The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby Searcher08 » Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:20 pm

Interesting article from an interesting writer.

Putin's role in history specifically may be as the man who symbolized the decline of America's superpower role and the ascent of many other soon-to-be stronger nations in a rapidly changing world.


A key question might be whether Trump is aiming to "make America great again" in a uni-polar or multi-polar context.

I hope there can be a peaceful shift to a multi-polar world; the neoLib faction in the US seem hell bent on sticking with a uni-polar one.
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:23 pm

make America great AGAIN ...means take America back to a time when bigotry homophobia sexism and slavery were good things

a time when women had no control over their own bodies
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby Searcher08 » Fri Dec 23, 2016 1:50 pm

seemslikeadream » Fri Dec 23, 2016 4:23 pm wrote:make America great AGAIN ...means take America back to a time when bigotry homophobia sexism and slavery were good things

a time when women had no control over their own bodies


:mrgreen:
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Dec 23, 2016 2:28 pm

oh wow Ana The Fat Shamer uploads two videos and that makes her what?

is there any reason on earth that I should have watched that video?
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Sat Dec 24, 2016 8:46 am

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Meet the Moscow Mouthpiece Married to a Racist Alt-Right Boss

She spreads the words of Russia’s most virulent propagandist. He’s a leading racist hate-monger. Nina Kouprianova and Richard Spencer are a very different kind of power couple.

CASEY MICHEL
12.20.16 1:05 AM ET


Nina Kouprianova is not a member of the racist alt-right. At least, that’s what she’ll say when you ask her. “I am not a member of any movement,” Kouprianova, who was born in the Soviet Union, recently told The Daily Beast via email. She added that she was “sympathetic” toward movements that “challenge the dominant and globally oriented post-Liberal ideology,” but white nationalism—that fracturing of the U.S., resulting in a white ethno-state that would salve the wounds of American racists—is not for her.

Still, the track record, both personally and professionally, of Kouprianova—who also goes by the nom de plume Nina Byzantina—casts a pall over her denials. This is, after all, a woman who elected to marry Richard Spencer, the longtime lodestar of American white nationalism and progenitor of the term “alt-right.” While the two are currently separated—as Spencer told The Washington Post, his recent work has taken a “toll” on their relationship—Kouprianova hasn’t publicly distanced herself from the views of her husband, a man who has kept neo-Nazis enthralled with his views and who has expressed continued admiration for Vladimir Putin.

In fact, Kouprianova, who has a young daughter with Spencer, wrote a letter this week to the Flathead Beacon, one of their local papers in Montana. In it, Kouprianova compares the “witch hunts” surrounding her husband to Stalinist purges: “Threats and intimidation, which my current extended family continues to experience in Whitefish [Montana], remind me of the way my grandfather was forced to live [in the Soviet Union],” Kouprianova wrote. And to be fair, following Spencer’s rise to prominence, threats—veiled and otherwise—have risen alongside. But the notion that the environment circling Kouprianova and Spencer is in any form reminiscent of Stalinist repression is, of course, laughable. And while the Kremlin’s transparent support for Donald Trump and the white nationalists undergirding his campaign are both concerning trends on their own, it’s the links between the two—links that are only just now becoming apparent—that are cause for that much more concern. It’s those links that actors like Kouprianova have helped expand.

Yet Kouprianova’s connections with the alt-right don’t end with her marriage to the movement’s most prominent face. If anything, Kouprianova may play an outsize role in the internationalization of Spencer’s movement—especially as it pertains to Russia, which Spencer views, bizarrely, as the “sole white power in the world.” In addition to her prominent Twitter persona—offering the types of ironic barbs in defense of Kremlin machinations familiar to anyone who’s recently dealt with high-level officials from Moscow—Kouprianova has devoted her efforts to translating the works of Russian political philosopher Alexander Dugin.

If Dugin’s name is at all familiar, it’s likely due to his neo-fascist screeds, posited as geopolitical analysis, that have begun swirling international trends. As Spencer is to the alt-right, so, too, is Dugin to the modern incarnation of “Eurasianism,” a geopolitical theory positing Russia as the inheritor of “Eternal Rome” and one of the primary ideological bulwarks pushing the Kremlin to carve eastern Ukraine into the fanciful entity of “Novorossiya.” While much of Dugin’s influence on the Kremlin has been over-hyped, Dugin’s Foundations of Geopolitics remains assigned to every member of Russia’s General Staff Academy. And despite Kouprianova’s claims that “there is no evidence of communication between” Dugin and Putin, Charles Clover, in his masterful history of Eurasianism, noted that Putin and Dugin met a few months after the former ascended to the presidency. “Soon,” wrote Clover, “there were sponsors, contacts, and open doors” for Dugin.

