My Last Thoughts Before An Historic Election

[Graphic of Trump courtesy of Boing Boing]

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 2.38.28 PMRowan Wolf, PhD
Voice of Conscience

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As the minutes tick down before election day 2016, I feel that I must throw in my final thoughts and feelings.

This is an historic election in so many ways. Let me point out a few:

  • The first time that a woman was the Presidential candidate of the duopoly.
  • The first time in the modern era when a direct member of the .01% without any knowledge or background in politics was the Presidential candidate of the duopoly.
  • The first time that BOTH candidates were hated and mistrusted by the majority of the voting public – regardless of party.

Now that the ‘firsts’ are out of the way, let me deal with my real concerns about this election.

We live in a time when the world is literally a political tinder box, and the United States seems bent on adding fuel and throwing Molotov cocktails all over the place.

We live in a time when the Earth teeters on the brink of runaway climate and ecological catastrophe. We are literally at a point where most climate scientists are saying that we are near or PAST the point of no return with climate – the point where we could avoid devastating, civilization destroying, extinction level event (ELE) catastrophe. Every single eco-system, and every ecological region on the planet is degraded and many are collapsing.

This issue of the environment is deeply pertinent to the U.S. presidential election because one of the duopoly candidates rabidly does NOT “believe” in global warming. In fact, this candidate wants to disband the entire Environmental Protection Agency and reverse all environmental protections – from pollution to endangered species. (Frankly, this candidate wants to get rid of ALL regulations and treaties and apparently, most laws – they get in the way of business). Can you guess which candidate this is?

Video courtesy of the NY Times.

I have watched as much of the left has joined the far right Tea Partiers and “alt-right” white power movement in promoting Donald Trump as the better of the two candidates for President. The ‘Left’s” argument at base is that “The Establishment” is against Trump so he must be better than Hillary Clinton (who obviously represents The Establishment). The fact is that the Left is standing with those who are ideologically (supposedly) 180o from the Left I thought I knew.

The Left I thought I knew was anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, pro-social justice, pro-collectivity, and environmentally conscious. Yet most seem to have decided that standing with those who are white-centric, xenophobic, misogynistic, imperialistic, pro-corporate, anti-science, anti-intellectual, and anti-environmentalism, is the ‘common ground’ against The Establishment. I am sorry, but the logic eludes me.

These same Left Trumpers argue that he is less militaristic and hawkish than Clinton, even though Trump has said that he wants to dramatically increase the military (the only part of the government he seems to have a use for since they would be tied to his command). He wants to upgrade and USE the nuclear arsenal. His solution to ISIS (and other pesky folk in the Middle East) is to nuke them. He wants to re-take Iraq and get their oil. In fact, he thinks that we should just take over the resources wherever we want. He also wants to make Iran straighten up “fast” (everything is going to happen “fast”) or presumably he will nuke them too. Then there is clearly a lot of money to be made in nukes and he wants to sell them to everyone. I have not found one thing that is less hawkish about Trump other than he seems to like Putin. Of course that could change on a dime if he gets pissed off at Putin.

Trump is different than the ordinary candidate, and what he has done is step to the front of a movement. It is a movement that is now clearly fascist. Even many on the Left recognize that Trump is a fascist (there have been various comparisons to Mussolini), but there has been virtually no discussion of the movement that has not only been empowered by Trump, but is now legitimated as a political organization, part of the power structure and sitting at the table – via Trump. And the racist Right (aka “alt-right”) is well aware of it. Trump says that there will be riots if he is not elected. The implied threat is of heavily armed militias in the streets and not peaceful protestors expressing their disgust and distrust.

I have to wonder at how the Left has changed. We have arrived at a point where the Left (reluctantly of course) stands behind a fascist (and a fascist movement) for President of the most powerful nation on the planet. Please keep that in mind. No matter the degraded economic position of the United States, we have the largest arsenal and largest military on the planet by several magnitudes. Who is elected here matters more than ANY other country on the planet.

So I am sad, and bereft. My country is sliding into chaos. My planet is rushing towards disaster. And the people I thought stood with me have lined up behind a narcissistic, vengeful, fascist for President.

Oh we missed the opportunity of a lifetime. The Left could have gotten behind Sanders. No he was not perfect, but he was damn well a significant move LEFT. The Left could have looked at what was happening (given the popularity of Sanders and Trump, the two perceived anti-establishment candidates) and put forward a real viable candidate – Jill Stein. With the massive dislike of both Clinton and Trump, we might have actually pulled off a real coup and gotten the Greens into the White House. That ship has sailed.

I do not support Clinton. I do not think she is a good candidate. I do think she is sane – though self-serving. I do know just how much of a hawk she is, and that she is more than happy to continue the agenda that both neo-cons and neo-libs have been pushing since 2000 (if not earlier).

Regardless of who “wins” this farce of an election, Trump and his version of Brown Shirts are going to be with us for a long time. I am left to wonder how the Left that risked their lives fighting Mussolini and Franco are now standing behind Trump.

I have no illusions about the malignancy of Clinton, but I also have no illusions about the malignancy of Trump. The fact that Clinton is the Democratic candidate speaks to the fact that she puts her “right” to be the first woman candidate, and the first woman U.S. president, above the fate of the country speaks volumes. It was clear that if Sanders was the candidate, Trump would not even be on the radar, much less in a dead heat for the presidency. It is now known that the DNC (with the help of MSM) sunk Sanders. Of course, much of the Left had nothing but trash talk for Sanders. It is also now known that Sanders put his political position as a senator above the needs of the country and got in line behind Clinton rather than refusing to support her and jumping over to the Green Party ticket (which speaks clearly as to where the hearts of Stein and  Baraka are).

