any nation-states or states that attempt to break the domination of the Yankee empire is worth critically supporting. But for the Gatekeepers and their new left pawns, this is too much.

News sources that defend countries that challenge Yankees’ foreign policy will be harassed. This is the case for New Eastern Outlook, Russian Times, The Greanville Post, TeleSUR, or VenezuelAnalysis.

Lastly any group that suggests the United States has been and is capable of assassinations and false-flag operations at home or abroad will be labelled “conspiracy nuts”. This is certainly what happened and is happening to the 911 Truth Movement.

Strange Bedfellows: Is the New Left a Pawn of the Left Gatekeepers?

In this last section I want to show how easily the beliefs of the new left can mesh with the foreign and domestic policies of the Left Gatekeepers. First, when the New Left uncritically rejects the state socialism of the former Soviet Union or the current state capitalism of China (or formally known as "Socialism with Chinese characteristics"), it cuts itself off from the Yankees’ greatest international rivals and it makes sympathetic collaboration impossible.  Secondly when the New Left championed identity politics at the expense of social class, it lost the most powerful force for stopping the capitalist system—class struggle—the working-class production of surplus value in the workplace. Organizing around race and gender does not have a concrete site in which surplus value is produced. As far as gender goes, however real “patriarchy” is, a women’s revolution against men is very far-fetched since it runs against evolutionary psychology’s sexual selection strategies.

When the New Left throws up its hands and says capitalism can go on forever, it deprives itself of understanding the weak points of the system and how it could be overturned. The Left Gatekeepers are thrilled with the 50-year wild-goose chase dissecting language, psychology, and sexuality, none of which are threats to capitalism. It would be one thing if the New Left approached political democracy with its own party. However, the New Left never built its own party and so it has been trapped for 50 years inside the Democratic Party. With the possible exception of the anarchists, the New Left ignored democracy, in the economic sense of democracy, in the workplace. Being trapped inside the Democratic Party is the ultimate aim of the Left Gatekeepers.

When the New Left rebels against social evolutionary visions of progress domestically, it renounces the expectation that capitalism live up to its promises to use science and technology to reduce the work hours while creating a better life for all. It walks away from the prospect that socialism must be based on abundance, not on redistributing scarcity more evenly. With the exception of Murray Bookchin and his followers, when the New Left embraces the ecology movement it treats ecology as separate from political economy, as in the case of Earth First.  Ecological spiritual interventions of the 1980s and 1990s treat nature as separate from capitalism. It also loses the Promethean spirit of humanity as a higher form of nature. When New Leftists renounce the nation-state for localism or “small is beautiful”, these decentralized movements are much easier for the Left Gatekeepers to control. [Or the capitalist state numerous repressive forces.]

When the Club of Rome tells us that the Earth has a limited carrying capacity, it looks to the size of the population in peripheral countries as a problem. Instead of understanding that these countries have larger populations because they have a resource base in agriculture, they are seen as irrational. In reality, like all agricultural societies, they have more children because more children mean free labor. If peripheral countries were allowed to industrialize, their populations would shrink. (In general, affluence and feminist advances shrink family size; this has been seen even in nations such as Italy where familism remains a strong value, and where big family clans have long been a core of the culture from local to regional and national levels Italy's birth rate is today same as Germany (8.6/1000 people), well below that of Canada, Switzerland, Denmark, France and the US). By telling these countries they have to do with less, the Left Gatekeepers deny peripheral countries their right to the fruits of modern capitalism. Fewer people in the periphery means less competition for wealth.

Internationally, when the New Left becomes anti-western and throws itself into tribal primitivism, eastern mysticism or Wicca, it loses the potential for an organized liberation theology within the major churches. As this anti-westernism spreads around the globe, it opens the door for the Left Gatekeepers’ promotion of religious fundamentalism. This keeps science and engineering from developing in peripheral countries. That is dangerous for the Left Gatekeepers because these scientists might discover new forms of energy harnessing that might undermine the resource base of western capitalism.

