Alt Left: Malcolm X on Gusanos (Worms) or Anti-Castro Cubans

I have to say that in a lot of ways, Malcolm really as a great man. Notice to the gusanos rioting now in Cuba. The people are not with them at all, trust me. Only 10,000 demonstrated all over the island. Most of them were young people, often teenagers, and some were marginal elements, often lumpens, typically criminals or those who refuse to work. There were some bourgeois elements in Havana.

In the town where the demonstrations originated, even there, they were not the majority. Much larger pro-government groups went out to confront he vendepatrias (countrysellers) at every demonstration. In the town where they claimed to take over the Young Communists headquarters, even there, their crowd of 200 was outnumbered by a crowd of 400.

There are very serious problems in Cuba, but 100% of them have to do with the blockade. The things that the contras want will not solve any problems and their heroes in the US and in the Latin American Right are the ones who caused all these problems in the first place. Cuba’s income has collapsed by 80% due to COVID. They have a very hard time importing much of anything due to the embargo and anything they do import has to go through third parties, etc. and the markups end up being considerable.

So Cuba is not able to engage with the world on a free trade basis at all. For instance, the electricity plants have not been maintained since 2014 because the embargo prevents the importation of spare parts. Cuba could not import any ventilators for COVID due to the blockade which covers all medicines and medical supplies and most foods, so they had to build their own.

This tiny country, blockaded by the whole world, was able to build their own ventilators. Cuba’s rate of saving hospitalized COVID patients is very high despite a serious shortage of drugs. The country has made five different COVID vaccines. The first, with an efficacy rate of 93%, has just been released for emergency use. Nevertheless, the epidemic is hitting them very hard and they have had to expand medical facilities because existing ones were not adequate to cover the problem.

But the new facilities and the overwhelming of the hospitals due to COVID overwhelmed the electricity system. The heat added to the strain. Workers came from all over the country and worked all week to get one substation running, but the temporary fixes usually only last for a month.

Food and medicine has collapsed because of the economic collapse and the embargo preventing Cuba from buying these things on the open market. You have to stand in line for hours for basic necessities. Furthermore, an opening of the economy to market conditions has resulted in a lifting of price controls. The result has been that prices have risen 3X. So you can see that moving towards capitalism caused inflation to skyrocket in Cuba.

Furthermore, most goods are now available only at special currency stores, but most people do not have access to that special currency. The regular currency stores are empty. The result has been that huge mafias have developed who buy things wholesale from the special currency stores and then resell them in the regular currency, but they are marked up by up to 3X. However, there are up to 500,000 of these criminals in Cuba now and there doesn’t seem to be much to do about them. The cops don’t even really try to stop them.

The truth is that since most people only have access to regular currency, the existence of these resellers and mafias seems to be inevitable as that is the only way that ordinary people can buy what they want. There are a lot of complaints about these special stores and the state currency manipulations that they are a result of, but the currency decisions seem to be based on sound, if rather capitalist, economics. I don’t know what can be done about the problem of these stores.

I really don’t know what the Cuban government could do to make any of the problems of the country go away. Can someone please tell me what the government should do to go about making even one of these problems they have better?

Most Cubans know capitalism up front, and they explicitly dislike the very idea of it. They don’t even like the US model. And the Latin American models of capitalism don’t like very enticing compared to what Cubans already have. Even the Dominican Republic, Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, and even Uruguay seem pretty awful compared to Cuba.

For one thing, there is almost no crime in Cuba and the drug use and sales rate is very low. There is almost no drug smuggling. There are no street gangs to speak of, nor are there any beggars in the streets.

During the decade when Nicaragua switched to capitalism, the roads were full of potholes and were nearly undriveable, children carried their chairs to school every day because the school had no chairs for the students, the streets were lined with dirty, hungry children and the first word out of their mouths was to ask you for a coin. Now that Ortega and the Sandinistas are back, all of that is gone. Nicaraguans have lived under both the Sandinistas and their capitalist rightwing enemies and they majority do not want the Right to come back into power any time soon. They have seen how the Right acts when they are in power.

If they let them back in, they will do the same thing all over again. The Venezuelans are the same way. The Right has only ever espoused dismantling every since achievement of the Chavistas. However, 70% of the population support the Chavista project and describe themselves as Chavistas. With a population of 70% Chavistas and an opposition that has pledged to dismantle the entire project, is there any wonder that the Chavistas win by ~70% every time? Why wouldn’t they?

And Nicaragua is sending very few immigrants to the US. The Central American immigrants flooding “the misery, crime, violence, and poverty” of the region are all coming from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. They are not coming from Nicaragua. There’s a reason for that. Also, Nicaragua has had very low rates of COVID cases and deaths, while at least Guatemala was utterly devastated by the disease.

It is true that there are contras in Cuba. It’s certainly not illegal to be a contra and they are quite easy to find. Contras represent ~14% of the population because that is how many people voted agains the last Constitution. The contras calling for a US fake humanitarian intervention and invasion are certainly much less than that.

Guaido, the Venezuelan contra, had 4% support last I heard. His project of sanctions and US invasion has 12% support. Sanctions themselves have only 18% support. The general opposition has ~27% support.

The Right has ruled Haiti since 1994 when Lavalas was overthrown by the US and Aristide was forced into exile. Aristide won 92% of the vote the last time he ran. That’s how many Haitians supported and support Lavalas. All of the US-installed regimes ever since have had the support of ~8% of the population.

The opposition in Nicaragua also has ~25%. The last poll had them at 23%. However, the position of the contras who tried to overthrow the government with a violent coup in 2018 has only 15% support. The latest poll shows Ortega winning 77%-23% against the opposition.

It is not true that the opposition is being forbidden from running. Some people who took money from the US to stage a violent attempt to overthrow the government have been arrested. Others have had their political privileges revoked for life. This is exactly what should happen to all of the Venezuelan coup-mongers, and some are already under house arrest or have been banned from politics for 15 years. None of these Nicaraguan coup plotters were candidates for any political party.

The US has been trying to insert these traitors in the political parties since 2018, but no party will take them. These are not politicians. They are not even associated with any political party. In fact, there are 17 different political parties running against the Sandinistas in the upcoming election. It’s perfectly legal to be in the opposition in Nicaragua. You only must follow the laws. As in Venezuela, the Nicaraguan contras are only ~25% of the population and they can never win at the ballot box, so they try to overthrow the government by force again.

The thing is that the contras in Cuba are all reactionaries. They wave American flags and they all want to go to neoliberalism. They are rioting because COVID is peaking in Cuba, but even there, Florida, a very wealthy capitalist state in the US, has had twice as many cases per capita and five times as many deaths per capita. In the Latin American countries that the US-flag waving mercenaries emulate, COVID death rates are 10, 20, and 50X higher than in the US.

Even in the “successful” Latin American countries like Chile, COVID has been disastrous. By the way, Chile is hardly a model for Latin America. The place is a disaster.

It’s not some groovy West European social democracy. There are no groovy West European social democracies in Latin America. The people who are trying to emulate just that are Maduro, Ortega, Correa, Fernandez, Lula, Morales, and the recent winner in Peru, Castillo – the ones who are being called Communist Pink Tide countries. An actual Communist is ahead in the polls in Chile and a moderate Leftist appears poised to win even in Colombia, the last holdout of the populist Right.

All of these people who have already served in power have either all been overthrown by the US or there have been attempts to overthrow them.

The US only tolerates hard Right regimes in Latin America. This has always been the case. Part of the problem is that Latin America never had Social Contracts as Europe did. The oligarchs and the Right have always been reactionary and fascist and are to this day.

In contrast, in Europe, the true reactionaries and fascists are all but defeated, and social democracy rules the day. Latin American style Rightists do not exist in Europe. The only thing close to that economically was in Eastern Europe in the Baltics, and these places failed horrifically with the 2008 Depression. Even Poland and the Czech Republic are not so rightwing as everyone thinks.

The most rightwing government in Europe is in the UK, and they are to the Left of the Democratic Party.

Republican Party-Latin American Right economics is unpopular all over the world.

I will grant that it is popular in a few places. It retains majority support in Colombia, but with the recent riots and the genocidal response of the regime to them, this seems to be ending. In Hong Kong and Singapore, two very wealthy more or less “fake states” – fake because these states cannot be replicated elsewhere – rightwing economics remains popular. However, the working classes in Hong Kong mostly support China and hate the rightwing government, and in Singapore, the main opposition party has Marxist roots.

The way of the world seems to be socialism or at least some kind of socialism, at the very least some variety of social democracy. Neoliberalism is disliked or even hated on most of the planet. Bottom line is nobody likes it and nobody wants it. In places where it gets polled as in Latin America, it has the support of 8-27% of the population, with an average of 26% support for the project in general which declines to 8-18% when it comes to the coup-mongering Right that calls for sanctions, violent coups and US interventions. This is the political demographic of the oligarchs and their supporters.

It’s minority now and appears to be minority for quite some time into the future. Economic conservatism and conservatism in general believe in rule by the aristocracy or oligarchy. Liberalism by contrast means rule by democracy or rule by the people. As the aristocrats, oligarchs and their supporters are always a minority – 25-30% seems to be a good ballpark figure, they generally hate democracy and tend to rely on antidemocratic means of getting in and staying in power.

Alt Left: Rural Land Reforms: An Overview

What’s odd is that imperialism went along with land reforms in a lot of other places such as Europe and the Middle East. All of the Middle East has done a land reform.

That was one thing the wave of Arab nationalist leaders who came to power in 1950-1970 did right away, including the Baath in Iraq and Syria, Yemen, Nasser in Egypt, the FLN in Algeria, Tunisia, and Qaddafi in Libya.

I believe there was some type of land reform done in Palestine too. If you read Ghassan Kanafani, the Palestinian Leftist, in the 1930’s, he talked about how terribly exploited the Arab fellahin or peasants were in Palestine.

If you went to Yemen in the 1960’s, there was a portrait of Nasser in every house.

I’m not sure if a land reform was ever done in Morocco. It’s been ruled by a fairly rightwing king for a long time.

A land reform was probably done in Lebanon, but I don’t have details. Likewise with Jordan.

Nothing grows in the Gulf anyway, so there’s no need for a reform.

I’m not sure about Sudan or Mauritania, but I doubt much grows in Mauritania except date palms.

In all of these places, land reform was a very easy sell for whatever reason, probably because neoliberal capitalism seems to be antithetical to Islam itself. The feudal lords of the former Ottoman Empire had tried to justify feudalism on the basis that in the Koran it says something like, “Some are rich and some are poor, and this is a natural thing” but that never went over too well.

The idea that in an Islamic country, the rich Muslims were viciously exploit the poor Muslims is nearly haram on its face. You just can’t do that. All Muslims are part of the ummah. All the Muslim men are your brothers and all the Muslim women are your sisters. Also individualism never made it to any part of the Muslim World other than the Hindu variety in Pakistan and Bangladesh, but that’s not really the same radical individualism that we have in the West. It’s just an ancient caste based system.

The first thing the Communists did in Eastern Europe was to do a land reform. You will never hear it here in the West, but until 1960, the Communist regimes in the East were very popular with industrial workers and also with the peasants.

In most of the world, peasants and rural dwellers are leftwingers. This is even the case in Western Europe in France.

The US is odd in that it’s farmers are so reactionary. That goes against the usual trend.

Yes, farmers are said to be conservatives, but that usually just means social conservatism. In most of the world, peasants are literally Alt Left: left on economics and right on social and cultural issues.