In talking and corresponding with folks on the Left, I have heard that many are not even planning to vote. This includes the authors of a number of the anti-Clinton, pro-Trump  pieces. This is stunning to me and a double blow as what they are doing is purely trying to influence the votes of others. In other words, propaganda. That some of my comrades would turn their pens and efforts to propaganda to influence the votes of others, and not devote that energy to promoting real candidates for real change leaves me tremendously disillusioned about the Left and what the goal actually is. I had thought that we were aiming for a world of justice and equality, of humane treatment of all – including the planet itself, of true education and intellectual development, of support for creativity and the importance of it in a healthy society. Now I find that the apparent goal is to bring down society at any cost, and surely that cost will be high for little good arises from chaos. Rather, the most self oriented and violent responses are maximized when people feel they are fighting for survival. This is not what I have spent a life time fighting for and it is  not what I will fight for now.

My voting advice is as follows:

Find out how the vote is running in your state. If Clinton is leading by a significant margin, vote for Stein and Baraka. If there is not that margin, then vote for Clinton. We have an electoral College- not a majority vote. That puts the electoral college members in each state as the voter for each state.

Another option is vote swapping through a system like #NeverTrump. And yes, it is legal to do this.

Vote for the down ballot. Vote for the most progressive candidate that has any chance of winning. Why? Because if Trump wins we will need them to help stop the slide into fascism. If Hillary Clinton wins, we need them to keep her from the the continued plans of regime change.

One thing I know for sure – we have a long struggle before us to get back to the point where we can embrace the diversity and richness of our culture, and to fully address the structured inequality that is robbing us of lives and potential every day. We were obviously NOT there before this election process, and we will be a damn sight further away from it afterwards. When hate becomes socially acceptable, we are all damaged, and lessened, and all life is cheapened.

Is this the person you want for President of the United State? Would you trust him with your life?

Meet Donald Trump ad from Rowan Wolf on Vimeo. This video is an ad from the Clinton campaign. However, it is Trump making his own statements.

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Rowan Wolf, PhD
Rowan WolfIs Managing Editor of The Greanville Post and Director of The Russian Desk. She is a sociologist, writer and activist with life long engagement in social justice, peace, environmental, and animal rights movements. Her research and writing includes issues of imperialism, oppression, global capitalism, peak resources, global warming, and environmental degradation. Rowan taught sociology for twenty-two years, was a member of the City of Portland’s Peak Oil Task Force, and maintains her own site Uncommon Thought Journal. She may be reached by email at rowanwolf@greanvillepost.com


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Clinton’s Campaign & The Anti-Russian Roots of the ‘Cultural Left’

pale blue horiz
 Witnesses to History—  


In recent speeches, including her speech accepting the Democratic Party’s nomination for the Presidency, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has declared she would work to eradicate “systemic racism.” Clinton did not present any specific strategy or policy to do this, yet each time she has uttered the two word phrase “systemic racism” there is a large burst of applause from her audience. An article from vox.com claimed that use of this term was “major” because it is a phrase that is “embraced in particular by younger activists.”  

hillary clinton photo

The Clintons are as insincere as these wax figures suggest. Photo by InSapphoWeTrust

In her speech, Clinton could have said she would work to eradicate “discrimination” or “under-representation” of minorities, but instead chose to use the favored buzzword of a specific political milieu to whom Clinton’s campaign seems to be pandering. The phrase is part of a whole vocabulary of what some call “oppression theory.”  Young people have learned it from their University professors, namely those who teach Black or Gender Studies. This new lingo is used on various internet forums, especially Tumblr.

When the Democratic Nomination was still up for grabs, the internet was filled with Clinton supporters who referred to Sanders supporters as “Bernie Bros”, arguing that supporting the Presidential campaign of the Senator from Vermont was an expression of “white male privilege.”

Blogs, tweets, and statuses now urge disappointed Sanders supporters to “check their privilege”, consider ramifications of a Trump presidency, and vote for a candidate they despise. If a male Sanders supporter responds to these arguments and defends his decision to support Jill Stein or Gloria La Riva, or any candidate other than Clinton, he is accused of “man-splaining.” As the argument continues, if an opponent of Clinton objects to a personal insult directed toward him, he is “tone-policing.”

Where do these phrases come from? What is this political milieu that the Democratic Nominee has attached herself to? In the public eye it is often identified as the “far left.” This is not completely accurate.

The entity known as the political left can trace its roots to the French Revolution of the 1790s. Since that time, people who identify as “leftists,” revolutionaries, or radicals have used phrases like “liberty” and “solidarity,” they have talked about working toward “emancipation” and “liberation” against “oppression.” They have often used specifically Marxian formulations like “exploitation” and “expropriation” while advocating “power to the working class.”  With rhetoric about liberation and opposing injustice, the left has been the traditional home for opponents of racism, sexism, and advocates of social equality.

However, this new milieu that talks of “interconnectedness” and “intersectionality” rather than solidarity, and celebrates global military interventions done for “humanitarian” reasons, while engaging in heated debates about concepts like “cisgender privilege,” accusing its detractors of being “white-splaining” “Bernie bros” who need to “check their privilege” is a new development, that did not arise naturally from within the left milieu.