In the arts, the Left Gatekeepers are delighted when the New Left rejects representational art and considers socialist realism too constraining. Abstract expressionism doesn’t depict existing social reality or how social reality could be. It describes psychological rumination that is cut off from social issues. The Left Gatekeepers tell abstract expressionists – “by all means, throw paint on the canvas, you rebel you!”

A Jackson Pollock masterpiece or a 6-year old tantrum with a brush?


The same goes for personal appearance. In my article Is Shocking People Revolutionary, I explain how infinite personal expression may be psychologically satisfying to some but it also creates distance between the middle class, who might be curious about this, and the 40% of the working class for whom this seems quirky or weird.

While pot smoking and LSD tripping may be relaxing and mind-transforming in small doses, too much of this is a loss of organizing potential. I could not organize anyone who was high on pot or in the middle of an acid trip. The CIA gatekeepers knew exactly what they were doing when they flooded black communities with hard drugs in the early 70s. The New Left began with an interest in Reich’s Mass Psychology of FascismBut many disappeared into the rabbit hole of individualist psychology, whether it be primal scream or gestalt psychology. The feminist cry “the personal is political” soon became the belief that the personal is all there is. For close to a century of psychological manipulation of Gatekeepers, see Adam Curtis documentary Century of the Self, especially Part III.

Conclusion

The purpose of this article is not to suggest that the non-Leninist left is the passive victim of the CIA, foundations, think tanks and lobbying groups. After all, these organizations did not create the New Left out of nothing. The New Left created its own politics and culture in reaction to real social struggles of the 1960s. It is instead to say that once these politics and culture were created, especially in the late 1960s, they were massaged, sculpted, cut, pasted and smoothed over to also meet the needs of the Leftist Gatekeepers. It is to say:

  1. there is real documentation in the present and past that shows that most leftist groups were, and are, being monitored and controlled by Left Gatekeepers;
  2. that there is an implied profile of the kind of leftist groups that are the enemies of the Left Gatekeepers;
  3. that in the light of the current crisis in capitalism and the coronavirus, it is more urgent than ever to embody, organize and spread a political-economic movement along the profile in line with the enemies of the Left Gatekeepers.

 



Puke if you must





Up to You.

^3000US citizens have no real political representation.

We don't live in a democracy. And our freedom is disappearing fast.

I don't want to be ruled by hypocrites, whores, and war criminals.

What about you? Time to push back against the corporate oligarchy.

And its multitude of minions and lackeys.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License


ALL CAPTIONS AND PULL QUOTES BY THE EDITORS NOT THE AUTHORS


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Chris Hedges’ counter-revolutionary advice for revolution

Please make sure these dispatches reach as many readers as possible. Share with kin, friends and workmates and ask them to do likewise.


Rainer Shea
OpEds


Dateline: November 30, 2019

Hedges: The reluctant revolutionist, or is he?

We think the author is spot on with this critique of Hedges. For a long time we too have watched with mounting frustration Hedges spout fiery revolutionary rhetoric invariably laced with wild denunciations of communism and Marxism redolent of rightwingers, mainstream liberals and crafty anticommunists. Like Chomsky, who shares some of these traits, and most left-liberals, Hedges is excellent at describing the evils  of capitalism, but disgraceful when it comes to viable tactics and strategies. (In the 1970s Chomsky even declared that, due to its exceptionalism, capitalism could be eliminated in the US through the ballot box.) In Hedges case, maybe the muddle-headedness and praxis shortcomings stem from his apparent religious temperament, after all he's a graduate of Harvard's Divinity School, one of the more esoteric and elegantly anachronistic schools in that temple of bourgeois privilege and underhanded reaction. Whatever the reason, Hedges remains stuck on a paradox: he seems to want revolutionary change and the elimination of capitalism, but he cannot bring himself to embrace precisely the only —or shall we say the only historically-tested—tools that can make that future possible.—PG