This relationship—and the perception of such proximity to the Kremlin—is one of the reasons Dugin landed on the U.S. government’s recent sanctions list. It hasn’t, however, kept Dugin from courting American white nationalists—those who’d fracture the United States in pursuit of whites-only nation. For instance, in 2015 Dugin hosted a lecture, via Skype, at the founding of the U.S.’s Traditionalist Worker Party. That party remains helmed by Matthew Heimbach, who has tabbed Putin as the “leader of the free world.”

Dugin also hosted a separate lecture, again via Skype, at Texas A&M in 2015, partnering with local neo-Nazi Preston Wiginton—the same white supremacist who, last month, invited Spencer to speak at Texas A&M. For good measure, when Wiginton traveled through Russia a few years ago, he sub-leased an apartment in Moscow from David Duke—the former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard who not only believes Russia holds the “key to white survival,” but who has cultivated his own relationship with Dugin.

Kouprianova, who says she’s never met Dugin, nonetheless defended his work, noting that “the Western establishment is currently in the throws [sic] of a major anti-Russian hysteria” and adding that Dugin is a “well-educated scholar.” As she wrote via email, “Western media cherry-picks convenient quotations from decades ago splicing them with literally edited statements on the Ukraine crisis, in which some of his friends were killed, incidentally, while characterizing him with the usual character-assassination keywords.” (In 2014, Dugin called for a “genocide” of Ukrainians.) Kouprianova—who lists Dugin’s works as the only books she’s translated—added that she began working on translating Dugin’s works “as part of a volunteer effort,” although she’s “not even sure whether” her translations were eventually used.

But Kouprianova’s affinity for Russian expansionism doesn’t end with Dugin. Not only has she routinely papered over Russia’s local human-rights atrocities—“Like, OMG, Chechnya is, likes, totes oppressed by Putin!” she recently tweeted, plastering sarcasm over Russia’s domestic depredations—but she has referred, time and again, to Russia’s invasion of eastern Ukraine as a “liberation war.” Likewise, Kouprianova has been outspoken in defense of Russia’s domestic media landscape. Outsiders may critique Putin jailing, silencing, and even killing independent journalists. But to Kouprianova, the Kremlin “has chosen the path… of healthy debate.”

And in Spencer’s white-nationalist journal, Kouprianova went to bat for Russia’s premier propaganda outlet, RT. (RT, for what it’s worth, has referred to Kouprianova as an “independent scholar.”) Although her articles were recently removed, Kouprianova noted that RT, which has “become a welcome alternative news source for many,” also “provides great coverage of a variety of subjects.”

Interestingly, Kouprianova’s presence in Spencer’s life has caused notable schisms within the white-nationalist community in the U.S. While ethnic Russians are, broadly, considered part of the broader “European identity” pushed by American white nationalists, Spencer told Mother Jones that his wife is part Georgian. For some members of Spencer’s racist community, that makes something other than white. For instance, prominent white nationalist Greg Johnson, who doesn’t view Georgia as part of Europe, wrote in 2014 that “Richard is basically being dominated by Nina Nogoodnik, his Russian-Georgian wife.”

Johnson, as it is, says Kouprianova is not a white nationalist. And yes, Kouprianova may not share outright her husband’s views on ethnic cleansing. But given Kouprianova’s work with Dugin, her writings for America’s most prominent white nationalist journal runs counter to those claims—and helps build one more bridge in the ongoing relationship between Russia and America’s white nationalists.
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby Searcher08 » Sat Dec 24, 2016 2:11 pm

seemslikeadream » Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:28 pm wrote:oh wow Ana The Fat Shamer uploads two videos and that makes her what?

is there any reason on earth that I should have watched that video?


Ana Kasparian, as you know, is the co-host of what is supposed to be the biggest progressive channel, TYT. She is an extraordinary hypocritical cow who bathes in Qatari money from a regime that practices slavery and treats women like shit.
Any video that serves to mock and take the piss out of such a self-righteous condescending fart is well worth seeing.