The Congress for Cultural Freedom

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]o understand the unique rhetorical style that Clinton has embraced, one must understand what happened at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel back in 1949. Despite the United States being in an anti-communist frenzy, with the House Un-American Activities committee in full swing, and many Communist Party members being sent to federal or state prisons, the Moscow-aligned Communist Party scored a key public relations victory.

On March 25th, 1949 the “Scientific and Cultural Conference for World Peace” opened in New York City, and gave voice to a loud, solid critique of US foreign policy. Albert Einstein, Will Geer, Arthur Miller, Aaron Copeland, Lillian Hellman, Frank Oppenheimer, Paul Robeson, W.E.B. Dubois, and many of the most well respected cultural and intellectual figures of the time took the stage at the conference. The speeches not only denounced the military build-up against the Soviet Union, but also defended Soviet military interventions, and presented the USSR as a friendly, socialist society, not the “Iron Curtain” or “Evil Empire” portrayed in US media. The US Central Intelligence Agency watched with anger as images of the Waldorf Peace Conference were distributed by media outlets across the planet, discrediting the United States and raising the prestige of the Soviet Union.

Eisenstein's Alexander Nevsky celebrated the exploits of the 13th century Novogorod prince

Eisenstein’s Alexander Nevsky celebrated the exploits of the 13th century Novogorod prince, precisely during the Stalin period, when the USSR was besieged by enemies within and without. The director’s more controversial film, Ivan the Terrible (below), made and released in the midst of the Second World War (1944) was interpreted by anti-communist critics as an effort to “whitewash Stalin’s rule.”


In response, the following year the CIA launched a project called the “Congress for Cultural Freedom.” Still today, the project is considered to be one of the agency’s greatest achievements of the Cold War era. The CIA brags about the project on its website saying it involved: “a cadre of energetic and well-connected staffers willing to experiment with unorthodox ideas and controversial individuals if that was what it took to challenge the Communists at their own game.”

The project involved indirect CIA funding of “cultural leftism.” Across the United States and western Europe, Socialists, Communists, Anarchists, as well as artists, musicians, academics and film-makers started getting CIA money. Many of them were unaware of where this money came from.


Max Shachtman

The CIA’s website confirms that it subsidized the New York-based Trotskyist magazine called “Partisan Review.” The magazine presented itself as representing the genuine socialism of Karl Marx, Max Shachtman and Leon Trotsky, while opposing “Stalinism” in the USSR. The CIA also promoted the works of Sidney Hook and other “socialist” college professors.

The project went beyond just political activism, and included funding for art galleries, experimental film-makers, and most especially, left-wing academics. The CIA funded the printing of George Orwell’s writings, as well as concerts by left-wing musicians. A 2014 article from the Chronicle of Higher Education bemoans the impact of CIA funding for the Iowa Writers Workshop, which promoted what was described as stylistic innovations and breakthroughs in literature.

Why Foment “Cultural Leftism?”

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t seems strange that at the time of the Cold War, the US government was intentionally funding people who called themselves radical leftists. However, it makes sense for one key reason: all of the artists, activists, academics, and philosophers who received money from the CIA program were staunchly anti-Soviet. (The more properly called “anti-communist Left”.)

The CIA intentionally promoted “cultural leftists” hoping to divert people with leftist and dissident instincts away from Soviet Communism. A significant political gap between western leftists and the USSR was already developing. Over the course of the 1920s, the Soviet Union grew to be much more socially conservative than during its earliest years. Homosexuality and abortion were outlawed, and the state awarded medals to women who bore more than 10 children.

While western leftists clung to abstract Marxist concepts like “free love” and “the destruction of gender,” the Soviet Union, fighting for its survival amidst blockades, invasions and foreign subversion, needed to tighten up. Facing constant attack, the Soviet Union was forced to become very authoritarian. With its industries rapidly developing within a previously poor and agrarian society, the Soviet economy required strict regulation. As they faced foreign attacks, Soviet leaders invoked not only Marxist-Leninist principles, but also Russian nationalism. Films portrayed medieval Czars not as tyrants but as patriotic idols fighting off foreign invaders. (See note above on Nevsky.) During the Second World War the Russian Orthodox Church was resurrected and allowed to function within Soviet society. 

Hollywood naturally did its part to badmouth communism using all approaches: drama, comedy, "documentary" and other genres. Ninotchka (1939) a very successful comedy with Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas in the leads, depicted the Soviet Union as a land devoid of love and consumer goods (the latter closer to the truth), while bourgeois society was busting with luxury, abundance, "freedom", and romance. As films go, this is far from being one of the most poisonous movies cranked out by Hollywood to smear the idea of communism or Russia.

Hollywood naturally did its part to badmouth communism using all approaches imaginable: drama, comedy, “documentary” and other genres. Ninotchka (1939) a very successful comedy with Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas in the leads, depicted the Soviet Union as a land devoid of love and consumer goods or high fashion (the latter closer to the truth), while bourgeois society was busting with luxury, abundance, “freedom”, and romance. Yet, as films go, this was far from being one of the most poisonous movies cranked out by the Hollywood propaganda machine to smear the idea of communism or Russia.

Despite having a centrally planned, non-capitalist economy, achieving what was often described as “economic miracles” by economists, when it came to cultural issues, the USSR simply did not live up to fantasies of many western leftists. Many activists who strove for an egalitarian paradise with “total freedom” were quite disappointed with what the Soviet Union had become.