A land reform was definitely done in Iran.

Obviously one was done in the USSR, and the large landowners have not yet consolidated themselves in the former USSR, mostly because everybody hates them. Large landowners have taken over some of the state farms in Russia, but for whatever reason, they are not very productive. In fact, many of the state farms are still in existence. I am not sure what sort of arrangement they have now.

50% of the food in the Russia comes from small farms, typically grown on dachas. Dachas were vacation homes that were given to all Soviet workers. They were also given a bit of land, enough to grow some crops on. After 1991, all workers were allowed to keep their dachas and small plots. This was a great idea because most of the produce in Russia is coming right off of these farms.

After World War 2, the US supported land reforms in some places as a way of heading off a Communist threat. This is one great thing about the Communists. So many great steps of social progress were only done out of fear or terror that if these were not done, the Communists would take over. Now that that threat is gone, one wonders what motivation the oligarchs have to give up anything.

In particular, land reforms were done in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. They went over very easily. And in fact, the subsequent economic growth occurred right on the back of these reforms. There is a good argument that you can never develop a proper economy without first doing a land reform.

First of all, you need to get rid of the problem of rural poverty.

Second of all, you need to feed your own people. Large landowners in these countries typically grow food for export or simply fallow the land and keep it as an income base or a source of wealth.

When crops are grown for export, there is a problem in that the nation does not grow enough food to feed its people. This is a problem in Cuba and Venezuela right now, and it should not be. These are very fertile countries and there is no need to import food, but they have gotten hooked on some sort of “crack” of importing their food for whatever reason, possibly because most of their farmland was being used to grow crops for export.

When a nation can feed itself, this means it can feed its urban workers. This is extremely important and it is part of the reason that Stalin went at such breakneck speed in his collectivization. He had to feed his urban workers so he could industrialize because even back then, he was looking into the future and seeing that he was going to have to fight Hitler.

I’m not quite sure why, but no country seems to be able to properly industrialize and develop as long as the problem of rural poverty exists.

And once you are feeding your own people, you have solved a lot of other problems. Money that would be wasted importing inferior food from the West, especially the US, can now be spent on actual development of a national economy. The elimination of rural poverty gets rid of a constant revolutionary bur in the side of the state.

The US has always opposed land reform in Latin America because large US corporations are usually involved in growing foods for export down there. See Dole Pineapple in Guatemala. We want all of their agricultural land to go for export crops so US corporations can grow those crops or make money importing them. And we do not want them to grow their own food. That way there won’t be so much land for export crops which we need to make money off of.

Also, we want them to spend all of their food money importing lousy processed food from the US. So we make money on food both ways – importing food from crops grown for export to the US and in exporting processed food to the Latin America. This processed food is not very good for you and it is implicated in a lot of health problems in these places.

This is why the US opposes most efforts at land reform in the Americas.

An exception was made in El Salvador. After 200,000 people died, the US and the Salvadoran oligarchs were forced to the negotiating table and a land reform was one of the first things they pushed. I recall a piece written soon afterwards where the reporter went out to the rural areas and interviewed recipients of the land reform. They basically said, “Well, at least we can eat now. It wasn’t like that before.”

In semi-feudal countries, there is debt bondage whereby large landowners rent out their land to sharecroppers or peasants who never seem to get out of debt. This is a very primitive form of development.

The Philippines is notable that there has never been a land reform. And of course they have a vicious Communist insurgency.

Nor has there been one in Colombia, Guatemala, Haiti, Paraguay, Honduras, or Argentina. The first five countries are horribly screwed up. Colombia and Paraguay have active armed leftwing guerrillas, and Guatemala did for many years. Haiti is a disaster. Honduras has a vicious rightwing dictatorship that has murdered over 1,000 people.

Argentina is mostly urbanized, but the landed rural elite still runs the country. Any talk at all of land reform or even taxation of large estates as was done recently under Christine Fernandez, and the ruling class starts making ominous threats of a coup. I assume something similar is going on in Uruguay. Those countries are urbanized though, so large landownership is not such a problem.

I’m not sure if there has ever been a land reform in Brazil, but there is no dearth of large landowners.

The fact that Colombia, Guatemala, and Haiti are so backwards is largely because there has never been a land reform.

The land reform was incomplete in Venezuela.

It is interesting that every country that fails to do a land reform seems to end up with a Communist or Leftist insurgency at some point or another. It’s almost without fail. This goes to show you that most Communist insurgencies in the Third World are over the most basic things dating all the way back to French Revolution: land and bread (food).

As far as land reforms go, they were done in Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Venezuela, and Peru.

I’m not sure about Uruguay, Ecuador, Bolivia, Panama, Jamaica, Belize, the Guyanas, Chile, and most of the Caribbean.

And I’m not sure if one ever got done in the Dominican Republic after Bosch.

In El Salvador, 200,000 had to die in order for a land reform to take place. Roberto D’Aubission, the godfather of the Salvadoran death squads and the most favored visitor at the US Embassy, once said that “We will have to kill 200,000 people in order to prevent socialism in El Salvador.” What he meant by socialism was land reform.

It is notable that no land reform was ever done in India, nor in Pakistan or even Bangladesh. I had a friend whose parents were large feudal landowners in Pakistan who rented out land to farmers who ended up in debt peonage. In 1986, 14 million people a year were dying of starvation related diseases in the capitalist world. Most of that was in South Asia in Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India. Most of these deaths were attributed to the problem of the private ownership of land.

There is a problem with the private ownership of land. In the US, we think this is sacrosanct, but on a worldwide basis, it doesn’t work very well. What do you need all that land for? What do you need more than, say, an acre and a house? Nothing, unless you are a farmer.

In China, all land is owned by the state. All homeowners lease the land, often on 100 year leases. I’m not sure how it works in the countryside.

In Mexico, much of the land is owned by the state also, a product of the land reform that occurred after the Revolution. One of the major demands of the Revolution was land reform. Pre-revolution, most peasants usually lived like serfs. The state land in Mexico is called ejidos.

If you ever can’t make it in the city, if you become unemployed or homeless, you can always go out to the countryside and take up residence in an ejido, which are something like communal lands that are formed by the group that makes up the ejido. You join this group, work the land, and get a share of the crop. At least you have enough food to eat. So in Mexico the ejidos are a stopgap measure.

In China too, if you can’t make it in the city, you can always go back to the rural areas, take up residence, and work the land. At least you will have enough to food to eat. It is illegal to be homeless in China. If you are homeless, the police pick you up and put you in shelters, which are something like college dorms. They also encourage you to go back to the countryside if you have relatives back there. In recent years, many people have moved from the countryside to the cities to make more money. Those that don’t make it can always move back to the farm.

There was debate a while back about privatizing state land, but it ran aground on the idea that the state ownership of land was necessary as a stopgap measure in the event of urban poverty. In addition, state ownership of land has prevented the development of a national oligarchy or plutocracy.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been adamant that the  development of a national oligarchy or plutocracy must be prevented at all costs. Once they develop, they are sort of like an infection in that they soon spread and take over society. The CCP has billionaire party members who are members of the People’s Assembly.

Guess what these “Communists” are advocating for? Reduction or elimination of taxes on the rich, massive reductions in social spending, state repression of labor, and the privatization of land along with most of the rest of the economy. I think this goes to show you that billionaires are the same everywhere. Whether in a Communist or capitalist country, a rightwing or leftwing country, billionaires always have precisely the same class interests that barely vary at all. It’s usually something like this:

Reduction or elimination of taxes on the rich, massive reductions in social spending, state repression of labor, and the privatization of land along with most of the rest of the economy.

This goes to show that class interests of various classes are nearly a  law in a mathematical sense and not even a theory of social science. This was what Marx was getting at when he spoke of the laws of economics. They are so predictable that we can almost class them with the laws, theorems, and corollaries of mathematics instead of the typical “true for now” theories of most of the sciences.

I have a feeling that a Hell of a lot more things are laws, too, especially in terms of basic human behavior. So many of these things seem almost unchangeable. Of course they would never apply to everyone, but it’s pretty obvious that they are general tendencies.

Alt Left: Capitalism Will Always Tend Towards Fascism: Does that Mean It Is Fatally Flawed?

DiscoCat: The Far Left has an explicit goal of ending capitalism. The Far Right does not. This is why when forced to choose between the Far Right and the Far Left, liberals, capitalists, industrialists, and plutocrats will always choose the Far Right.

It is precisely for this reason that the wealthy industrialists and plutocrats in Germany supported Hitler’s chancellorship campaign in 1931. They didn’t give a flying fuck about his nationalism, bigotry, warmongering, and antisemitism. Most of the plutocrats probably thought Hitler’s ravings were just harmless antics to galvanize his base. Whatever it takes to rile up the mindless cattle and garner their support. All they cared about is that he would let them keep their ownership of the factories and protect their interests from socialists and communists.

The plutocrats will always support fascism as a bulwark against socialism if they feel the latter’s gaining popularity among the masses. They usually don’t like fascism but they’re driven to support it by pure self-interest and pragmatism.

Thank you very much for this comment! And by the way, welcome to the site if you are new here!

I have felt this way a long time myself. I think it goes deeper than this though. Many of the leftwingers that got overthrown by fascists were just liberals who did some tinkering around the edges. Arbenz in Guatemala and many others such as Juan Bosch in the Dominican Republic were overthrown for trying to do a land reform. The leader of Honduras and Aristide in Haiti were overthrown by fascists for literally raising the minimum wage! That’s all they did. And Bill Clinton helped overthrow Aristide and Hitlery Clinton herself literally overthrew the leader of Honduras and installed a fascist coup that very quickly murdered 1,000 social activists.

This has happened many times. The new Peruvian leader has promised to do only very mild reforms and he’s already being called a Communist. The mild reformer of the PT, Lula, was overthrown in a judicial coup that was assisted by the FBI! I told you Feds are crap. Feds are the worst pigs of them all.

So I disagree where the poster says all of these people go fascist for fear that the Left will end capitalism. It appears that any threat to their profits at all is enough to cause the capitalists to put in a fascist regime. So I think the comment should be amended from fear of the overthrow of capitalism to the fear of any loss of profits and income at all.

A while back, I told my mother that down in Latin America, it is routine for the Right to murder trade unionists and union leaders. She shook her head and said, “That’s because down there, if you’re in a union, they think that means you’re a Communist.” I would point out that that was all done with the help of the US, especially the CIA.

The US has been murdering union members in Latin America for 60 years now, and probably even longer if you consider the Banana Revolt in the Uraba of Colombia in 1921. And every one of our Latin American interventions from 1910-1950 was done on the basis more or less of “kill the trade unionists,” among other things. The Sandinistas of Nicaragua are named after Augusto Sandino, the leader of Nicaraguan guerrillas who fought the US Marines in Nicaragua for many years.

That’s exactly correct. I’d like to add that not one thing has changed. Social activists including union members and leaders, are murdered every day in Colombia for years now.

Alt Left: “The Macroeconomics of Economic Populism in Latin America,” by Rudiger Dornbush and Sebastian Edwards

I didn’t actually read the book, but James Schipper did. Below I will quote from an article from NACLA that critiques the book well.

James Schipper: Perón came back from exile, and then won the election with a landslide. Unless the Argentines are complete political idiots, this demonstrates that he tried to accomplish something for the masses. Ordinary voters may not understand much about economics, but they usually sense who is on their side and who is not.