She along with Anita Sarkeesian and Lacy Green represent the nadir of the left.
Authoritarian ideologues all three of them.
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby seemslikeadream » Sat Dec 24, 2016 2:17 pm

oh yes far far worse that trump any day....she is going to destroy the planet ...I really need to pay more attention

small nit picky potatoes as far as I am concerned

YEA FOR BREITBART :yay :yay :yay


maybe I missed it...why did you refer to her here anyway?


supposed to be the biggest progressive channel


give me a break where did you get that idea from?

never mind I'll ask Camille
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:46 pm

Yes, the Russians. Wake up and smell the vodka.

The skeptics fall into two broad categories. First, there are those who have simply not been paying close attention. This is forgivable, and I hope that I have filled in some gaps in your knowledge. Then there are those (the real loud-mouths on the question, like the inevitable Greenwald), who are consciously siding with Putin. (And, if less consciously, with Trump.)

This is not forgivable. These supposed "leftists" are objectively (and perhaps subjectively) on the side of fascism. Putin's intervention in the US election is but his most ambitious ploy. He has been avidly pouring money into the campaigns of far-right xenophobes and neo-fascists across Europe: Marine Le Pen in France, the Golden Dawn in Greece, Attack in Bulgaria, Jobbik in Hungary, etc. Certainly, Russian Cossacks (their equivalent of the KKK, if you know your history) have been joining Le Pen and her ilk in openly celebrating Trump's victory.

This is what makes the talk of "McCarthyism" so utterly, maddeningly wrong. There is nothing remotely communist about Putin. He is far closer to fascism, and he is supporting not the political left in the US but the extreme right.

Except, perhaps, those ultra-deluded sectors of the left that have revived the "Red-Brown" politics of the Hitler-Stalin Pact period, and united with fascism in a common hatred of what they think is "liberalism" (a word now so ill-defined that it should be abandoned). But that's a whole other discussion...


Read at: http://countervortex.org/node/15252
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:06 pm

Alex Jones ‘serious’ about stalking ‘enemies’: We’re watching ‘what type of Satanism they carry out’

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Moynihan asked Jones why this is his moment in media. “The mainstream media just ignored and ignored and ignored, laughing at flyover country. The truth is, we’ve already taken the nation back psychologically many, many years ago,” Jones said.

“All we do is study the enemy,” he added. “We know who they are, where they vacation, how they operate, what their plans are, what type of Satanism they carry out.”

When asked whether there was an “element of theatre” to Jones’ broadcast, the conspiracy theorist said, “I mean everything I say, when I’m serious. And more and more, I’m serious probably 95 percent of the time.” Moynihan laughed, “You’re a pretty intense guy!” “I’m letting the dog off the leash,” Jones explained. “I’m letting Mr. Hyde out.”

Moynihan narrates, “When Jones isn’t railing against the New World Order, he’s plotting the overthrow of his other favorite hate object: The mainstream media.” The two then take a look at one of Jones’ whiteboards, which ranks news outlets from “independent” to “state-run” to “tyranny” based on his own idea of what each represents.

VICE appeared on the whiteboard in the less “free” category, compared to outlets run by the Kremlin. Jones said it was because he “found their stuff to be more based in reality.”


More at: http://www.rawstory.com/2017/01/alex-jo ... carry-out/
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:24 pm

Alt-right-Russo-fascist convergence redux

Submitted by Bill Weinberg on Thu, 01/12/2017 - 16:49

Pressed by Marco Rubio in his confirmation hearing about whether Putin is a war criminal, Rex Tillerson responded: "I would not use that term." (CNBC) So cute to see the incoming fascist mob echo the talking points I've been hearing from The Nation, Counterpunch and Democracy Now.

Meanwhile, Marine Le Pen was seen visiting Trump Tower in New York. She declined to say whether she was there to see Trump but the Trump team said there would be "no meetings." (BBC News) Uh-huh.


More at: http://countervortex.org/node/15176#comment-453922
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:41 pm

RT Host To Alex Jones: Putin Told Me, “Say Hi To Alex”

Jones Has Claimed He Was Previously Told That Putin Is A “Big Listener” And The “Russian Government Listens To” His Show

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Radio host and prominent Donald Trump ally Alex Jones was told by an RT host that Russian President Vladimir Putin asked him to "say hi to Alex.” Jones has claimed that he was told years ago that "Putin’s a big listener" and was previously informed that the “Russian government listens to" his show and the Kremlin partially “modeled” RT off of his Infowars network.