Yet, even despite the growing divide, the Soviet Union had a huge network of international allies. The Communist International and broader People’s Front of anti-fascists represented a massive global current. After the Second World War, the current got even larger around the world due to the very admirable role played by Communists and the USSR itself during the war.

Hook: One of the early turncoats, the scum that soon became the backbone of the anti-communist crusades.

One of the early turncoats, Sidney Hook personified the scum that soon became the backbone of the postwar anti-communist intelligentsia offensive.

[dropcap]S[/dropcap]tarting in 1950 the CIA began working to exploit and expand the gap between western radicals and the Soviet Union, in the hope of isolating and defeating the USSR. From the earliest days, some of the project’s participants were already fantasizing about events similar to the “color revolutions” the CIA would be involved in a few decades later. When the project was being planned, the ex-Communist academic Sidney Hook said: “Give me a hundred million dollars and a thousand dedicated people, and I will guarantee to generate such a wave of democratic unrest among the masses–yes, even among the soldiers–of Stalin’s own empire, that all his problems for a long period of time to come will be internal. I can find the people.”

Encounter—one of the more prominent journals created by the CIA to sow confusion among the left.

Encounter—one of the more prominent journals created by the CIA to sow confusion among the left.

Regardless of their intentions, in funding and promoting “Cultural Leftism” the CIA ultimately remolded the left-wing of politics in the USA and Western Europe.

Eastern Mysticism, Fascism & The Occult

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n Western Europe and the United States, Christianity represented the most prominent religious perspective and was promoted by the most centrist and mainstream elements of the political establishment. The radical left generally promoted philosophical materialism and scientific atheism. The occult, paganism, and eastern mysticism were an obsession of the extreme right.

Aleister Crowley

Professional eccentrics like Crowley, who soon became regular amusement for upper class types, frequently held rabid right wing views.

The Nazis, who considered themselves to be a “party of the right” had glorified Germany’s pre-Christian religions, frequently invoking Odin and Valhalla in their propaganda. The famed Occultist Aleister Crowley who entertained the rich and powerful in Britain often vocally aligned with the Conservative Party and considered leftists to be a dirty crowd of uncultured rabble rousers. As a staunch right-winger the iconic para-normalist said “I hate Christianity as socialists hate soap.”

European fascists often marveled at India’s caste system, seeing it as an antidote to class struggle. Julius Evola, one of the primary Italian far-right intellectuals was also considered an expert on Hinduism and pre-Christian mythology. The Nazis adopted the Swastika as their emblem and called themselves “Aryans” because they identified themselves with the authoritarian structures of ancient India, and believed Germans to be genetic descendants of it.

Within India, the caste system, mystical practices that are designed to attract spirits, along with the strict patriarchal family structure have been the main targets of social reformers. Many leftists in India accused the British empire of working to reinforce these things in order to effectively weaken the struggle for independence.

[dropcap]R[/dropcap]egardless of left and right norms, following the 1950s, as the “Cultural Left” was re-energized while being re-molded by CIA funding in the United States, it was filled with admirers of traditional Indian culture. Writers like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg used Hindu chants in their writings, which were distributed and promoted at Universities. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, a very conservative and anti-communist sect that worships a Hindu Diety became iconic participants in peace marches.

Hollywood stars like Richard Gere, George Clooney, Mia Farrow and others have been prominent in their spousal of CIA-promoted "human rights" campaigns around the world.

Hollywood stars like Richard Gere, George Clooney, Mia Farrow and others have been prominent in their spousal of CIA-promoted “human rights” campaigns around the world. The defence of Tibet from its “Chinese occupiers” and the exiled Dalai Lama has been one of Gere’s pet projects, and the actor describes himself as a Buddhist.

Similarly, the theocratic and feudal kingdom of Tibet was rewritten into a trendy liberal cause. The Dalai Lama’s regime was considered to be one of the most right-wing, authoritarian and patriarchal kingdoms in the world. The Nazis had been so impressed with the harshly enforced traditional structures of the Kingdom, that they had dispatched many delegations to study it. The Nazis had actively worked with the regime to fight the Nationalist and Communist forces in other parts of China.

In the 1950s, the CIA sponsored a campaign of guerrilla warfare intended to drive the Communist Party of China from the Tibet Autonomous Region and restore feudal theocratic rule. The book “The CIA’s Secret War in Tibet”, published by the Heritage Foundation, tells how the Dalai Lama’s brother led a team of violent insurgents who were airdropped into Tibet with US made weapons.

However, the remolded Cultural Left which Hillary Clinton now embraces, nearly worships the Dalai Lama. The “Free Tibet” movement, which calls for breaking up the People’s Republic of China, is now one of the trendiest “left-wing” causes. One of the favorite books of this “movement” is “Seven Years in Tibet”, written by Heinrich Harrier, a member of Hitler’s SS, who had been dispatched to Tibet during the Second World War.

“Tune in, Turn On, Drop Out”

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he political left had long been outspoken opponents of recreational drug use. Many of the early socialists even opposed drinking alcohol and were part of the broader temperance movement of the early 20th century. However, as CIA money flowed in, forging the anti-Soviet “cultural left” this position was also altered.