The US, Canada, Great Britain, and Australia are three Anglosphere countries that keep voting for rightwing economics despite themselves. The masses have been harmed by neoliberalism in all of these countries, but every four years, they march off and vote for it again. I think part of the problem is that ordinary people are voting against mass immigration and other leftwing stupidities in all of these countries. They don’t realize that neoliberalism comes as an add-on to anti-immigrant policies in the Anglosphere. Voters in the Anglosphere are political idiots.

You can see why people keep voting for the Chavistas in Venezuela. Sure, the economy is a mess, but no one blames the government. 70% of the population openly state that they are Chavistas. Things may be bad now but they know that the opposition is not their friend! This is why they keep voting for Ortega in Nicaragua, Lukashenko in Belarus, and Putin in Russia. These guys are on their side, and the voters can figure that out.

James Schipper: Many years ago, I read a book called The Macroeconomics of Populism in Latin America, in which it is explained how leftist populists in LA, despite their unquestioned commitment to improving the economic lot of the poorest segment of the population, often fail because they overreach.

Wikipedia has an article called Macroeconomic Populism, which explains briefly how overambitious economic populism can backfire.

I would agree that acting too fast too soon isn’t a great idea and a slower approach might work better. But we don’t see a lot of cases of economic stupidity like this nowadays in Latin America.

Yes, I think that book is not good. One man worked for the World Bank. Their basic attitude is “Don’t rely on government to try to fix economic problems and help the poor. It fails every time.” In other words, it’s hopeless. Massive inequality a problem? Sure. What to do? Nothing! Because everything you do is going to fail. I dunno.

Here is a critique of the book:

https://nacla.org/news/2012/4/20/latin-america-unravels-populist-putdown

The book is referred to in this book review of another book as “an outdated, far-right, academically dishonest book.”

From the article.

Rudiger Dornbush, and Sebastian Edwards, two University of Chicago-trained economists.

See? They were both trained at the University of Chicago. That’s the home of Milton Friedman, neoliberalism, the Chicago Boyz, the neoliberal whiz kids who caused so much destruction all over the world, especially in Latin America. UoC/Friedmanite economics doesn’t work. Period. It causes massive inequality, significant gains for the top 20% and a serious drop in income for the bottom 80%. This is exactly what happened from 1980-1992 under Reagan-Bush. Sure, if you are in the top 20%, I would say neoliberal economics is the way to go. But if you’re not, it’s economic suicide.

They complain about D and E’s portrayal of Chile:

The most astonishing example of the book’s studied ignorance happens to be one of the most indisputable and well-documented examples of U.S. intervention: Chile.

According to Chapter 7 of Dornbush and Edwards’ book, written by Felipe Larraín (currently Chile’s Finance Minister) and Patricio Meller, the “decline and full collapse of the [Allende coalition government] experiment during the years 1972-73 is a clear consequence of the ‘successful’ overexpansive policies implemented in 1971.”

Never mind that Nixon reacted to the 1970 elections determined to “smash Allende,” telling then-CIA director Richard Helms to “make the economy scream.” Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh details the earliest destabilization campaigns, carried out even before Allende took office:

Approval was granted for a last-minute increase of the propaganda activities designed to convince the Chilean Congress that an Allende election would mean financial chaos. Within two weeks, twenty-three journalists from at least ten countries were brought into Chile by the CIA, and they combined with CIA propaganda “assets” already in place to produce more than 700 articles and broadcasts both in and out of Chile before the congressional election – a staggering total whose ultimate influence cannot be measured.

By late September, a full-fledged bank panic had broken out in Santiago, and vast amounts of funds were being transferred abroad. Sales of durable goods, such as automobiles and household goods, fell precipitously; industrial production also dropped. Black-market activities soared as citizens sought to sell their valuables at discounted prices.

Ok that’s a case of capital flight. Venezuela had the same problem. All I can say is that it upholds Lenin’s idea that the peaceful road to socialism, while a great idea in theory, simply never works in real life because the capitalists simply sabotage the economy.

Larraín and Meller mention Nixon, Kissinger, Richard Helms, I.T.T., and/or Pepsi precisely zero times in their scholarly analysis. Whereas U.S. Ambassador to Chile Edward Korry threatened that “not a nut or bolt will be allowed to reach Chile under Allende,” doing “all within our power to condemn Chile and the Chileans to utmost deprivation and poverty.”

Like I said, they failed badly to include the US massive economic war it waged against Chile. The same exact program was used against Venezuela, with the same results. The sanctions on Zimbabwe and Nicaragua also caused hyperinflation.

The only hyperinflation I’ve seen lately was caused by capitalists waging economic war against the state or by US sanctions. Usually both are going on at the same time. In Venezuela, the capitalists won’t stop raising prices. They love the hyperinflation because they’ve used it to play the currency black market to make a bundle. And they deliberately created it by shutting down production and hoarding goods.

At one point, Maduro put the army in charge of enforcing price controls, and the inflation stabilized for a while, but then they were withdrawn and they went back up again. However, after floating the currency along with a drop in the value of real wages and a reduction of most people’s savings, inflation was subdued. I’d hate to see these guys’ analysis of Venezuela. In fact, Krugman is already saying that Venezuela and Argentina are modern cases of this macroeconomic populism.

The authors argue instead that all state efforts to create a decent economy will fail and the only thing that will work is neoliberalism.

The authors explain that “the message emerging from the papers in this book is clear: the use of macroeconomic policy to achieve distributive goals has historically led to failure, sorrow, and frustration.” That’s why they helpfully disabuse Latin America of its “naive confidence in the ability of governments to cure all social and economic ills.”

However, neoliberalism doesn’t work either:

Second, it is worth noting that Cambridge development economist Ha-Joon Chang has analyzed the effects of these supposedly self-defeating macro policies. He finds on the contrary that “developing countries did not do badly at all during the ‘bad old days’ of protectionism and state intervention in the 1960s and 70s. In fact, their economic growth performance during the period was far superior [3.1% in per capita GDP a year for Latin America] to that achieved since the 1980s under greater opening and deregulation [1.1% a year from 1980-2009].

…And even that rate was partly due to the rapid growth of countries in the region that had explicitly rejected neoliberal policies sometime earlier in the 2000s  – Argentina, Ecuador, Uruguay and Venezuela.” In fact, when Dornbush and Edwards published their book in 1991 denouncing “overly expansive” macro policies, Latin America and the Caribbean – largely compliant to IMF diktats at that point – had already averaged an entire decade of negative 0.3% growth rate per capita (1980-1990).

If you are going to read books about economics, I recommend Ha-Joon Chang. As you can see, neoliberalism in Latin America failed completely. Even its proponents admitted that it failed, but their attitude was the usual, “We didn’t give it time enough. Give it some more time and it will start working.” Yeah, right.

Larraín and Meller focus their attention exclusively on the macroeconomic policy errors of Allende’s Unidad Popular (UP) government. Its efforts to “increase real wages and to improve Chilean income distribution failed completely,” they contend, dryly adding that it “took eight years, up to 1981 (during the ‘peak of the boom’), for real wages to recover the level they had held in 1970 before the UP government.”

Larraín and Meller omit from this account Pinochet’s post-1973 reign of terror in which tens of thousands were imprisoned and killed and an economic policy during the dictatorship that led to virtually no growth in per capita income by 1986, 13 years after the coup.

See? Neoliberalism didn’t work either. It took until 11 years after Allende for real wages to reach the level they were under Allende. Then there was an economic crash. I believe it took until 1989 for wages to reach the level they were under Allende again. That’s just a complete failure of neoliberalism over 20 years.

Perhaps the paper’s most artful flourish is the cynical use of the impersonal, passive voice. Nixon directed a comprehensive program of economic sabotage literally bearing Secretary of State Kissinger’s signature. The U.S. funded all major anti-government strikes, the CIA penetrated all of Chile’s political parties, and it courted the military to foment a putsch.

From D and E:

Real wages dropped spectacularly, by -11.3% in 1972 and -38.6% in 1973. This last figure includes a 30% cut induced in the fourth quarter of 1973, after the military coup…[B]y the end of 1971 the signals of disequilibrium were clear for a dispassionate observer. Bottlenecks appeared in strength during 1972, and 1973 witnessed the collapse of the whole experiment. Political instability mounted, and a coup ultimately replaced the UP Government with a military junta [emphases mine].

It was all Allende’s fault. All of the economic sabotage and the economic war the US waged to make the economy scream? That did nothing at all! Seems like a very bad analysis.

Guys like D and E are still writing today:

Today, U.S. scholars carry on the dubious tradition of lambasting Latin American populism, whatever its prevailing definition. Due to South America’s general drift to the left in recent years, academics make increasingly strained attempts to “recognize” and discredit it. In an October 2011 paper entitled Decreasing Inequality Under Latin America’s ‘Social Democratic’ and ‘Populist’ Governments: Is the Difference Real?,”Juan Montecino of the Center for Economic and Policy Research highlights the “arbitrary and ill-defined nature” of this endeavor.

Montecino politely dismantles the findings of economists Darryl McLeod and Nora Lustig, who purport to show that “social democratic” regimes did better than “left-populist” ones in reducing inequality in recent years. He shows that their empirical results are reversed when one runs the same regressions using data from the Economic Commission for Latin America. The paper raises questions as to whether their categories capture “anything more than a general antipathy toward one group of governments.”

In other words, they faked the data.

Unsurprisingly, this antipathy is directed toward three of the four countries Ha-Joon Chang highlights for experiencing growth after rejecting neoliberal policies: Argentina, Ecuador, and Venezuela.

Their enemies now are those three countries. Simon Johnson attacks Latin American populism in the case of Argentina:

Johnson has referred to Argentina as “a country that struggles over many decades (and whose leaders frequently rail against the world) and for which episodes of reasonable prosperity and new economic models are punctuated by gut-wrenching crises.”

In the case of Argentina’s last gut-wrenching crisis in 2001, however, the “IMF’s fingerprints” were all over it, wrote macroeconomist Mark Weisbrot, CEPR’s co-director and Argentina expert, in late 2001. “It arranged massive amounts of loans – including $40 billion [in 2000] – to support the [overvalued] Argentine peso,” writes Weisbrot. Then it “made its loans conditional on a ‘zero-deficit’ policy for Argentine government.”

By doing so, the IMF was able to “convince most of the press that Argentina’s ‘profligate’ spending habits [were] the source of its troubles.” Finally, the IMF – an organization Tim Geithner recently considered essential for promoting U.S. foreign policy – implausibly claimed it had always been against the overvalued peso and that the loans were made in order to placate the Argentine government.

The IMF caused the problem with orthodox neoliberalism and then blamed the government for “profligate spending” because they ordered it to read zero-deficit, a goal which itself caused the crisis.

See? They’re making it up.

Second, Johnson seems to portray the country as wracked by serious, ongoing difficulties. But Weisbrot et al. demonstrate that since defaulting and devaluing, Argentina – widely considered ‘populist’ – expanded 94% from 2002–11 (the fastest growth in the hemisphere), reaching its pre-recession level of GDP in three years, tripling real social spending over seven years, reducing poverty and extreme poverty by two-thirds (using independent estimates of inflation), and achieving record levels of employment.

Their paper also demolishes the myth repeated by many economists – including McLeod and Lustig – that Argentina’s success was largely the effect of a serendipitous commodities boom.

See? Populism worked great in Argentina. It also worked great in Venezuela (before the economic war combined with the collapse in oil prices killed the economy), Ecuador, and Bolivia.