Scrutiny of Trump and his allies’ alleged ties to the Russian government have increased since the U.S. intelligence community released an unclassified document finding with “high confidence” that Putin “ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election,” and that “Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.” CNN recently reported that senior intelligence officials presented a “two-page synopsis” to Trump and President Obama that “included allegations that there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government, according to two national security officials.”

Jones has said that he talks to the president-elect on the phone to give advice and stated that it’s “surreal to talk about issues here on air and then word for word hear Trump say it two days later.” Trump has appeared on Jones show and is reportedly a viewer. Prominent adviser Roger Stone is a regular contributor and guest host for Jones’ program.

Jones has claimed that 9/11 was an “inside job” by the U.S. government and that Osama Bin Laden was “a CIA asset.” He and his Infowars network have heavily praised Putin in recent months.

Kremlin-connected commentators have made clear in recent weeks that they view Jones as an important part of a campaign benefiting Russia.

Jones recently appeared on Tsargrad TV, which was founded by Putin ally Konstantin Malofeev. The Russian tycoon is reportedly “one of Vladimir Putin’s favorite businessmen” and has “close ties to the Kremlin elite.” During the appearance, Tsargrad TV editorial director Alexander Dugin praised Jones as “a hero of this campaign” because he “told the truth while everyone else lied.” Dugin has been widely referred to as “Putin's Rasputin” because of his ties to and influence on the Russian president and his political apparatus. Jones himself bragged about appearing on “Vladimir Putin’s favorite TV show” and with “top Putin advisers.”

Jones has also recently claimed that he’s been praised by Putin himself. On his December 8 program, Jones hosted RT broadcaster Max Keiser. Slate profiled Keiser in 2013 and wrote that he’s “become an eccentric hero of a certain ultralibertarian, 9/11-conspiracy-espousing, gold-bug-loving corner of alternative media.”

Keiser and Jones spent time discussing Putin’s interest in Jones, with Keiser stating: “Vladimir Putin says to say hello, by the way.” Jones responded, “Wow,” and claimed that he was “told by the head of RT America, before they even launched it, like eight, nine years ago, Putin’s a big listener.” Jones then added that “years ago” he was told by unnamed people that “Putin wants to come on” and talk about hunting (the appearance appears to have not materialized).


More at: https://mediamatters.org/blog/2017/01/1 ... lex/214997
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:53 am

Editorial: Post-Truth Capitalism and Pre-Truth Revolution

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But what truth is possible in such a world where both political parties pay private investigators to come up with a story about piss-play to stop Trump? What truth is possible in a world where a company worth $10 billion dollars is seen as a victim against another billionaire? That same news company, by the way, who made $1 billion partially due to election coverage and campaign advertisements? Truth probably isn’t going to come from Buzzfeed either, though according to Dan Rather, Teen Vogue seems to be doing some cutting-edge reporting of late. (omg #couplegoals!)

All this is to suggest that yeah, we are in a fake-news, post-truth world. But the problem isn’t Trump or the rise of the alt/new/fascist-right, or Russian meddling in elections. If anything, they’re symptoms, and the real problem’s not even new.

We’ve mostly been taught to think of news companies as some sort of independent check upon the government and corporations. They’re supposed to investigate things, to bring stuff to light that the powerful don’t want to see, report things to us, inform us.

It’s a pretty story, sure, and it happens that way sometimes. And perhaps it happened more like that in the past, though with the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the legacy of ‘yellow journalism,‘ it’s a bit hard to prove such a nostalgic idea is any less propagandistic than Trump’s “Make America Great Again.”

News shapes the way we see the world. We call it ‘the media’ as a shorthand (the news ‘media’: that is, newspapers, television, etc.) but it’s more accurate to employ the other meaning of that world, ‘middle.’ News is the mediator between the world and our understanding of it, the narrative which shapes how we view politics and power. What it tells us about a story determines how we understand not just that story, but the sorts of people it reports on and what is relevant.

Need an example? Consider the relationship to race and crime in news reporting. Black suspects are almost always described by their race; white suspects very rarely are. Decades of news stories where a murder or rape suspect’s race is only included in a story if they happen not to be white has the obvious affect of associating Blackness with criminality. Worse, because we are told to think of journalists as ‘objective,’ we tend to see the facts they report as objectively-selected facts. It’s easy to forget that it’s actually the reporter, and the editor, and the publisher who decide what’s relevant to a story, not the story itself.