According to what was revealed by the Church Committee, a commission set up by the US Congress to investigate the CIA in 1975, the CIA had actively distributed drugs to college students and others as part of “Project MKULTRA.” The CIA had involved many professors and academics in its research and distribution of Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) also called “acid.”

This hallucinogen had first been synthetically created by Albert Hoffman, a Swiss chemist, in 1938. During the 1950s, the US Central Intelligence Agency had widely experimented with LSD, hoping it could be weaponized and used against the Soviet Union.

Timothy Leary: highly telegenic, preaching unbridled individualism, drugs, and hedonism, all the elements of the cultural phony, so commonplace in America.

Timothy Leary: highly telegenic, preaching unbridled individualism, drugs, and hedonism, all the elements of the phony cultural hero, so commonplace in America.

Timothy Leary, a Harvard psychology professor, became one of the most well known figures among left-wing students during the 1960s and 70s. He preached “tune in, turn on, and drop out” and loudly encouraged young people who opposed the Vietnam War and racism to use LSD. In 1999, FBI files were released showing that Dr. Timothy Leary had been an FBI informant for much his career.

As the cultural left emerged, there was a strange re-orientation of the mainstream US media. The press backed away from hard line celebrations of capitalism and condemnations of dissent. Instead a large section of popular rock bands, University professors, and TV programs almost celebrated the “New Left,” specifically its cultural manifestations.

During the upsurge of left-wing political activism during the 1960s and 70s, many Communists who took political direction from the Soviet Union, China, or Cuba identified the campus based, drug using, promiscuous, and well funded anti-Soviet “New Left” as problematic. These forces that were organized into disciplined cadre organizations, were a minority, often labelled “Tankies” and “Hardliners” and denounced by iconic New Left figures like Jerry Rubin.

By the mid-1970s, the New Left’s political strength had died down. It remained a kind of small “loyal opposition” in US politics. Peace marches took place, the Green Party was formed, and the New Left functioned as a place that could absorb free thinkers and others with grievances against US society.

While the New Left remained isolated, the US government was ruled by people who espoused Neo-Con formulations about “the greatest country in the world” and called capitalism “the greatest system ever created.” The Ford Foundation, various Rockefeller think tanks, along with projects directed by George Soros funneled money to many who would be considered “left of center,” but they remained a small bloc that was ignored by major political forces.

The New Left Takes Power

The turning point came after the failures of the Bush administration and the 2008 financial crisis dramatically changed the political atmosphere. The USA clearly has big problems now, and the Republican Party’s political message of “my country right or wrong” and “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke” would no longer suffice.

Amidst Republican confusion and re-messaging, the Democratic Party has now emerged as the most powerful entity in US politics. In order to maintain its grip on power, the Obama presidency and the Clinton campaign are re-energizing the “Cultural Left.” In 2016, the foot soldiers of the Democratic Party are those who have been trained in NGO funded, University based Cultural Leftism. With the global Communist movement far weaker now, the remnants and descendants of the CIA’s “New Left” have a high level of ideological dominance. What was once considered “counter-culture” has become the mainstream.

Now that opponents of the United States on the global stage are much more socially conservative, the pro-war and imperialistic message of the Cultural Left is far more pronounced. At times, Hillary Clinton’s campaign against Donald Trump sounds almost conservative. The Clinton campaign insinuates that Trump is unpatriotic for avoiding military service during the Vietnam War, and unqualified for the Presidency because he uses “offensive” language. According to Clinton’s supporters, Trump is loyal to the Kremlin and admires “dictators” i.e. regimes that challenge Wall Street dominance.

Hillary Clinton thundered “America is great, because America is good” during her convention speech, dismissing Trump’s “Make America Great Again” as unpatriotic. Many of the attacks leveled against Trump are not condemning him for being bigoted or authoritarian, but rather for being overcritical of US society and embracing “conspiracy theories.”

According to politics extolled by the Clinton-ites and their foot soldiers, being left-wing, fighting for women’s rights, and opposing injustice means carrying out regime change. According to Clinton’s Cultural Left, the battle for “human rights” must continue, and the Pentagon must be utilized to free women, homosexuals, transgender people, and others from “dictators” who do not share their enlightened social perspective. This liberation is to be carried out by arming Islamic extremists, enacting economic sanctions, and firing cruise missiles in order to create chaos and topple regimes deemed to be promoting values contrary to those taught in Race and Gender Studies courses.

Greater confrontation with Russia is considered a good thing because its government is accused of being “homophobic.” Those who point out that Clinton coddles dictators in places like Saudi Arabia, or that US meddling in Syria and Libya has strengthened the menace of ISIL are labelled “conspiracy theorists” who need to “check their privilege” and “stop man-splaining.”

At the same time, pointing out that the US backed anti-government fighters in Syria are actually Wahabbi fanatics who have slaughtered Christians and Alawites is called “Islamophobia.” Consistent with the argumentative style of the campus based “privilege politics” milieu, these facts are never refuted. Rather, one is simply accused of some ideological crime or impurity for pointing them out.

As millions of people are rapidly fleeing both Libya and Syria because NATO interventions have toppled independent nationalist governments and made their lives unlivable, leftists are applauding the situation. Rather than protest these imperialist crimes which created a mass refugee crisis, the bulk of leftists are having parades to “Welcome the Refugees.” Those who point out that NATO destabilizations have caused a crisis of mass migration, and say this is an atrocity that should be opposed, are accused of being bigots and Islamophobes.