The devastating policies of the past in Latin America, as well as the more successful policies of vastly more independent governments over the past decade, are intimately tied up with Washington’s control over the hemisphere and the recent collapse of its influence – especially in South America. Roger Morris, a staffer at the National Security Council until mid-1970, clarified such considerations for Seymour Hersh:

“I don’t think anybody ever fully grasped that Henry [Kissinger] saw Allende as being a far more serious threat than Castro. If Latin America ever became unraveled, it never would happen with a Castro. Allende was a living example of democratic social reform in Latin America…Chile scared him.”

The devastating economics of the past in Latin America were caused by the US waging economic war on countries that practiced populist economics. This same populism has worked much better now because the influence of the US has greatly fallen in the continent.

The U.S. government has long imposed double standards on the permissibility of social reforms. While instrumental to Allende’s overthrow abroad, the Nixon administration could boast progressive domestic achievements, including the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Earned Income Tax Credit, widely considered one of the most important anti-poverty programs in U.S. history.

Similarly, Lyndon Johnson enacted Great Society programs at home but sent thousands of troops to the Dominican Republic in 1965 to quell an uprising demanding the restitution of the deposed social democratic president, Juan Bosch. A liberal wishing to implement land reforms, Bosch was the subject of an FBI espionage and interception operation authorized by J. Edgar Hoover in the months preceding the rebellion, as Bosch sat exiled in Puerto Rico.

See? Liberalism at home. Fascism abroad. That’s the policy prescription of the US under Democrats and liberal Republicans. Also note the FBI overthrew him. The FBI was deeply involved in the lawfare against Brazil that resulted in the false charges being filed against Lula that put him in prison. See? The FBI literally overthrew Lula in Brazil. The FBI are not just pigs; they’re the worst pigs of them all – feds. And it is a deeply political and always reactionary organization. Fuck the FBI.

Perhaps unknowingly, Johnson is simply keeping within the permissible framework of an intellectual culture that has always accommodated and justified Washington’s hypocrisy. To my knowledge, Johnson has yet to apply his support for “standing up to the banks…proposing a more responsible course of action than that preferred by the banking elite,” and “greater transparency in financial transactions” to the IMF, which has conducted most of its deliberations, meetings, and consultations in secret.

Simon Johnson is pro-IMF, like the authors of that book.

On the The New York Times website, he offhandedly dismisses Latin American populism with a reference to an outdated, far-right, academically dishonest book – all in an article that challenges the U.S. elite by praising populism. This is a compelling example of the imperial double standard that keeps “pro-populist” commentators from seeing what is going on in developing countries.

The book you are praising is referred to an “outdated, far-right, academically dishonest book.” I believe that is correct.

But even if the Times’ readers never learn of Latin America’s protracted struggle for self-determination against U.S. power, the region is now a breeding ground for the most constructive values associated with populism. More than a decade of successful revolts has allowed for the elections of independent left governments in most of South America and has brought enormous gains to the poor majority through greater economic sovereignty and democratic social reform. Or as Kissinger might put it, Latin America has unraveled.

See? For the last 20 years, excellent populist economic policies in Latin America have brought enormous gains for the poor majority. According to E and D, it should have been catastrophic.

Alt Left: Capitalism Is Unsustainable: Capitalism Has An Inevitable Tendency to Move Towards Fascism

Rightwing dictatorships and fascists are good for US corporations and the US rich. So the capitalists of the world will always support fascism when it comes down to it. Every corporation in the US will support fascism if push comes to shove. For this reason, capitalism seems unsustainable because capitalists feel that the Left has no right to rule, and when it comes down to it, they will always support fascism, rightwing dictatorships, and fascist putschist oppositions to any existing leftwing governments.

It is for this reason that I feel that capitalism, which I do not necessarily oppose on moral grounds, is unsustainable and dangerous if not an out and out menace because of the tendency of all capitalist states when posed with a threat from the Left to install a fascist state. In other words, at some time or another in most capitalist countries, a threat will always cause a rightwing or fascist dictatorship to be installed.

Because of capitalism’s inevitable tendency towards rightwing dictatorship and fascism and its basic contempt for democracy, I feel that capitalism itself is a problem, and capitalism itself is a danger if not a menace to democratic society and people who wish to live free of dictatorships of the rich and fascism. In other words, yeah, capitalism in the long run is unsustainable.

Alt Left: Yes, There is Little Classism in Muslim Countries (Because It’s Against Islam)

James Schipper: Was it really very different (highly classist) in Islam?

Yes, Islamic countries are just not like that.

I can’t think of any Arab country that is like that.

No North African country is like that.

Neither Malaysia nor Afghanistan nor the Caucasus nor Xinjiang nor the Stans is not like that. However, Afghanistan was feudal or semi-feudal until recently. That’s why Communism was fairly popular there. An outsider went there in the 1950’s, and he saw groups of young men chanting with their fists in the air, “Kill the rich!” I suppose the Communist revolution did a land reform and got rid of this feudal land tenure system.

Communism was an easy sell in Bosnia and Albania, but Islam is weak there.

Corruption is a bad problem in the Arab World and a rich elite bled Lebanon dry for decades, but they are widely hated, and there is little to no class hatred in Lebanon.

I can’t see any class hatred in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Sudan, Somalia, Jordan, Yemen, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, or even in UAE.

I’ve never heard of any real classism in the Sahel, but no one there has any money anyway.

The only African countries with a history of classism were the apartheid states of Rhodesia and South Africa, but there it was racialized, and the classism was imported from Christian Europe. Classism among the Whites of these states themselves was not a problem.

Angola has become very unequal due to oil wealth, but the system is not popular, and most people are ending up poor. They had a successful Communist revolution that remained in power for a long time. The anti-Communist rebels didn’t even have much ideology. Jonas Savimbi of UNITA started out as a Maoist and switched to rightwing capitalist to get money from the West for his revolution.

Africa just doesn’t have a history of European classism. It was always a relatively egalitarian village society. Sure, the chiefs were rich, but they were supposed to provide for everyone.

All of the Gulf Arab states have such extensive social democracies that in a lot of cases, you hardly even have to work. Education and health care is free and housing may be subsidized. UAE is a very rich country and capitalism roars right along, but I don’t see a lot of class hatred. For one thing, everyone in the Gulf is well-off.

As I said, it was different before. Read Ghassan Khanafani (one of the founders of the PFLP) on the lives of fellahin or peasants in debt bondage in semi-feudal Palestine in the 1930’s. Nasser did a land reform in Egypt in the 50’s and he was a hero all over the Arab World. People said they went to Yemen in the 1960’s, and there were Nasser portraits everywhere in the homes of working class people. Nasser’s land reform set off a wave of land reforms in the Arab World. In Syria and Iraq, they were done by the socialist Baath Party. There was never much resistance to the Baath’s socialism. There were large state sectors and good social democracies. Even Saddam was basically a socialist.

Bangladesh is a problem. Pakistan has been discussed but it is Indianized and Hinduized. The same problem may be going on in Bangladesh. The class hatred is vicious in India, but it’s coded as caste hatred instead. So Pakistan and Bangladesh have a sort of Hinduized Islam. But the poverty and class hatred is not nearly as bad in those two states as it is in India and Nepal.

Bahrain and Indonesia are problems for whatever reasons but in Indonesia they had to kill 1 million Communists to get their crappy rightwing capitalist dictatorship. And in the last several years they have been led by a social democrat.

Turkey does have problems with its capitalist class in terms of exploitation of workers. After World War 2, there was a Communist revolution and the Commies almost won. However, there is a huge underground Leftist and Communist movement that regularly sets the factories and yachts of the rich on fire! They’re quite popular. The Kurdish PKK was also Left. Islam is rather weak in Turkey though, and Turkey is Europeanized. Erdogan is actually quite socialist. He’s more socialist than Biden. His brand is Islamism is heavy on the social justice end.

 

Alt Left: Christianity Is Anti-Capitalist?

Christianity Is Anti-Capitalist?

James Schipper: Still, theologically, Christianity is not a capitalism-friendly religion. There is nothing in the NT which encourages wealth accumulation or expresses admiration for the rich. In earlier times, there were very rich monasteries but also monastic orders which are committed to poverty, such as the Franciscans. These monasteries were rich for the same reason that Harvard and Yale are very rich. They became rich through donations and bequests.

Sure, theologically it may be so, but in practice, capitalism, extreme inequality, and class hatred have been accommodated in Christian countries quite easily.

You can say that Christianity is against capitalism all you want, but it hasn’t worked out that way in the West.

Social democracy was an easy sell in Europe, but the US is worse classwise than any European country. In the US we almost have a celebration of inequality and that’s somehow been accommodated with the Christianity, which seems weird. The Gospel of Wealth the Evangelicals practice here strikes me as downright heretical though. If Jesus was around, he’d reject it.

Feudalism lasted a long time in Europe, and early capitalism in England was horrible from the 1300’s-1800’s. England is terribly classist even today, but there’s a huge backlash. Thatcher was burned in effigy all over the UK when she died. Can you imagine that happening with Reagan in the US? The class hatred in the UK is pretty raw.

Classism in France was awful, but they killed their rich, and now it’s socialist.

Germany never had a vicious capitalist class. The Kaiser put in the first social democracy in the late 1800’s. It went over easily.

Italy’s never been all that classist, nor has Greece. After World War 2 in Italy, Communists were set to win local elections all over Italy but the US CIA got involved and there was massive election fraud that cheated them out of a victory. But Eurocommunists have been running states in Italy for decades, especially in the North. They’ve had a heavy emphasis on small business at the expense of big business and it’s worked great. I had a commenter on here who owned a small factory in a northern state and he loved the local Communist government. And he was a capitalist! In Greece, the Communists almost won a revolution.

I don’t think Eastern Europe has been classist. Communism went over easily there.

Communism went over easily in Yugoslavia too, though it was a modified form. It was also very popular. I know people who lived there, and they loved it. They almost won in Turkey too.

The Baltics are not classist and neither is Scandinavia. That area is all based on egalitarianism.

Spain and Portugal were classist, but there was a civil war in Spain, and it’s a pretty socialist country right now.

There was a Leftist Carnation Revolution in 1974 that overthrew Salazar’s fascism and a Leftist regime was nearly installed. It was very popular.

Alt Left: Right and Left in Islamic and Catholic Societies

If you’re not careful, the media will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and cheering the people doing the oppressing.

Malcolm X

This is precisely the function of the media in a capitalist society. The Chinese media is not like this because, duh, China is not a capitalist country! Nor is the Iranian media because Iran is not a capitalist country. In fact, Iran is almost something like “Islamic Communism.” I’m not wild about Ayatollah Khomeini, but he did have a strong social justice streak.

The Revolution was populist, pro-independence, and anti-imperialist. Iran is almost based on a Muslim version of Liberation Theology or “the preferential option of the poor.” The social safety net is huge in Iran. Also, much of the economy is run by the state. It’s actually run by religious charities, often with ties to the military and the IRGC. I believe these religious charities do not operate at a profit. Small businesses are not bothered at all, as in all Muslim countries. I was reading Ayatollah Khameini’s tweets for a while on Twitter, and I could have been reading Che Guevara. Basically the same message.

Islam is just not friendly to neoliberal economics or radical individualism. It is a very collectivist religion in a very collectivist society.

Neoliberalism hasn’t caught on much of anywhere in the Muslim world other than Indonesia and the Southern Philippines, and they had to murder 1 million Communists in cold blood to get there in Indonesia and the Moros have always rejected Catholic rule in both a political and economic sense. it is notable that the Maoist NPA are also huge in Mindanao, home of the Moros.