We naturally omit details we think are irrelevant and emphasize things we think are important. If you ask me what I’m doing right at this moment, I’ll tell you that I’m writing an essay for God&Radicals. I wouldn’t mention that I’m also waiting for tea water to boil or happen to be shirtless, because that seems irrelevant. But now that I’ve mentioned I’m shirtless, you might have just envisioned me as such while reading this.

The point, then, is that narrative is selective, and what gets included or excluded shapes the experience of truth. I’m shirtless, waiting for tea water to boil while writing an essay. I’ve just shaped how you experience me.

Expand that on a large scale, and throw in two things we very often forget about news. The first? Well, capitalism. CNN, Buzzfeed, the New York Times, etc. etc., they’re capitalist enterprises. They need to make money. They are in the business of shaping narrative, telling you stories, giving you ‘news’ (or telling you how many times you’ll get married according to your choices in cheese–in my case, three). To make money, they need your attention–they need you checking back, seeing them as reliable or entertaining, the place you look to when you want to find out about the world.

Capitalism isn’t the whole story, though. Because news shapes how you see the world, because media outlets are the fastest way to get a narration out into the world, and because we have a desire to understand things, the media is in a position of immense power over our behavior. Advertising is an obvious example, but every facet of our relationships to government and each other is an open playground to their whims. As in the example of racialized crime reporting, journalists shape the way we see Black folk, or Muslims, or immigrants. But more so, they shape the way we relate to the government and to other countries. They often act in the service of the government, but always act in their own interest.

Whether or not Russia is really actively meddling in the political affairs of the United States is quite impossible to tell. What’s more important is whether or not we think they are, and some political powers have more interest in us believing this than others. For a different example, consider the lead-up to the war in Iraq: there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction, but every capitalist media company in the United States reported the government’s story as if there were.

Were they then and are they now merely trying to keep our attention? Or did the rich who ran those media companies have an interest in seeing the US go to war then and possibly go to war now? Are they being manipulated by the government, or are they trying to manipulate the government? Do some want us to go to war with Russia, or are they trying to fight off foreign intrusion?

These are questions we can’t really answer, but that brings us anyway to an even more important question:

Why are we letting capitalists decide what’s true for us?

Post-Truth Capitalism and Pre-Truth Revolution

MAYBE you’re feeling what I’ve been feeling. It’s like quakes shuddering through our pysches, the ground slipping beneath us. A friend described it as ‘giants throwing rocks at each other.’ When I was a kid, I watched my baby-sitter’s boyfriend fight with another guy, and I hid with my sisters behind the couch until the fighting was over. It feels like that.

Something does seem to have happened to the truth, but it’s not that it disappeared. The truth was never actually there in the first place, and we’re only now just starting to see this. Everything we thought was solid seems to be melting into air. Everything we held sacred seems like it is being profaned.

There’s a war for truth being fought, the same war that has always occurred between priests and kings. Who gets to decide what the people believe, who gets to hold ultimate power over the minds and souls of millions?

If it seems like this is a new war, it’s probably that one side won for awhile. The truth was occupied, colonized, an imperial subject too beaten down to throw off its oppressors. But now? Now the empire’s starting to crumble. The capitalists are fighting each other, political alliance against political alliance, media conglomerate against media conglomerate, government against government. Liberals or Conservatives, Russia or US, CNN or Breitbart, it’s impossible to tell who’s going to win, who will capture the throne of meaning and truth.

Maybe they’ll all lose, and that’s actually the best thing we could possibly hope for. In fact, this is the opening we need, the opportunity we’ve been waiting for, the potential for a revolutionary change in the entire realm of truth-creation.

While they fight each other for dominance over the truth, the rest of us can see more clearly how subjective truth really is. When news companies publish fake news and teen style magazines publish in-depth analysis, everything’s gone into flux, the truth is slipping, going where it wants to go, and might just escape back into our hands.

Because in all those battles, certain things aren’t said. None talk about the environment, climate collapse, extinction. There are natural limits to capitalism, and we’ve probably hit them. Dwindling resources, melting ice-caps, degraded soil, economic collapse–these are the truths we see in front of us, things those closest to the earth don’t need a screen or smartphone to tell them. The truth is in front of us, under our feet, in the eyes of the panicked people around us.

Everything else is just distraction for the profit of the rich, the same people causing this crisis in the first place. Fortunately, they’re pretty distracted themselves at the moment. They won’t be for long, and they might even try their greatest weapon against us to hold onto truth–an actual war.