The Growing Danger of War

The left that existed prior to the Second World War is something that Clinton-ites would never recognize. Books like “Toward Soviet America” by William Z. Foster in 1932 laid out a blue print for a planned economy in the United States, and called for hungry, unemployed working class people in Kentucky, Ohio, Alabama, and elsewhere to fight back and demand better working conditions.

The mass movements of the 1930s won the creation of social security, unemployment insurance, veterans benefits, and much more. The slogan the Communist Party used was “Don’t Starve, Fight!” Those who were mobilized were not an well educated cultural elite, but industrial workers, unemployed youth, students, and all kinds of other ordinary Americans who were suffering during the economic crisis known as the Great Depression.

The manufactured and recently empowered “cultural left” with which Clinton has aligned herself would look at such people and tell them they deserve to be destitute, because it would help them better understand what people of color have experienced. It would tell them that demanding jobs was a sense of “entitlement” and “white privilege.” It would tell them that they should celebrate the prospects of war with Russia or China because it would be mean toppling leaders portrayed to be “homophobic” or “oppressive of women.”

Now that the “left” has become something miles away from what it once was, it should be no surprise that lots of working class white people are embracing Donald Trump and the “alternative right.” Many white people who are suffering during the economic downturn have come to see the left as a current that seeks to punish and shame them, not improve their living situation. Furthermore, the modern left is perceived as looking down on them for not knowing the appropriate “oppression theory” lingo which is being taught at Universities.

If organizations emerged that actually made economic appeals, and organized against big money interests, in a way that is similar to what was done during the 1930s, the situation could be drastically altered.

However, that is not the case. The “new left,” specifically fostered to counter the influence of global opponents of western capitalism, has now taken the helm of western civilization, staffed with a cadre of loyal crusaders fighting in the name of “diversity” and “intersectionality.” Meanwhile, the economy is getting worse and the danger of a bigger military clash between the United States and Russia or China, the two largest countries on earth, is rapidly growing.


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Caleb Maupin
Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 9.46.00 AMIs an American journalist and political analyst. Tasnim News Agency described him as "a native of Ohio who has campaigned against war and the U.S. financial system." His political activism began while attending Baldwin-Wallace College in Ohio. In 2010, he video recorded a confrontation between Collinwood High School students who walked out to protest teacher layoffs and the police. His video footage resulted in one of the students being acquitted in juvenile court. He was a figure within the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City. Maupin writes on American foreign policy and other social issues. Maupin is featured as a Distinguished Collaborator with The Greanville Post.  READ MORE ABOUT CALEB MAUPIN HERE.


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Is the real left ready to govern?*

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O P • E D S

What would the great Hellen Keller, one of the ACLU founders, have to say about the current trends in the PC left?

What would the great Hellen Keller, one of the ACLU founders, have to say about the current trends in the PC left? Heller, by the way, was a socialist, one of the best kept secrets by the mainstream media, which have always preferred to focus on her heroic struggle to overcome deafblindness instead of her advanced political beliefs. Same can be said about Einstein and other widely admired figures.

There are many on the far left*, who, I suspect, don’t want to govern. But for those of us who actually want to institute progressive change, who do not enjoy the hipster’s satisfaction of existing on the periphery, governing is the eventual goal. And yet, looking at the far left today, are we actually ready for such a thing? Frequently, I’m forced to conclude we aren’t. For instance, there are significant portions of us, who, despite our support for police and penal reform, are suspicious, if not avowedly hostile, to due process and freedom of speech. This might come as something of a shock for those of us aware the American Civil Liberties Union was founded by socialists and feminists. But it’s true.

What is actually going on in the cases mentioned by the author? An instance of immature, kneejerk leftism? The overgrowth of the politically correct posture? 

Take what’s happening at Wesleyan University. After the school paper published conservative criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement, the student government voted to consider cutting the publication’s funding. In response, the paper has been forced to appeal for donations so as to retain its editorial independence. Similarly, when Northwestern University professor Laura Kipnis published an article criticizing “sexual paranoia” on college campuses, she was slapped with Title IX complaints. There are countless recent examples of left-wing students engaging in the no-platforming of potential speakers. Unfortunately, you can’t just chalk this up to youthful exuberance.

Socialist Worker is the publication of the International Socialist Organization, a group led by middle-aged people with children of their own. Prior to the summer of 2013, I was published on their website with some frequency. Every time I sent in an article or letter, it was generally posted. But after I mildly criticized the ISO’s slate-voting system in another outlet, their publication was suddenly closed to me. Over the past two years, I have probably sent the group an average of one letter or article a month. Nothing has shown up on their website.


[dropcap]A[/dropcap]s a rule, The Greanville Post tries to avoid all instances of witting or inadvertent use of political memes which harm the image of the left option. One such meme is to make all left (genuine, not just liberaloid notions) sound as “extreme”. In this context, the use of the term “far left” connotes precisely that. In reality, what the “far left” is in the American setting—or any setting for that matter—is simply the real left, the left that carries a Marxian, revolutionary, or authentic socialist principles, in which popular democracy is implicit.

While on the topic we should remind readers of another word also routinely used by the ideological guardians and apologists of the status quo to great effect, to scare ordinary people away from considering non-capitalist forms of governance and policy. That word is “radical”. The problem here is they use the word to signify “extremist”, which “radical” in its precise and correct meaning is not. An extremist can come in many colors and stripes, and is almost always a bad presence in political conclaves or formations, but a radical makes sense in terms of looking at the roots of an institutionalized problem.