Pakistan, too, has inherited the selfish economics and even feudalism in land tenure straight from Indian Hinduism. They even have caste, which would be considered an aberration in any decent Muslim society.

All of the Arab countries are basically socialist at least in name, and that was never a hard sell there. It’s true that 100 years ago, the Arab lands were mostly feudal in nature, with big landowners and peasants in debt bondage. They rich had co-opted the religious authorities like they always do, and the mullahs preached that Islamic feudalism was right and proper because the Prophet had said, “It is normal that some are rich and some are poor.” But it was always a hard sell, and it had a very weak foundation.

After independence, socialism was instituted in most if not all Arab countries at least in name. In particular, huge land reforms were done in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, and Palestine. I assume something like that was done in Algeria too. It was a very easy sell, and everyone went along with it without a hitch. The mullahs quickly changed from support for feudalism to support for socialism.

Hamas rules Gaza and I was shocked at how huge the social safety net is. The many religious charities run the safety net, which is distributed under the rubric of Islam. This is done instead of the state doling it out.

Mohammad himself didn’t have much to say about economics, but he wasn’t a neoliberal capitalist or a feudalist.

In Christian societies, the rich have utter contempt and hatred for the poor, who they regard as little more than human garbage. If you want to see this philosophy in action, look at the classism in Latin America. As all Muslims are part of the umma, and hence, as all are brothers and sisters, it is simply unconscionable that wealthy Muslims would be able to openly hate poor Muslims. You simply cannot treat your fellow Muslims like that. It’s not officially haram but it might as well be.

European Style Fascism in the Middle East

It is instructive that the only place in the Arab world where neoliberal economics and in particular Libertarianism took hold was in Lebanon, and even there, it was only among Catholic Maronites. Most Arab Christians look east to Antioch (and before that, Constantinople) to the Eastern Orthodox church, which is really just the eastern wing of Catholicism.

The Maronites, though, deride Antioch and instead look to Rome. They see themselves as European people instead of Arabs. Many deny that they are Arabs and instead refer to themselves as “Phoenicians.” It is interesting that the only real classical fascism in the Arab World  took hold in the Lebanese Maronites, where the Gameyels imported it from Europe in the 1930’s.

The Jews of Israel also developed a very European form of fascism starting with Jabotinsky and his book The Iron Wall in 1921. This man was an open fascist. He is considered to be the spiritual father of the Likud Party. During the 1940’s, the armed Jewish rebels split into leftwingers who were almost Communists and rightwingers who were more or less fascists.

The Kahanists today look a lot like a European fascist party. And in fact, the entire Israeli rightwing around Likud, etc. looks pretty fascist in a European sense. So Israeli Jews are really Jewish fascists or fascist Jews. It has never been an easy ride for liberal and secular US Jews to support the Orthodox religious fanatics and rightwingers if not out and out fascists in the Likud, etc. in Israel. This was always completely unstable, and after that latest war, it’s finally starting to fall apart. But the seeds of destruction were already there.

But note that the Jews of Israel very much look to the West and see themselves as Europeans (which many are for all intents and purposes). They align themselves with the Judeo-Christian European society that many of them came from.

Half of Israeli Jews are Mizrachi Jews from the Arab World, and they have always had a Judeo-Islamic culture. However, when they moved to Israel, this was dismantled by perhaps not entirely. They rejected it due to the association of Arabs and Islam with the enemy, which is correct.

Economics and Catholicism

This radical classism and near-feudalism in Latin America was supported by the Catholic Church, which was always a very rightwing institution because they were always in bed with the rich. There were always Left splits in Catholicism like Dorothy Day and The Catholic Worker. The Catholic clergy in the US has tended to be quite leftwing.

There is a long history of “Catholic Communism” in the Philippines, Czechoslovakia, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, the Basque Country, France, Italy, Haiti, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, Cuba, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina, and Uruguay. The IRA was a leftwing Catholic armed group. A lot of priests were caught hiding IRA cadre. So was the ETA in the Basque Country of Spain.

Catholic Leftism never caught on in Poland and Lithuania due to hatred of Russia and the USSR. Nevertheless, both are more or less socialist countries.

Even today there is an active “Catholic Communist” movement in Cuba that is very lively. In Honduras and Colombia, Catholic priests actually led guerrilla bands. Liberation Theoloy is something like “Jesus Christ with an AK-47.” The Leftist who recently took power in Paraguay was a former Catholic priest.

The ELN was founded by a priest, Camilo Torres, and many Catholic clergy even supported the Shining Path! Edith Lagos, a 20 year old woman, was the leader of a very early Shining Path column in Peru. She was killed in 1980 and the entire town of Ayacucho, 30,0000 people, came out for her funeral which was held at midnight. The lines of mourners stretched through the whole city. All of the priests in town blessed her body, and she was given a proper Catholic funeral.

I believe that the PT or Workers Party of Brazil has a large Liberation Theology component. The Catholic clergy had an excellent relationship with the FARC in Colombia. Of course, the Catholic clergy played a big role in Venezeula, and Hugo Chavez himself was a practicing Catholic. The FMLN Salvadoran rebels were explicitly Catholic, as were the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. One of the Sandinists’ top leaders, Tomas Borge, was a Catholic priest. Jean-Paul Aristide in Haiti was a Catholic priest. Catholic believers are now allowed to join the Communist Party in Cuba, and near the end of his life, Fidel Castro said he was a “cultural Catholic.”

After Vatican 2 and Liberation Theology began to spread out via the seminal documents written by Gustavo Gutierrez in Brazil, “A Theology of Liberation,” otherwise known as “exercising the preferential option for the poor,” it began to spread in Latin America. It started with local priests and especially Catholic lay workers in impoverished areas and then slowly spread. Even today, Catholic layworkers and especially seminaries are very leftwing, while the Vatican itself is not. A lot of seminaries are hotbeds of homosexuality, and the gay priests and lay workers are quite open about it. It is estimated that 15% of Catholic priests are gay.

Alt Left: Francis Melville on the the Two Principal US Political Parties Views on Sexual Purity and Moral Sanctimoniousness

Absolutely superb comment from Francis Melville on this post.

Well, the Democrats used to be the Victorian prudish ones during the whole Nineteenth Century and through Wilson, and remained so wherever their voting base was Catholic up to 1965 when the Vatican II Council turned the Catholic Church into a liberal thing on most issues that had to ally with liberal forces to get heard in the political arena.

After all, the moral base of the Democratic Party was established under Jackson, and it formed under the influence of the most Calvinistic and sectarian part of the American public opinion.

Up through Wilson, the Democratic Party was more clearly rightwing than the Republican on most issues, while the Republicans took pride in being centre of the road. Even when they came to be the party of Big Business, their principle was clear: separation between church and state and even more between bedroom and state.

They believed you were entitled to a religious life, however wacko, provided you kept it for yourself and never planned to use government to promote it, and you were therefore entitled to any kind of sex life, however un-American, provided you did not involve the Party institutions nor aggressed any non-consenting victim.

Sexual virtue signalling was a Democratic thing as everything populist in general has always been. The alignment changed during the 20th century with Prohibition and consequently progressive thinkers of European origin aligning themselves systematically with the Democratic Party, in particular when the main presenters of these progressive currents happened to be Jews.

But even during the 1950’s as the Catholic church had remained the last bulwark of anti-sexual moralism on the backdrop of a Protestant world which had then succumbed to Utilitarianism, most regressive laws passed by the state in sexual affairs were passed under a Democratic banner. Worse, the Catholic world, like also the Muslim and Hindu world of that time, having little to do with higher morality, was more open to homosexuality and pederasty than to any heterosexual romance, as the latter was deemed a far greater danger to family life.

The McCarthy Era was driven by Irish Catholicism, and Irish Catholics loved to present themselves as the only true representatives and saviors of American values.

Meanwhile, the Republicans were gradually morphing into the party of absolute egoism and negation of public good. Swingers as had been produced by the Sexual Revolution of late Sixties and early Seventies proved to be egoists to a supreme degree and chose to be Republicans Ayn Rand style, most contrary to the hope entertained by Marcuse and others that Sexual Liberation would be the first stepping stone out of capitalistic Puritanism into the Long March towards a more just society.

In general, sexually speaking, dominant males’ dream is not sexual free choice for all but for themselves only as a tiny group on the backdrop of a puritanical society guaranteeing them an endless supply of innocent female prey that will make an exception to the Puritanism only under economic duress and due to the prohibition of them being pursued by impoverished males.

Reagan Republicans’ alliance with Moral Majority is to be seen in that perspective, both inside the non-believing wing of the Republican Party and inside the Evangelist sects also, where the main preachers always copy the great polygamous Biblical patriarchs, while imposing Puritanism on the masses of their attendants that haven’t studied the Bible deeply enough to know and realize the game.

The fake Protestant Republicans made their show in pure contradiction with what the Republicans, even the very right-wing ones, had been through. Eisenhower embraced religion in pure contradiction with that party’s stance of refusal of any reference to religion in the political sphere.

Meanwhile, the Democrats were quietly reverting, under corporate donor pressure and especially under Zionist Jewish pressure, to what they had been in Dixie times – there is no need to look further. The Democratic Party never stopped being multicultural, and that included necessarily that religious identities of all sorts had never ceased to be the party of confusion between the political and the religious spheres.

Traditionally, it was the Catholic Church as a provider of militants from Irish and Latino backgrounds, but now that since Vatican II the Roman Church no longer wanted to play the same role as it used to, a Virtual Catholic Church has formed.

It is made up of an alliance of Whites claiming progressivism but practicing astrology and other occult sciences as to cater for their own spiritual needs and more colored people practicing non-Christian ultra-conservative religions such as Islam and Hinduism, and calling for the unification of the world under this undefined-but-more-totalitarian-than-ever faith.

Celts who leave Catholicism and revert back to some sort Druidism are always puritanical to the highest degree, as they equate sexual energy with ultimate financial capital and as always being against of any form of social justice scheme, since they believe in karma, not divine grace.

It must be first well-understood that contrary to what a superficial cultural cliché teaches about Germanic conqueror tribes enslaving peaceful Celtic ones, Germanic cultures have always fallen for hippie (long hair, self-indulgence, social redistribution in favor of workers and artists) values when left alone to themselves in small nations, and Celtic cultures for skinhead or Hell’s Angels values (shaven heads, androgynous look, food fascism under various pretexts, indifference to misery).

Alt Left: Quit Worrying about Being Replaced by Some Stupid Machine

I laugh when people tell me these stupid machines are going to replace all of us humans. Every time I go to the bank readyteller, one of the two machines is literally down. Most of the time I try to do much of anything new on the Net, especially involving money, it simply doesn’t work, often giving me “Unknown error.” See that?

That machine is just intelligent enough to recognize that it screwed up (hence smarter than half of humans right there), but beyond that, it can’t even tell why or how it screwed up! Most humans can do that at least if they’ve got the balls to admit they’re not flawless, a tall order, admittedly.

The machine says, “I screwed up! I’m a dumbass machine! I’m as dumb as a rock! I only know whatever you humans told me to know! But can I figure out how or why I screwed up or even what sort of error I made? Well, of course not! What do you expect? I’m just a stupid machine!”

Anyway, I’m laffin’. These machines are literally failed 50% of the time, and they’re going to take over all of our jobs. Ha ha. How bout first of all, before you machines take over all our jobs, you figure out how to not break down half the time? Just a request.