The quality of Chris Hedges’ strategic advice about how to defeat capitalism reflects the quality of his commentary about communism. This is because communism is the primary force behind history’s anti-capitalist movements, and therefore how well one assesses it equates to how well they grasp the tools for defeating the bourgeoisie. Naturally, the following parts from Hedges’ writings about communism provide good insights into how he views our present task of revolution:

The cult of the gun was disastrous. It distorted reality…[there has been] incalculable damage caused by this cult, including the doomed attempt in 1967 by Che Guevara to form a foco in Bolivia, an effort that would cost him his life. The cult of the gun saw most third-world liberation movements, such as the National Liberation Front (FLN) in Algeria, devolve into squalid military dictatorships when they took power.-from “The Cult of Violence Always Kills the Left


Lenin in power, like Leon Trotsky, was an opportunist who made promises, such as “all power to the soviets,” that he had no intention of keeping. He employed political terror, widespread arrests and executions to crush the autonomous, self-governing soviets and workers committees. He led a centralized, autocratic ruling elite...Stalinism was not an aberration. It was the natural heir of Leninism.-from “The Dilemma of Vladimir Lenin


Armando Iannucci’s movie “The Death of Stalin,” a brilliant black comedy, captures what happens when self-interested narcissists, buffoons and gangsters make the laws and rule a state. Once power is based solely on blind personal loyalty and whim, anything, including wholesale murder, becomes possible. Rights are transformed into privileges that can be instantly revoked. Lies replace truth. Opinions replace facts. History is erased and rewritten. The cult of leadership replaces politics.-from “Creeping Toward Tyranny

Of course these statements contain a lot of false and misleading details. Hedges’ attempt to claim that Che Guevera’s Bolivian revolutionary project was an objectively foolish act, and to then claim that Che’s death was a symptom of a nebulous “cult of the gun” that’s also somehow singularity created a widespread dynamic of Third World despotism, is very bizarre. During his efforts to keep the revolutionary government strong and unified, Lenin didn’t restrict the workers from having a say-he restricted the former bourgeoisie and religious institutions. Hedges’ referencing the film The Death of Stalin is a remarkably weak rhetorical move on his part; The Death of Stalin is filled with historical errors, and it uses these distortions of the truth to reinforce its highly biased retelling of the exaggerated flaws in the era’s Soviet leadership.

But these dishonest claims are no doubt all seen as truthful by Hedges, because they serve to legitimize a line of thinking that Hedges sees as undeniably truthful. Like the creative liberties that were taken to create the propagandistic Death of Stalin, these and Hedges’ other attacks on communist movements and leaders are ways of subtly nudging people towards accepting a larger worldview. In the case of The Death of Stalin, this worldview is one of basic Russophobia. In the case of Hedges’ lectures and writings, it’s one of blanket hostility towards the efforts from history’s communists to put power into the hands of the proletariat.

Hedges of course isn’t pushing a worldview that encourages hostility towards the idea of proletarian liberation in itself. The vast majority of Hedges’ work is some form of condemnation of capitalism and its consequential evils, and he frequently urges people to revolt against the system. Yet despite having stated in one essay that he believes Karl Marx was right about the nature of capitalism, he portrays all of Marxism’s biggest champions as villains and fools. Che Guevara is characterized by Hedges as an incompetent leader who was driven by irrational bloodlust; Lenin and Stalin are characterized as evil dictators; in the fashion of classic anti-communist historical revisionism, Mao is characterized as a perpetrator of “campaigns of genocide and mass extermination” who advanced “totalitarian systems” that were comparable to Nazism.