Radicals—hence their label— look at the roots of social problems, or social diseases, which liberals and conservatives, hypocritically avoid. Anyone who is serious about a social problem or disease has to be a radical, for without uprooting the causes of a disease the symptoms will go on manifesting and re-erupting forever. That’s why all good modern physicians are radicals, by definition. When examining patients they look for the underlying, root cause of their condition, and then move to extirpate it. Are doctors, therefore to be feared as dangerous “extremists”?—PG[/box]


As mentioned previously, this hostility to “bourgeois” or “patriarchal” freedoms extends to due process. Here’s Zerlina Maxwell arguing in the Washington Post against the presumption of innocence, after Rolling Stone’s 2014 story regarding an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia fell apart under scrutiny. “Many people (not least U-Va. administrators) will be tempted to see this as a reminder that officials, reporters and the general public should hear both sides of the story and collect all the evidence before coming to a conclusion in rape cases,” Maxwell said. “In important ways, this is wrong. We should believe, as a matter of default, what an accuser says.” Anyone active on the far left knows this was and remains a common sentiment.

These sorts of positions, it should go without saying, are incredibly dangerous. To my mind, they mark the far left as unready to actually govern. As socialist Fredrik deBoer points out, the devaluing of freedom of speech and due process will inevitably be used against those on the far left themselves, when political tides turn. But more importantly, freedom of speech and due process are values we should support for their own sake, strategic concerns aside. I wouldn’t trust anyone to govern who believed otherwise.


The author is a social activist residing in Connecticut. He can be reached at jonhoch3@gmail.com .

  • The original title of this essay was “Is The Far Left Ready to Govern?”

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10 Reasons to Love Uruguay’s President José Mujica

The Short List

President Mujica

President Mujica


President José Mujica of Uruguay, a 78-year-old former Marxist guerrilla who spent 14 years in prison, mostly in solitary confinement, recently visited the United States to meet with President Obama and speak at a variety of venues. He told Obama that Americans should smoke less and learn more languages. He lectured a roomful of businessmen at the US Chamber of Commerce about the benefits of redistributing wealth and raising workers’ salaries. He told students at American University that there are no “just wars.” Whatever the audience, he spoke extemporaneously and with such brutal honesty that it was hard not to love the guy. Here are 10 reasons you, too, should love President Mujica.

1. He lives simply and rejects the perks of the presidency. Mujica has refused to live at the Presidential Palace or have a motorcade. He lives in a one-bedroom house on his wife’s farm and drives a 1987 Volkswagen. “There have been years when I would have been happy just to have a mattress,” said Mujica, referring to his time in prison. He donates over 90% of his $12,000/month salary to charity so he makes the same as the average citizen in Uruguay. When called “the poorest president in the world,” Mujica says he is not poor. “A poor person is not someone who has little but one who needs infinitely more, and more and more. I don’t live in poverty, I live in simplicity. There’s very little that I need to live.”

2. He supported the nation’s groundbreaking legalization of marijuana. “In no part of the world has repression of drug consumption brought results. It’s time to try something different,” Mujica said. So this year, Uruguay became the first country in the world to regulate the legal production, sale, and consumption of marijuana. The law allows individuals to grow a certain amount each year and the government controls the price of marijuana sold at pharmacies. The law requires consumers, sellers, and distributors to be licensed by the government. Uruguay’s experience aims to take the market away from the ruthless drug traffickers and treat drug addiction as a public health issue. Their experiment will have reverberations worldwide.

3. In August 2013, Mujica signed the bill making Uruguay the second nation in Latin America (after Argentina) to legalize gay marriage. He said that legalizing gay marriage is simply recognizing reality. “Not to legalize it would be unnecessary torture for some people,” he said. In recent years, Uruguay has also moved to allow adoption by gay couples and openly gay people to serve in the armed forces.

4. He’s not afraid to confront corporate abuses, as evidenced by the epic struggle his government is waging against the American tobacco giant Philip Morris. A former smoker, Mujica says that tobacco is a killer that needs to be brought under control. But Philip Morris is suing Uruguay for $25 million at the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes because of the country’s tough smoking laws that prohibit smoking in enclosed public spaces and require warning labels, including graphic images of the health effects. Uruguay is the first Latin American country and the fifth nation worldwide to implement a ban on smoking in enclosed public places. Philip Morris, the largest cigarette manufacturer in the United States, has huge global business interests (and a well-paid army of lawyers). Uruguay’s battle against the tobacco Goliath will also have global repercussions.

5. He supported the legalization of abortion in Uruguay (his predecessor had vetoed the bill). The law is very limited, compared to laws in the US and Europe. It allows abortions within the first 12 weeks of the pregnancy and requires women to meet with a panel of doctors and social workers on the risks and possible effects of an abortion. But this law is the most liberal abortion law in socially conservative, Catholic Latin America and is clearly a step in the right direction for women’s reproductive rights.

6. He’s an environmentalist trying to limit needless consumption. At the Rio+20 Summit in 2012, he criticized the model of development pushed by affluent societies. “We can almost recycle everything now. If we lived within our means – by being prudent – the 7 billion people in the world could have everything they needed. Global politics should be moving in that direction,” he said. He also recently rejected a joint energy project with Brazil that would have provided his country with cheap coal energy because of his concern for the environment.