Think about it. How many times have you gone to the store and asked a worker a question, and the worker tells you, “I’m sorry! This worker is out of order at the moment! Please come back later when one of our human repairmen come out to fix me!”

I know, a lot of store workers probably should say something like that if they were being honest, but when do they ever? Never.

The humans are never broken. They’re never malfunctioning as long as they’re not dead or hooked up to hospital tubes.

Humans are better than machines. Machines aren’t any threat to any of us except in the depraved fantasies of the capitalists who would replace us all with these infernal metal machine objects in a New York minute if they had our way.

Machines are crap. Machines are shit. LOL. They don’t even work more than half the time!

Alt Left: Trotsky on Fascism: One of the Best Analyses of Fascism Ever Written

Brian: Leon Trotsky, as far as I can tell, held the view that fascism is a capitalist phase that occurs when capitalism needs to be rescued from rising discontent among workers.

He wrote:

The Nazis call their overturn [of Social Democracy] by the usurped title of revolution. As a matter of fact, in Germany as well as in Italy, fascism leaves the social system untouched. Taken by itself, Hitler’s overturn has no right even to the name counterrevolution.

But it cannot be viewed as an isolated event; it is the conclusion of a cycle of shocks which began in Germany in 1918. The November Revolution, which gave the power to the workers’ and peasants’ soviets, was proletarian in its fundamental tendencies. But the party that stood at the head of the proletariat returned the power to the bourgeoisie. In this sense social democracy opened the era of counterrevolution before the revolution could bring its work to completion.

However, so long as the bourgeoisie depended upon social democracy and consequently upon the workers, the regime retained elements of compromise. All the same, the international and internal situation of German capitalism left no more room for concessions. As social democracy saved the bourgeoisie from the proletarian revolution, fascism came in its turn to liberate the bourgeoisie from social democracy. Hitler’s coup is only the final link in the chain of counterrevolutionary shifts.

In Trotsky’s view, social democracy overturned socialism after 1918, promising compromise between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, and then Nazism overturned social democracy so as to end the need for compromise between the bourgeoisie and proletariat.

Nazism, in his analysis, and fascism in general is an expression of the petty bourgeoisie, which is hostile to economic and social development because such development in the current era necessarily favors either capitalists or workers.

So the petty bourgeois start making a commotion when economic and social conditions turn against them, and when the big bourgeoisie feels sufficiently threatened by the Left, they ally with the petty bourgeois elements and fascism begins. The primary objective is to throttle the workers so that both the big and petty bourgeoisie can be relatively comfortable in their socioeconomic positions.

However, the big capitalists prefer not to be in alliance with the petty bourgeoisie and to rule on their own, so such an alliance is merely convenient, and the big capitalists are not fully comfortable with it since it, like social democracy, limits their autonomy.

So during the capitalist stage of history, the upper class naturally prefers laissez faire capitalism or libertarianism, the middle class naturally prefers stasis and to hinder development so as to preserve themselves, and the working class naturally prefers socialism.

Perhaps it can be thought of like this: Fascism occurs when both the upper and middle Class agree that workers’ power threatens to grow too starkly, and they ally. Social democracy, perhaps, occurs when the middle and working class feel acutely threatened by the upper class, and they ally. Laissez faire capitalism occurs when the upper class is firmly in control. And socialism occurs when the working class is firmly in control.

Moreover, social democracy tends to pave the way for the upper class to regain much of its diminished power by maintaining the social system of the capitalist stage of history in general. This is why Trotsky thinks only a full proletarian revolution can safeguard against the return of an anti-worker regime, whether that regime is laissez faire or fascist.

Of course, Marxism in general holds that capitalism must reach a certain level of development before a true and lasting proletarian revolution can occur.

What do you think of all this?

Trotsky’s take on national socialism and fascism.

Thank you very much for this comment. Anyone want to argue against this or expand on it.

Yes, I read that essay. Written ~1930, right? It’s perfect. Trotsky is unjustly maligned, though his position on WW2 was unconscionable. His murder by Stalin was a serious crime. Need we remind ourselves that Leon Trotsky was the leader of the Red Army itself? That’s pretty impressive right there.

Trotsky’s essay, though written 90 years ago, remains one of the finest analyses ever of the phenomenon of fascism, which surprisingly is a very hard concept to figure out, mostly due to its chameleon-like and ever-mutating nature which tries to hide its fascist nature by saying a fascist project is not fascist. Fascism can and does call itself just about anything. In fact, there are fascist movements that have called themselves antifascists!

I recall there was this anti-Semite on the Jewish and Israeli newsgroups who often posed as an antifascist. He called actual antifascists fascists and called fascists antifascists. So he ended up railing against fascism while actually promoting it! He was pretty confusing for a while there until a I finally figured out his game after a few months. He sure was sneaky though, I’ll give him that.

The ever-mutating nature of fascism mirrors that of capitalism itself. Following Marx, I agree that capitalism is an amazing thing. I stand in awe at its capacity to continuously innovate and suit itself to most any material conditions. Think about this: A capitalist can literally print up t-shirts with Che Guevara’s face them and Revolution! written across the fronts, sell them and make a million dollars from them! That’s amazing. A capitalist making a bundle by selling anti-capitalist products. This is why capitalism is such a formidable foe.

 

 

Alt Left: Woke Militarism and US Imperialism, Liberal Democrat Variety

And you guys keep wondering why I’m a socialist. Well, I could always be a liberal, but then I would have to buy into the “woke imperialism” of the US Democratic Party. We may be slaughtering brown Venezuelans, Syrians, and Iranians by the hundreds of thousands, but as long as the trannies get to play high school girls’ track and field, it’s all good.

Seriously, how do US liberal Democrats sleep at night? I’ll never get it.

I guess it’s just capitalism though. The “social democrats” in Europe are just about the same as US liberal Democrats. There’s a limit to how leftwing a capitalist party can get. At the end of the day, it’s always about what’s good for the country’s corporations, and that’s always Western imperialism, every single time. I’m starting to think capitalism is unreformable. Of course that was the reluctant conclusion of Karl Marx himself, if you read him correctly, as almost no one does.

Exactly. Rainbow colored phosphorus. Let’s make those smart bombs more inclusive, dammit!

The foreign policy of the Democratic Party of the United States: Woke Imperialism!

Woke imperialism FTW! I feel so much safer now that BLM bombs and LGBTIA bombs are blowing up brown people! If they don’t want gay rights or transsexual bathhouses for all ages, drop a bomb on their heads! It’s the liberal Democrat way!

 

Russian real soldiers versus US rainbow “soldiers.”

Ok, I get to take my pick between homophobic, Eastern Orthodox, male chauvinist, lifelong frat boy Russian soldiers or the US Marine Pride Corps with ready-made queer war criminals just waiting to be inducted into the Hall of Infamy, I think I’ll stick with backwardness, barbarism, and obscurantism, thank you very much. At least it’s tried and tested, unlike this Woke crap that doesn’t even work.

Alt Left: Why US Conservatism Fails – Social Conservatism/Support for Working Class Whites and Neoliberalism Are Always Incompatible

There Is No Society

Margaret Thatcher summed it up well when she said, “There is no society.” This is what all conservatives want. They want there to be no society at all. It’s odd because this white picket fence White America they all want to go back to was a society if there ever was one. So all rightwingers want to get rid of society (as it’s bad for business) but then the paradises they all want to go back to had deep societal structures.

Why US Conservatism Fails – Social Conservatism/Support for Working Class Whites and Neoliberalism Are Always Incompatible

Just as Keynesian economics, social liberalism, and even social democracy always inevitably pave the way for and give ground to neoliberalism in the future, social conservatism and neoliberalism are never really compatible, at least not in the US. Another problem for Republicans is selling their project to working class Whites while pushing a project – neoliberalism – that is designed by its very nature to devastate all workers but the working class first and foremost.

Hence the Republicans claim to speak for the White Working Class while pushing the very economics that is causing declining life expectancy, opioid addiction and overdose epidemics, complete social degeneration, and economic wreckage in White working class America. The Republicans have always done this by getting working class Whites to vote for them on social issues. But then the Republicans never really get around to fixing any of the social issues.

Abortion legal yet? Of course not.

Got a handle on illegal immigration?

Porn illegal? You kidding?

Social degeneration arrested? You must be joking.

Divorce and single parenthood? Pull the other one.

Drug abuse, sales, and use? Please.

For abortion, porn, and illegal immigration, the Republicans don’t want to fix any of these issues. They just want to say they will and then never do it. The daughters of the rich get abortions too. I’m sure the rich love their porn, depraved degenerates that they are. And Republicans will never fix illegal immigration because their corporate and small business supporters want to keep the illegal flow coming for the cheap wages and control over labor.

Divorce, single parenthood, social degeneration, drug use, sales, and abuse, including opioid use and overdose epidemics? Curiously, the neoliberal economics that Republicans push tend to directly cause all of these forms of cultural decay and degeneration.

US Conservatism Will Always Be Incoherent

As usual, conservatives are incoherent. The problem isn’t capitalism, it “state capitalism” or “state interference in the market.” This is the Libertarian idiocy. Yet every time there’s a crisis in the market – and under neoliberalism there will be more than ever – the capitalists all go running to the state with their hands out asking for the workers to bail them out. The only thank you the workers get is a giant IOW for trillions of dollars they have to pay back that they loaned to the capitalists.

I go to rightwing blogs all the time and I see them flailing about. Many are starting to figure out that neoliberalism is utterly corrosive of all of the socially conservative values that they wish to cultivate.

Neoliberalism will always support mass immigration and illegal immigration to keep wages down.

Neoliberalism will always oppose any moral structures in society because the more we let it all hang loose, the more consumers we have.

Neoliberalism will never be race realist because capitalists care absolutely nothing whatsoever about race. It means nothing to them. The only color capitalists have ever cared about is green.

I see them flailing around, searching for something, anything – that will give them their social conservatism while keeping their free markets. Huey Longism, “agrarian socialism”, distributism, antisemitic campaigns against “banksters” that leave the rest of the neoliberal economy alone, on and on.

They want the usual starvation of the state with low taxes and no social programs, but that always results in no society at all or something that looks more like Somalia than Norman Rockwell.

They decry the pain that neoliberalism has inflicted on the White working class while refusing to recognize that neoliberalism had anything to do with it.

They never have any solid proposals about anything because their love of neoliberalism, a small or near-zero state, no regulation, etc. always runs afoul of their desires to limit immigration, slow the decline of the White working class, arrest the decay of values and behavior, and adopt some sanity on race, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity because the two things are utterly incompatible.

You either have one or the other.

You can’t have both.

Alt Left: Keynesianism, Social Liberalism, and Even Social Democracy Will Always Give Way to Neoliberalism

Keynesianism, Social Liberalism and Even Social Democracy Will Always Give Way to Neoliberalism

Keynesianism isn’t sustainable because the inevitable reactions against it will always swing neoliberal. So Keynesianism simply gives way to neoliberalism. Not to mention that they entire corporate class despises Keynesianism so they wage war against it the whole time it’s in. The corporate class wants neoliberalism and only neoliberalism all over the world. They have since the 1500’s. My brother had to read various tracts for his political science degree. One was by a businessman in Italy in the 1500’s.