In capitalism’s post-truth moment, our chance has arrived. The revolution is not yet a truth, but it can be. The same media who tells us it’s impossible told us there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and a video of Trump covered in urine: they’re losing their grip on our narrative. The same politicians who assure us that empire will last forever are fighting as we speak to keep their thrones from toppling under the weight of capitalist in-fighting.

Anarchists and Marxists both insist on seizing the means of production back from the capitalists. It’s time to expand this: we must seize the production of meaning back from them, too.

How?

By no longer believing their stories about the world while also creating our own. By ignoring their narrative while crafting a new one. Be it newspapers or books, radio shows or podcasts, we can must tell our stories against theirs, make ours more beautiful, more compelling, more intoxicating than their flashy yet shallow truths.

Most of all, we must refuse to take either side in the war the rich are fighting against each other. Neither Liberals nor Conservatives, neither the media nor the president, neither Russia or the United States. They depend on us to fight these wars for them, to take one side or another.

If we withdraw, they will have to fight these wars themselves, and while they’re distracted, we’ll make our own truth and build our own world without them.



https://godsandradicals.org/2017/01/13/ ... pre-truth/
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:51 pm

http://thebaffler.com/blog/russia-to-our-right-sawicky

Russia to Our Right

Trump’s entanglement with Russia will pull the United States even further away from providing basic welfare

Max B. Sawicky January 11, 2017

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Don’t be distracted.

Russian interference in U.S. politics during the elections of 2016 and beyond is one big, fat, ugly squirrel. It commands attention but distracts from the related but more important matter of rising, Russian-supported far-right movements throughout the world, which support has now come home to the U.S.A. The hacks (or leaks) are not the issue. Russia is not the issue. Reaction is the issue. Russia didn’t give us Trump, but Russia is tied up with Trump, and Trump is going to give us hell. If you think he is no worse than Hillary, you haven’t been paying attention.

Sponsorship of ultra-right movements by moneyed interests would not ordinarily surprise anyone on the left. What confounds the debate is the perception that such sponsorship is seen—by both believers and skeptics—as originating in a self-seeking nation-state and its autocratic ruler, one with a communist history. But today, kleptocratic, capitalist Russia is among the moneyed interests in the world. It’s tempting but simplistic to see Russian leaders as a fairly narrow species of nationalist interlopers in U.S. domestic politics. More to the point, they are allied with germinating, reactionary forces internationally, if only lately inside the United States.

Right-wing movements in France, Great Britain, Hungary, and elsewhere do not lack domestic political support, and there is no reason to think they would not exist without Russian backing. In the same vein, Trump’s victory here is owed first and foremost to the Republican Party and its sponsors, to all the usual suspects we have been observing with revulsion for decades. In the context of domestic U.S. politics, Putin is not the dog; he’s the tail.

The possibility that the Russians’ meddling could provide them some geopolitical advantage looks huge but should be a secondary concern. Let the neo-cons worry about it.

The possibility that the Russians’ meddling could provide them some geopolitical advantage, such as breaking up the EU and NATO or discrediting the U.S. electoral system (like we needed any help with that) looks huge but should be a secondary concern. Let the neo-cons worry about it. After all, for the left, great power rivalries are usually a distraction from the class struggle. Putin’s goals may be difficult to fathom, but his attempts to establish a presence in our politics are clear and unwelcome.

Assorted parties each have their own motives for exaggerating the Russian impact on the election. Clintons’ supporters want to blame somebody else for their candidate’s defeat; their stance fosters apoplexy among my friends on the left, to the point where nothing else matters. Neo-cons and superannuated Cold Warriors elevate the Russian threat to ramp up national security paranoia. Defense contractors want to ramp up military spending.

The source of hacks of the Democratic Party and the transmission path of hacked material are hard to demonstrate. Proof offered by the Obama administration is far from convincing. The real salience of the exposed material is the politics of how it was exploited, which is plain for all to see: it was deployed in concert by the Trump-led Republican Party, by official Russian outlets, by shadowy internet entities, and by WikiLeaks, with the obvious aim of supporting the GOP and undermining Democrats. Our dopey mainstream media played along, evidently to cash in on ratings; the counter-revolution was profitably televised.