It’s unsurprising that Hedges has taken up this line of anti-communism. In a telling paragraph from his 2009 essay Liberals Are Useless, Hedges admitted that he’s a liberal, writing: “I save my anger for our bankrupt liberal intelligentsia of which, sadly, I guess I am a member.” There are countless other figures of his breed, ones who peddle reactionary myths about communism from a left-leaning perspective. However, what makes Hedges’ anti-communist screeds especially worth repudiating is the fact that Hedges doesn’t posture himself as a centrist or a reformist; his articles and talks are filled with calls for revolution and affirmations that capitalism doesn’t work.

Because he embraces a role as an agitprop leader in the class struggle, Hedges is finding a way to inject his anti-communist liberal ideas into the liberation efforts of America’s poor and marginalized people. He denounces the supposed villains of communism just as passionately as he denounces the capitalist oligarchs, and his prose flows well either way. So the activists who view him as a reliable authority will inevitably absorb his counter-revolutionary messages about communist leaders being tyrants, Leninism being as bad as fascism, etc.

Why do I call these messages counter-revolutionary? How can I say his views about various historical figures from decades ago mean that he’s having a negative impact on the social movements of today? I call his messages about communism counter-revolutionary because they ultimately guide him and his followers towards opposing the current efforts to establish socialism.

Again, Hedges doesn’t say he opposes the general idea of class struggle. His desired vision of future America is one where economic, racial, and environmental justice have been achieved through all the necessary socialist reforms. Yet this is as detailed as he gets in his descriptions of what he thinks a socialist society should be like. He’s stated that “I'm not a Marxist, nor am I a serious scholar of Marx in any way.” As a result of Hedges’ wariness of Marxism and outright hostility towards Leninism, his advice for getting to a socialist society lacks the strategic clarity which Marxism-Leninism provides.

Perhaps the closest Hedges has gotten to detailing a practical plan for making America socialist is contained in his article Extinction Rebellion, where he calls for people to use civil disobedience to “empower an independent citizens committee to oversee the termination of our 150-year binge on fossil fuels.” This action plan of his, which presumably also consists of the citizens committee enacting the reforms that would make America socialist, will face many obstacles even if the civil disobedience efforts are well organized.

After the bourgeoisie momentarily has their power over the state compromised, they’re no doubt going to greatly step up their resistance efforts to stop themselves from losing their power. In such a scenario of crisis, the capitalists are going to employ paramilitary violence, arrest as many of their opponents as possible, and (as we saw in Bolivia this month) attempt to carry out coups against any socialists who gain positions of power.

Hedges is well aware of these methods that the capitalists have for countering opposition. Yet instead of calling for the only strategy that will drive out the capitalists, which is the overthrow of the state and the creation of a proletarian-led military and law enforcement apparatus, Hedges only speculates that we’ll need a “citizens commission” without acknowledging the great instruments of force that such a commission would require in order to be effective. In this paragraph from his book America: The Farewell Tour, Hedges seems to imply that he believes this commission will succeed in spite of the bourgeoisie still being in power:

Fear is the only language the power elite understands. This is a dark fact of human nature. It’s why Richard Nixon was our last liberal president. Nixon was not a liberal personally. He was devoid of empathy and lacked a conscience. But he was frightened of movements. You do not make your enemy afraid by selling out. You make your enemy afraid by refusing to submit, by fighting for your vision. It is not our job to take power. It is our job to build movements to keep power in check.

At this point you can probably see just how messy and incoherent Hedges’ advice for revolution is. Does he actually want the proletariat to take power, or does he simply hope the proletariat will try to scare bourgeois politicians into making America socialist? Despite his rightful repudiations of social democratic reformists like Bernie Sanders, does Hedges think that socialism can be achieved by reforming our current government? Given his vilifications of communist governments, does he even want to remove pro-capitalist leaders from power over the state, or does he not prefer such an outright overthrow effort because it might result in a repeat of the “autocratic” Leninism?