He could have been Donald Trump or Ronald Reagan. He had no use for the state at all and preferred it to exist at as low a level as possible. He wanted absolutely nothing out of the state and mostly just wanted it to get the Hell out of the way and leave him alone as much as possible. He had no use for society either, as he felt it didn’t even exist. All that existed was money and the things you could buy and sell with it. So you see, capitalists haven’t changed since their birth in nascent form in Italy 500 years ago. They’ve always been the same and they’ll always be the same. It has to do with a Marxist notion called “the laws of economics.”

Alt Left: The Alternative Left Is Failing Just Like Liberal Race Realism Failed.

Bartleby TDV: I’m not sure. I’ve given up trying to decide. Whaddya think??

I think I’m just “alt-” for now. It’s like all these gender types they pull out of their asses.

I’m alt-neutral.

I just hate elites and I want to see them disappear from the planet. So we can revert to some primitive society and in about 2,000 years we’ll have a whole new crop of them, but that’s a long way off.

I don’t know. What are your views on economics? Right and left is mostly about economics. All the rest is just BS. Scott Alexander and I are Alt Left – anti-PC, anti-SJW, anti-woke, anti-Cultural Left liberals and Leftists. The others are just rightwingers, especially Mercer, Hansen, and Bloody Shovel. I’m a “conservative socialist.” A socially conservative liberal to Left socialist. I wouldn’t link to those three if you paid me. I really dislike reactionary politics. I’ve looked at your site and you are 100% down with Trumpian conservatism. Which is just fine, of course. You’re right at home on this site.

Sadly the link between culture and economics is as deep as ever. Everyone who has had it up to here with the woketards decides that they are “conservatives” and need to vote Republican. I keep telling people that they can mix and match and be left on some things and right on others, but basically 0% of the people I talk to follow my advice.

The problem of course is that PC, SJWism, the Cultural Left, Identity Politics, and Woketardism is seen by 100% of the population as “the Left.” It’s also seen as “the Democratic Party”, “liberals”, “liberalism”, the DNC, on and on. And of course in a sense it is. It seems that the very idea of a liberal-Left that is opposed to PC and SJW retardation is seen by almost everyone as simply not possible.

For instance, for a long time, the only people who ever read here are rightwingers. And here I am, practically a Communist, and my site is nothing but conservatives. Liberals and Leftists come here sometimes, but we’ve always had White Supremacists on here, and the first time they open their mouths, these guys take off. Or the first time I start spouting my social conservatism.

The idea of socially conservative liberals and Leftists simply does not compute. I’m starting to wonder if I’m the only one.

How many people mix and match? I am starting to think zero. None, zip, zilch, nada, nothing. If you’re against PC insanity, you go rightwing on everything and I do mean everything. Against mass immigration? You go full rightwing Republican on everything. Race realist? 99% of race realists are hardline reactionaries? Against the insanity and idiocy of modern feminism? You go rightwing and usually hard rightwing at that. I think that Liberal and Left anti-feminists and MRA’s basically just don’t exist at all.

The problem of course is that everyone on the Left who sees through the stupidity of ID politics gets thrown out of the Left, and boy do they throw you out hard! They also call you Republican, conservative, reactionary, and especially fascist and Nazi. I’ve been called all these things so many times that I have started to believe that this is what I actually am. I have searched all of the conservative and reactionary movements in the US and the world over and I dislike or despise almost all of them. I simply hate the very notion of conservatism itself. It’s crap. I’ve started to wonder if I was a fascist or a Third Positionist or a National Bolshevik. I can’t be any of those things. They’re all just fascists. I searched through all variations of fascism abroad including Third Positionism, Strasserism, and National Bolshevism, and while it is more appealing on economics, the rest of it is simply horrible. I despise anything that even smells like fascism. It’s a monstrous ideology. I can never support it.

The only project I might be able to get with is the Russian conservatism of Vladimir Putin. Russian conservatism is the left of the Democratic Party on most important things, although there is an element of social conservatism running through it. I dislike the autocratic nature of Putin’s rule.

Lukashenko in Belarus is similar. He is even more left than Putin but he’s also a social conservative. He’s also much more of a dictator than Putin, albeit he is quite a popular dictator, with 80% support. Both of them crack down on minority languages as they are both nationalists involved in a nation-building project, Putin’s around the Russian language and Belarus’ around the same, believe it or not.

People on the Left like me who despise the woketards get cancelled and deplatformed everywhere on Earth to the point where the only places I can post at are rightwing websites. I despise rightwing politics.

I created the Alt Left to create a safe space for liberals and Leftists who had had it up to here with the Woketard Left, but it seems it’s as much of a pipe dream now as when it started. At one point, we had 18,000 members of Alt Left groups on Facebook. I renounced most of them. Some were just warmed over Cultural Leftism, such as anti-TERF feminists, trannies, and gays.

Many others were just rightwingers. A vast number were Libertarians, Ancaps, etc. I had to go around and keep renouncing all of the new factions sparking up because it was nothing but rightwingers and reactionaries, at least on economics. Quite a few were simply Muslim-haters. These are pretty much Cultural Left on everything except Islam. And they’re all hard right on economics, 100% of them, no exceptions. Not one person on the Left will speak against Islam, and as soon as anyone does, they quickly move all the way to the Right.

A continuous problem in all Alt Left groups was continuous invasion by conservatives. We had to keep throwing them out. And a lot of even the top Alt Lefties were not very leftwing. Most were hardcore capitalists, albeit being opposed to neoliberalism and supporting Keynesianism.

Alt Left: The Death of Social Democracy in Europe

If you haven’t noticed, there’s no more social democracy or democratic socialism in Europe. Probably the only thing left is Belarus, Moldova, Turkey, and Russia. Possibly Iceland because they told the banks to go pound sand. Greece elected a Leftist government, Syriza, that quickly went full-blown neoliberal, reportedly out of necessity. What has happened to social democracy is something that any Marxist could have predicted – the incompatibility of even trying to have any sort of socialist society in the midst of a capitalist economy.

The fate of social democracy is the what has always been the fate of social liberalism in the US and its counterpart in Canada and Australia. All of these variants have never been anything but reactionary on foreign policy – smashing the slightest sign of liberalism anywhere in the world if it even dared to peek its head out. Many governments in Latin America were overthrown for the crime of raising the minimum wage.

And most of these were overthrown by “liberal” Democratic governments. Bill Clinton set the stage for the overthrow of Aristide. Aristide’s crime? He dared to raise the minimum wage. He had investments in some factories there. So did Hilary. Hilary overthrew Honduras. The crime? Raising the minimum wage.

Even FDR, the most progressive President of the 20th century, was a raving reactionary freak on foreign policy. “Somoza may be a sonofabitch, but he’s our sonofabitch.”

Teddy Roosevelt was progressive at home but an imperialist brute overseas. “Walk softly and carry a big stick.”

The standard formula for all of these countries has always been some form of liberalism at home combined with hard right or ultra right policies that favored rightwing dictatorships, death squads, the genocide of the Left, and out and out fascism overseas. Liberal at home, reactionary abroad. And now Joe Biden, one of the most liberal Presidents in modern memory, is already treading down the same worn path.

And now the social democracies have undergone the same transformation that social liberalism, etc. has had from the start. One gets the feeling that liberalism or socialism at home in a capitalist country will always have to co-exist with ultra-right, pro-fascist politics overseas. In other words, a foreign policy of imperialism.

Most of Europe is whored to the ultra-rightwing NATO. The EU is for all intents and purposes the civilian state and NATO is the Defense Ministry of that state. Even Sweden, Denmark, and Norway are hard right countries when it comes to their NATO alliance. Finnish foreign policy has always been rightwing, a legacy of their hatred for Russia. Dutch, French, British, and Spanish foreign policy have been horribly rightwing forever now under social democratic and conservative governments both. Indeed in Europe, there is little difference between the two.

Spain strides around Latin America like a brute. Apparently they still think they rule the place as they once did.Most of this involves threats, arm-twisting, sanctions and whatnot every time countries try to assert more control over their resources, which are inevitably being exploited by Spanish corporations. Bolivia’s nationalization of oil and gas is instructive in this regard. The social democratic Spanish government was just as reactionary as the conservative one.

The French are cruel and colonialist towards their former colonies and do not allow any independent governments to form there, especially in Africa. The French and Canadians were deeply involved in the overthrow of Aristide in Haiti, apparently for the crime of raising the minimum wage. In addition, France is still demanding that Haiti repay it for its losses when the slaves of Haiti were freed and the slave-holding families were massacred. France is a social democracy.

The Dutch held a phony inquest in the M17 false flag shootdown where a Ukrainian fighter jet shot down an airliner in order to blame it on Russia. The EU was also deeply involved in this plot and especially the coverup. As were the British and in particular the BBC, the official organ of the British state. The British stole $4 million in gold from Venezuela by confiscating it. British foreign policy mimics US foreign policy in every reactionary thing we do. The UK is a social democracy.

Italy led the charge against Qaddafi and helped steal billions of his gold reserves. Italian corporations also quickly tried to get on Libya’s oil. Italy is a social democracy.

100% of the EU is sanctioning Venezuela for the crime of trying to create a social democracy in America’s backyard. No socialist country would ever sanction Venezuela. Same with Nicaragua. They’re all sanctioning Nicaragua too. Nicaragua’s even less socialist than Venezuela and Norway’s probably a lot more socialist than Venezuela.

So you see, these countries may have some sort of socialism at home (increasingly threadbare) but in foreign policy, it’s straight up full-blown reaction and imperialism, support for rightwing dictatorships and out and out fascists. The reason is simple. The economies of all EU countries are based on their multinational corporations.

Multinational corporations want nothing but rightwing dictatorship, preferably fascist, when they cannot elect hard Right democratic states. These corporations will not tolerate the slightest socialism or even liberalism overseas because they all operate on a predatory model towards the Third World.

Hence the foreign policy of all of the EU “socialist” countries is all about what’s good for the corporations that run their economies. Their corporations wish to go abroad and rape, ruin, exploit, destroy, and stripmine the economies of the Third World by exploiting their resources such that the corporations get almost everything and the countries themselves barely get a nickel.

This has always been the model and it always will be the model. So the EU social democracies have the same problem of the Democratic Party – while they can be leftwing at home to some extent, they all go hard rightwing and pro-fascist and rightwing dictatorship overseas due to their fealty to the corporations that run their economies.

Ishay Landa, Marx, Nietzsche, and the Contradictions of Capitalism

https://beyondhighbrow.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Landa-Marx-Nietzsche-Contradictions-Capitalism.pdfLanda, Marx, Nietzsche Contradictions Capitalism

If you ever wanted to know what Critical Theory is like, well, here you go. It’s actually pretty good stuff as long as they keep away from the Identity Politics SJW crap. Most people writing this stuff are not writing it in some retard SJW PC format. It’s more like pure philosophy. Nietzsche is hard enough to get through himself, and Marx is even worse, but there’s a lot of valuable stuff in papers like this. Of course, it’s all coming from a Marxist framework, more or less, but then, I’m kind of sort of maybe could be possibly a little tiny bit perhaps a Marxist. Well, kinda.

If you can understand any of this at all, good for you. This stuff is brain fry to the nth power. A lot of literary criticism is like this now, and it’s often about as thick. I feel that most of it is quite worthwhile. I realize there are people making fun of something of this stuff such as the BS coming out of Social Text (which is more SJWism and IP to the hilt). In general, the more SJW and IP the critical theory is, the more bullshitty it is. It makes sense because SJWism and IP is nothing but a bunch of steaming lies anyway.

Alt Left: Repost: An Easy Way to Raise the IQ’s of 100’s of Millions

Repost from the old site.