The truth of a Russian alliance with rightists does not appear to be controversial, but it suffers from a lack of deserved attention. These movements, need we be reminded, are viciously, violently racist, misogynist, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, and homophobic. Similar groups run amok in Russia itself with the apparent indulgence of the authorities. The Trump campaign has brought like-minded creatures out from under the rocks of the U.S. right.
The truth of a Russian alliance with rightists does not appear to be controversial, but it suffers from a lack of deserved attention.

The least sensible response on Russian hijinks from some on the left is that the United States also meddles in other countries’ politics. Of course it does, in spades, but that will be little consolation to prospective victims of Republican assaults on the U.S. welfare state. Anyone who thinks the same would have been forthcoming from a Clinton administration is just dead wrong. Obama’s proposal to change the cost-of-living adjustment to Social Security benefits is not comparable to current Republican ambitions, just for starters, to dismantle Obamacare, privatize the Veterans Administration, block-grant Medicaid and food stamps, abolish the corporate income tax, outlaw abortion, and provide Medicare benefits through vouchers.

The real upshot of the Russian intervention is not that it was decisive for the outcome. We can’t really know that. The awful outcome is what matters—one in which Putin is at least complicit, and one that appears to be replicating in other countries. (The late Tony Judt was prescient on this.)

So why bring up Russia at all? Three reasons.

1. Russia is a new, obnoxious, right-wing participant in domestic U.S. politics, devoted at once to propping up Trump and to dividing his opposition. One form this division takes is support for forces and voices that refuse to distinguish between policies of the two major parties. We have always had such viewpoints, and I’ve been guilty of purveying them myself. Hell, I voted Nader in ’96 and ’00. I can’t attack someone for maintaining that both parties stink and we need a third alternative. But in this case, I do think it’s a mistake. More important, it’s horribly misguided to contend that a Clinton administration would have been just as bad as the incoming one. We can agree to disagree on political strategy, but we ought to agree that opposing Trump & Co. is the priority now.

2. Russia supports rightist formations in other countries. International solidarity, including with immigrants, women, and gays, demands opposition, not least to any Trump administration collaboration with such reactionary forces.

3. Pointing out Trump’s Russophilia and the kleptocratic ties between Trump, his supporters, and Russian oligarchs is a costless way to undercut Trump’s ability to do us harm. Of course, the Clinton people do it to wretched excess, when they are not digging up Keith Ellison’s old traffic tickets or accusing Glenn Greenwald of being a veritable KGB agent, but that’s their problem.

The Clinton/Obama wing of the Democratic Party lives on and has proven its incapacity to deal with the threat posed by the GOP and the Trump movement. In Europe, social-democratic parties are floundering in the face of anti-immigrant politics. In our rigged political system, there is no viable substitute for operating within the constraints of two-party competition. Now, as Michael Walzer asserts, we need to join the center in resisting the right. Does anybody think the Sanders movement in the current constellation of left groups could go it alone?

We also need progressive mobilization founded on programmatically oriented criticism of the Democratic establishment as well as of Republican attacks on the welfare state. So I am not suggesting we temporize on criticism of centrist neo-liberalism on the level of program; quite the contrary.

The U.S. welfare/regulatory state with all its flaws contains many seeds for a better system. Trump, with an assist from a cavalcade of shady backers, including Putin’s Russian oligarchy, threatens to uproot these seeds. It’s possible to exaggerate Putin’s role, but it would be wrong to discount it altogether. Any complete survey of the forces colluding against progressive goals must now include the Russian state.
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:34 pm

http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2017/01/p ... in-us.html


Friday, January 13, 2017

Putin and the Far Left in the US

Regarding this article, while I don't agree with the thrust or orientation, I do believe that the far left has to be more critical of Putin and his policies and military role. We can criticize the military-intelligence apparatus and its endorsement of Hillary and its attack on Trump (not for the right reasons) while also maintaining a critical stance of Russian government. This of course should be done in conflict with the crazy mainstream media's coverage of Russia and its agitation for a return to the Cold War.
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 9:16 AM
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:35 am

His own politics seem to be more liberal than radical but he makes some important points:


Everyday Authoritarianism is Boring and Tolerable

Posted on January 6, 2017 by tompepinsky

Malaysia is a country that I know well, and whose political system I have studied closely for fifteen years. It is also a country whose political liberalization I have long awaited. Malaysia has a multiparty parliamentary system of government, but the same coalition of parties has been in power for six decades, and has never lost a general election. The government retains—in a holdover from the British colonial period—the legal authority to detain people without trial if it so desires. The print and broadcast media are fairly compliant, mostly owned by the corporate allies of political elites, and rarely criticize the government.