This contradiction between Hedges’ desire for defeating capitalism and his hostility towards the proven methods for defeating it comes from his wariness towards taking the drastic steps that a real revolution would require. Liberalism comes from the belief that advancing liberty and upholding moral virtues are sufficient for improving society-and that anyone who challenges any types of liberties, or violates morality as defined by the liberal bourgeoisie, is a bad actor. 

A major revolutionary practice that liberals oppose for this reason is political violence. Hedges is a liberal who’s attacked not just communists like Guevara for engaging in violence, but has directed a special amount of ire towards physically confrontational American anti-fascist groups like Antifa and Black Bloc. In addition to Hedges’ offensively inaccurate claim that Antifa “mirrors” the violent neo-Nazi groups, Hedges’ attempts to vilify these types of leftists have often involved absurd and even dangerous contortions of reality. As Occupy Wall Street organizer David Graeber wrote in response to Hedges’ attacks against the militant factions of Occupy:

I feel compelled to respond to your statement “The Cancer in Occupy.” This statement is not only factually inaccurate, it is quite literally dangerous. This is the sort of misinformation that really can get people killed….The reason I say this is because, whatever your intentions, it is very hard to read your statement as anything but an appeal to violence….if a group is made up exclusively of violent fanatics who cannot be reasoned with [as Hedges claims], what else can we really do? This is the language of violence in its purest form. Far more than “fuck the police.” To see this kind of language employed by someone who claims to be speaking in the name of non-violence is genuinely extraordinary.

By applying his familiar dishonest framing tactics to demonize militant anti-capitalist strains in modern America, Hedges is trying to undermine the strains of our society that seek to carry out practical steps towards revolution. The overthrow of the bourgeoisie, especially in the highly militarized United States, will require some amount of violent struggle. As Lenin concluded while he was participating in an actual anti-capitalist revolution, “The replacement of the bourgeois by the proletarian state is impossible without a violent revolution.” But Hedges attacks both those who acknowledge the necessity of violence, and those who seek to apply Lenin’s other lessons for building proletarian power.

Hedges is useful for America’s proletarian liberation movement only in that he provides good indictments of capitalism. His disturbing vendetta against militant revolutionaries and his opposition to all of the coherent strains of anti-capitalism (even including Trotskyists and anarchists, who oppose Marxist-Leninists) makes him a reactive figure who tears down those who offer detailed solutions. He doesn’t want to pick a definitive side in the struggle, he only wants to decry the evils of our current system while harping on the real or perceived flaws of the anti-capitalist movements. The one specific political faction that he has recently endorsed is Extinction Rebellion, which isn’t anti-capitalist by any stretch.

The anti-capitalist movement needs to rid itself of the liberal attitudes that have driven Hedges to take up this harmful approach. We need to focus on learning more about revolutionary theory, equipping ourselves for militancy, and building the communist institutions that can see us through towards defeating the bourgeois state. And as Che Guevara believed, the works of demonized revolutionaries like Stalin are what can guide us towards victory. Guevara wrote:

In the so called mistakes of Stalin lies the difference between a revolutionary attitude and a revisionist attitude. You have to look at Stalin in the historical context in which he moves, you don’t have to look at him as some kind of brute, but in that particular historical context. I have come to communism because of daddy Stalin and nobody must come and tell me that I mustn’t read Stalin.

————————————————————————————

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Up to You.

^3000US citizens have no real political representation.

We don't live in a democracy. And our freedom is disappearing fast.

I don't want to be ruled by hypocrites, whores, and war criminals.

What about you? Time to push back against the corporate oligarchy.

And its multitude of minions and lackeys.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rainer Shea uses the written word to deconstruct establishment propaganda and to promote meaningful political action. His articles can be found on his personal blog at https://rainershea.com

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

ALL CAPTIONS AND PULL QUOTES BY THE EDITORS NOT THE AUTHORS

Read it in your language • Lealo en su idioma • Lisez-le dans votre langue • Lies es in Deiner Sprache • Прочитайте это на вашем языке • 用你的语言阅读

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