7. He has focusing on redistributing his nation’s wealth, claiming that his administration has reduced poverty from 37% to 11%. “Businesses just want to increase their profits; it’s up to the government to make sure they distribute enough of those profits so workers have the money to buy the goods they produce,” he told businessmen at the US Chamber of Commerce. “It’s no mystery–the less poverty, the more commerce. The most important investment we can make is in human resources.” His government’s redistributive policies include setting prices for essential commodities such as milk and providing free computers and education for every child.


8. He has offered to take detainees cleared for release from Guantanamo. Mujica has called the detention center at Guantanamo Bay a “disgrace” and insisted that Uruguay take responsibility to help close the facility. The proposal is unpopular in Uruguay, but Mujica, who was a political prisoner for 14 years, said he is “doing this for humanity.”

9. He is opposed to war and militarism. “The world spends $2 billion a minute on military spending,” he exclaimed in horror to the students at American University. “I used to think there were just, noble wars, but I don’t think that anymore,” said the former armed guerrilla. “Now I think the only solution is negotiations. The worst negotiation is better than the best war, and the only way to insure peace is to cultivate tolerance.”

10. He has an adorable three-legged dog, Manuela! Manuela lost a foot when Mujica accidentally ran over it with a tractor. Since then, Mujica and Manuela have been almost inseparable.

Mujica’s influence goes far beyond that of the leader of a tiny country of only 3 million people. In a world hungry for alternatives, the innovations that he and his colleagues are championing have put Uruguay on the map as one of the world’s most exciting experiments in creative, progressive governance.

Medea Benjamin is cofounder of www.codepink.org and www.globalexchange.org, and author of Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control.

Why The Animal Movement Has Been Politically Unsophisticated And Philosophically Confused

By  Roland Windsor Vincent
Editor, Eco-Socialism, the Environment, and Animal Rights

A protest against seal slaughter organized by Fiends of Animals (FoA). The organization was founded by Alice Herrington who, like most of her generation and social class, was basically clueless and indifferent about the political roots of animal exploitation. Unfortunately, the next generation has not proved a marked improvement in that regard.

A protest against seal slaughter organized by Friends of Animals (FoA). The organization was founded by Alice Herrington who, like most of her generation and social class, was basically clueless and indifferent about the political roots of animal exploitation. Unfortunately, the next generation has not proved a marked improvement in that regard.

The paucity of involvement by animal activists in the political arena, in general, and in the politics of the real Left, in particular, is explainable if not excusable.

Early animal activists were mostly comfortable suburbanites, the products of middle class backgrounds and Conservative political philosophy.  Their experience in political struggles was virtually non-existent, and certainly did not extend to radical social issues of the day, ie, civil rights, integration, and voting rights.

In seeking political support to end the more egregious abuses of animals with which they became familiar, they turned to those with whom they were familiar, their Conservative elected officials. The issues that primarily concerned those early activists regarded dogs, cats, and vivisection of laboratory animals.


It should have been immediately apparent to those early activists that they were imploring the enemy for help. Of course, they had no clue.

Even then Conservative politicians were firmly in the grasp of Big Pharm and the medical lobby, and concerns about abuse and torture of animals in medical research fell upon deaf ears. Activists were placated with lip service about stray dogs and cats, and they went away feeling they had impacted those in positions to help.

No such help was ever received. Then, the enactment of the Animal Protection Act in 1966, engineered by Republican Robert Dole and signed into law by Democrat Lyndon Johnson, convinced the rather naive activists that animal issues transcended partisan political agendas, and that the plights of animals, and the solutions to those plights were totally apolitical or at least non-partisan.

Almost 50 years later the damage done by that misguided notion is only beginning to be recognized.

Since those early years of the animal movement the country has come under the growing influence of Big Business, Wall Street, the Banks, Big Oil, and Big Agriculture. Their power is based upon the politicians whose campaigns they finance and upon whom they bestow contributions and gifts. They are rewarded with the passage of legislation they favor and with the appointments of industry insiders and lobbyists to position of authority in agencies regulating those very industries. The result is as predictable as it is pernicious: Industries are running the government, at least insofar as legislation and regulatory oversight is concerned.

And it is just that legislation and oversight which operates against the interests of animals where they conflict with the interests of business.

The result is Big Oil destroying wildlife habitats, Big Pharm is killing millions of laboratory animals each year, Big Ag is opposing any relief to the suffering of animals trapped in the food system, Conservative politicians are defending puppy mills, circuses, and aquatic parks, etc, as free enterprise.

Even with the mountain of evidence that Conservative politicians are the mouthpieces for business, apologists for the exploitation of animals, and defenders of animal cruelty, there are still animal activists who refuse to look at the evidence and who defend the Conservatives’ records.

Fortunately, those activists are advancing in years and giving way to a younger, more politically astute crop of animal defenders and movement leaders.

This next generation of activists is better educated, more Liberal,
familiar with history, and possessed of worldviews that embrace universal rights and the struggle for both human and animal liberation.

The Animal Rights moment has its dinosaurs. They are older, politically unsophisticated, philosophically adrift, and clutching feverishly to the notion that somehow Republicans and Conservative Democrats share their interests. They have to believe it, lest their whole world crumbles around them.

They will have been proven to have been wrong for the entirety of their lives.


rolandVincentRoland Windsor Vincent is an Animal Rights activist, political strategist, attorney, public speaker, and writer. He is now TGP’s Special Editor for Socialism, Environment & Animal Rights.

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