Living in Malaysia and working on Malaysian politics has taught me something important about authoritarianism from my perspective as an American. That is, the mental image of authoritarian rule in the minds of most Americans is completely unrealistic, and dangerously so.

Even though Malaysia is a perfectly wonderful place to visit, and an emerging market economy grappling with the same “middle income trap” issues that characterize most emerging market economies, scholars of comparative politics do not consider it to be an electoral democracy. Freedom House considers Malaysia “Partly Free.” The Democracy-Dictatorship dataset codes Malaysia as a civilian dictatorship, as do Boix-Miller-Rosato. Levitsky and Way consider Malaysia to be a classic case of competitive authoritarianism. There are quite a few other countries like Malaysia: Mexico and Taiwan for most of the 20th century, Russia, Turkey, Singapore, Cameroon, Tanzania, and others.

The mental image that most American harbor of what actual authoritarianism looks like is fantastical and cartoonish. This vision of authoritarian rule has jackbooted thugs, all-powerful elites acting with impunity, poverty and desperate hardship for everyone else, strict controls on political expression and mobilization, and a dictator who spends his time ordering the murder or disappearance of his opponents using an effective and wholly compliant security apparatus. This image of authoritarianism comes from the popular media (dictators in movies are never constrained by anything but open insurrection), from American mythmaking about the Founding (and the Second World War and the Cold War), and from a kind of “imaginary othering” in which the opposite of democracy is the absence of everything that characterizes the one democracy that one knows.

Still, that fantastical image of authoritarianism is entirely misleading as a description of modern authoritarian rule and life under it. It is a description, to some approximation, of totalitarianism. Carl Friedrich is the best on totalitarianism (see PDF), and Hannah Arendt of course on its emergence (PDF). But Arendt and Friedrich were very clear that totalitarianism is exceptional as a form of politics.

The reality is that everyday life under the kinds of authoritarianism that exist today is very familiar to most Americans. You go to work, you eat your lunch, you go home to your family.* There are schools and businesses, and some people “make it” through hard work and luck. Most people worry about making sure their kids get into good schools. The military is in the barracks, and the police mostly investigate crimes and solve cases. There is political dissent, if rarely open protest, but in general people are free to complain to one another. There are even elections. This is Malaysia, and many countries like it.

Everyday life in the modern authoritarian regime is, in this sense, boring and tolerable. It is not outrageous. Most critics, even vocal ones, are not going to be murdered like Anna Politkovskaya, they are going to be frustrated. Most not-very-vocal critics will live their lives completely unmolested by the security forces. They will enjoy it when the trains run on time, blame the government when they do not, gripe at their taxes, and save for vacation. Elections, when they happen, will serve the “anesthetic function” that Philippe Schmitter attributed to elections in Portugal under Salazar in the greatly underappreciated in 1978 volume Elections without Choice.

Life under authoritarian rule in such situations looks a lot like life in a democracy. As Malaysia’s longtime Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad used to say, “if you don’t like me, defeat me in my district.”

This observation has two particular consequences. One, for asking if “the people” will tolerate authoritarian rule. The premise upon which this question is based is that authoritarianism is intolerable generally. It turns out that most people express democratic values, but living in a complicated world in which people care more about more things than just their form of government, it is easy to see that given an orderly society and a functioning economy, democratic politics may become a low priority.** The answer to the question “will ‘the people’ tolerate authoritarian rule?” is yes, absolutely.

Second, for knowing if you are living in an authoritarian regime versus a democratic one. Most Americans conceptualize a hypothetical end of American democracy in Apocalyptic terms. But actually, you usually learn that you are no longer living in a democracy not because The Government Is Taking Away Your Rights, or passing laws that you oppose, or because there is a coup or a quisling. You know that you are no longer living in a democracy because the elections in which you are participating no longer can yield political change.

It is possible to read what I’ve written here as a defense of authoritarianism, or as a dismissal of democracy. But my message is the exact opposite. The fantasy of authoritarianism distracts Americans from the mundane ways in which the mechanisms of political competition and checks and balances can erode. Democracy has not survived because the alternatives are acutely horrible, and if it ends, it will not end in a bang. It is more likely that democracy ends, with a whimper, when the case for supporting it—the case, that is, for everyday democracy—is no longer compelling.



https://tompepinsky.com/2017/01/06/ever ... tolerable/
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