Get rid of iodine deficiency.

Amazingly, even moderate iodine deficiency causes IQ declines of 10-15 points if it’s in a pregnant woman or an infant. It looks like Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, India, Ethiopia, Sudan, Guinea, Senegal and Sierra Leone all have moderate to severe deficiency.

It would be interesting to see a better rundown of the severity of the deficiency in each place so we could figure out how much collective IQ could go up with iodine supplementation. In India, 500 million (50% of the population) get too little iodine, 54 million have goiter (severe deficiency) and 2 million are cretins due to extreme deficiency.

Yet another failure of Indian capitalism to provide for the very basics in human needs in India, and one more reason I support the Maoist revolutionaries in that country.

Many other nations have mild deficiencies. I don’t know what a mild deficiency does to your IQ, if anything. 16% of the world’s population has goiters, which are apparently caused only by iodine deficiency. That’s ridiculous. 1/6 of the world’s population.

Alt Left: Repost: Mao Messed Up

I think an assessment of Mao ought to be made on a scientific basis, beyond politics. Anti-Communists and rightwingers have an extremely poor record as far documenting this sort of thing, so I almost want to dismiss everything they say.

Probably the best sources would be leftwingers or even Communists who also happen to be some sort of China scholars. To the detriment of Mao, a number of Leftists, socialists and Communists who are also China scholars are starting to contribute some very negative things about Mao.

The good side is quite clear. Life expectancy doubled under Mao, from 35 to 70, from 1949 to 1976, in only 27 years. Supporters of fascism and Hitler are challenged to provide evidence that Hitler’s rule benefited anyone. Nazism was at core a death cult. Life expectancy collapsed in Germany under Hitler and in all of the regions that were occupied by Nazis. Nazism wasn’t about improving life for the common man at all; it was about war and endless war and endless extermination of the less fit.

Communism, with the exception of Pol Pot’s rule, where life expectancy collapsed in Cambodia and 1.7 million died, has been quite a bit different. Most Communist regimes have killed people, but at the same time seem to have saved many lives, often millions of lives. So it gets hard to tally things up.

I suppose pro-Communists would say that the many deaths were necessary in order to save so many lives. That’s an interesting argument and ought to be taken up. Was there a way to save so many lives without killing millions of people? I hope there would be, but I’m not sure.

Pre-China Mao was vastly deadlier than China under Mao. The life expectancy figures make this clear. Czarist Russia was 3 times deadlier than the USSR under Lenin and Stalin. This is where this “greatest killers of all time” crap runs into the mud. If the death rate was 3 times higher per year under the Czar than under Stalin, just how was Stalin the worst killer of all time?

Same with Mao. I don’t have good figures, but once again, it looks like Nationalist China in the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s was 3 times deadlier per year, or maybe more, than Maoist China. If the death rate collapsed under Mao, how was he the worst killer ever?
The truth is there are plenty of ways to kill a man. You can kill him with a bullet or by sending him to a camp, or you can kill him by disease and lack of food, the silent and uncounted method that the capitalists prefer.

Nevertheless, an accounting of deaths under Mao needs to be done. Just glancing at the data here, it’s already looking like Mao was way worse than Stalin. Way worse.

The initial consolidation of power in China was brutal. Whether the landlords were killed by the party or by the peasants is not that relevant. Mao said that 700,000 landlords were killed, and even he thought that was too many. China scholars think it is higher, from 1-4 million. I would dismiss the 4 million figure, but anywhere from 700,000-3 million is possible. Further research is needed here.

The Anti-Counterrevolutionary Drive of 1950 followed, an attempt to uncover supporters of the Nationalists and counterrevolutionaries. Tens of thousands were killed, or possibly up to a million, let’s call it 20,000-1 million. Further research is needed.

Anti-Christian Campaigns of the 1950’s. These were launched against mostly Christians, but also other religions. “Many thousands” are said to have died. Definitely some further work is necessary here.

Anti-Counterrevolutionary Campaign of 1953. Mao said, “95% of the people are good.” The Party assumed that this meant 5% were bad. Hundreds of thousands died.

The Great Leap Forward Famine happened between 1959-1961. Unlike the fake Holodomor of 1932-33, it’s looking more and more like most of the blame for this horrible catastrophe can be laid at the feet of Mao himself. The man was a fanatic. He was told that there was a famine, and in early 1959, he backtracked on some of his crazy ideas, while he blamed subordinates for the famine.

Then there was the Lushan Conference in May 1959. Mao accused Peng Dehuai, a critic of the Great Leap, of conspiring against him. Peng was purged, and the Great Leap went was ordered to go ahead full speed. If there had been no Lushan Conference, there would have been no famine. There followed two years of catastrophe, in which there was overprovisioning of grain from the peasants which was then stored in warehouses in cities, where it rotted or was exported for scarce foreign currency.

Much of the problem was that local officials were wildly exaggerating harvests, hence the overprovisioning at the state level. They thought that with bumper harvests, they could take grain from the countryside to the cities without problems. But there were no bumper harvests. Harvests had collapsed.
Finally in 1961, the state figured out that it had screwed up royally and started mass importing grain. Caravans of grain trucks flowed to the countryside, and the famine was over. But many were too weak to even walk to the trucks to get the food.

Mao is blamed for an atmosphere of terror that led underlings to fake bumper crops where none had occurred. With no democracy in the party, no one wanted to contradict Mao. Mao himself had some utterly idiotic ideas, which he was allowed to implement due to lack of party democracy. After the Great Leap, the party realized it had screwed up bad. Even Mao knew that. The Cultural Revolution was in a lot of ways Mao’s attempt to regain face after getting egg on his face in the Great Leap.

As far as deaths during the Great Leap, this is still up in the air. Even Maoists admit that there were 15 million excess deaths in the period. Some of the higher figures use preposterous accounting techniques whereby people who had never even been born were counted as “deaths.” Tell me how that works. Nevertheless, the figure may be higher than 15 million. At any rate, it’s the worst famine in modern world history, and it’s a permanent blot on Mao’s record.

The Cultural Revolution was sheer insanity. Many received poor educations as schools were shut down. Many cultural relics and buildings were destroyed, and a good part of China’s cultural heritage was smashed up.

People were killed and hounded all over China for little or no reason. Red Guards rampaged all over China, torturing, humiliating, imprisoning and murdering all sorts of people, including local party officials, teachers and even university professors. When someone was hounded, the humiliation went on every day and there was no escape. No one would dare to come to your side, not even your spouse. Deng Xiaoping’s son was tossed out of a window and paralyzed from the waist down.

Red Guard factions battled each other in cities across China with weapons looted from local Army depots. Sometimes Army units joined in. Red Guards in one city would attack Red Guards in another city. Women and children were murdered and kids were even buried alive. Enemies were cannibalized in one area. Ridiculous, insane and anarchic, right? Sure.

In some parts of China, victims of the Red Guards are still angry. The Red Guards are still around, older now, but still living in the villages alongside their victims. Their former victims hate them. Lawsuits have been brought against former Red Guards, but the courts have thrown them out.

From a Communist POV, one of the most tragic things about all of these persecutions and killings, when one reads the details of the individual cases, is that many of the victims were not even counterrevolutionaries. Many were dedicated, hard-working Communists and revolutionaries, often devoted Maoists. Lord knows why they were purged and victimized.

The insanity and anarchy of the Cultural Revolution is one reason why the Party wants to keep a tight reign on power. China descends pretty quickly into wild and deadly anarchy.

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of Chinese Communist Party publications and the theses and dissertations by students at Chinese universities, which tend to toe the party line. As a rule, the Cultural Revolution is regarded as a big mistake by ultra-Left forces, and the Party definitely wants to avoid such messes in the future. I’ve even some some Party critiques of the Great Leap, though not much is said about that. It’s clear that the high ranks of the Party regard the Great Leap as a disaster.

There continue to be some very serious human rights abuses in China, as this 89 page report from Human Rights Watch reports. Even from the POV of a Communist, some of the abuses of these petitioners seem just flat out wrong. There doesn’t seem to be any legitimate Communist reason to be attacking a lot of these poor petitioners.

Surely in a Communist system, petitioners should have the right to protest uranium pollution of rivers, corrupt officials abusing their posts and stealing land, etc. In what way are these folks counterrevolutionaries?

But it’s not true that everyone who protests in China goes to jail. There are around 100 public protests every single day in China, often involving large groups. Only a few of them get arrested, harassed, beaten, tortured or jailed. But I guess you never know when your card will come up.

The fact that some of the harshest critiques of Mao’s crimes, excesses and stupidities are coming out of the Chinese Communist Party itself shows that slamming Mao can be done within a socialist, Leftist or Communist framework.

Can it be done in a Maoist framework? This I’m not so sure of.
The Party will not come out and make public its findings on Mao as the USSR did with Stalin because the party continues to wave the banner of Mao and practically rules under his name and visage. It’s possible that slamming Mao would so delegitimize the party that it might be fatal for the CCP. It’s a tough call.
For the anti-Semites, I have a homework assignment for you. Since Mao was a Communist and Communism is Jewish, obviously Mao was a Jew. Please uncover the secret Jewish connections of Mao and his closest supporters in the CCP.

Alt Left: The Capitalist Mindset: The Left Has No Right to Rule

Trouser Snake: So what’s the endgame? Just access to more markets to continue the capitalist Ponzi scheme?

Pretty much. Some people never learn. And the people on Earth least likely to learn are capitalists. It’s like they’re drug addicts, hooked on a crack or heroin drug called capitalism. They’re as blinded as an addict.

And they’re incapable of being peaceful. They are actually mandated to destroy any form of socialism on Earth, and as far as the social democracies, well, they’ll get to those later. They simply refuse to compromise with the Left at all, and their view in general is that the Left has no right to rule.

It is this raw, pure Latin American model of ultra-capitalism or pure neoliberalism that is presently dominant in the US in the Republican Party. As this form of capitalism leads to the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer at a rapid and profound pace, it also inevitably leads to a left revolutionary reaction of some sort. This is so predictable as to almost be a law of politics along the lines of some of our physical laws like gravity.

However, this basic capitalist mindset has been subdued in most places:

  • In Europe by a social contract to ward off Communism, now fading.
  • In Canada, Australia, and New Zealand by similar social contracts, now possibly also fading.
  • In Africa by African nationalism, a local capitalism that is intertwined with such, a strong resistance to the exploitative, rape and ruin policies of colonialism, by the Marxist roots of some of the early post-colonial leaders and some independence struggles, by extreme poverty which lends itself to socialist movements, and possibly by what was probably a very collectivist tribal culture pre-colonization.
  • In the Middle East and North Africa by Islam in general, which is very hostile to extreme capitalism as anti-Islamic and an attack on the notion that all Muslims are brothers and are mandated to help each other, and also by Arab nationalism in particular, with its strong anti-colonial bent and roots in Marxism.
  • In Turkey by Islam, oddly enough. Erdogan is actually a social democrat along the lines of most Islamists (see the explanation under the Middle East and North Africa entry above).
  • In Russia and much of the former USSR by the Soviet experience which was much more popular with the people than you are told here, by and nationalism, in particular, Russian and Armenian nationalism, and by a longstanding collectivist culture with roots in a long-lasting feudalism and the underdog mindset of the masses that resulted.
  • In Japan, where corporations took over the role of the social democratic state as per Japanese ethics, nationalism, and in-group preference – our people are the best people on Earth, so we must show solidarity with each other and not let each other starve. Which model is presently falling apart. There is also a basic, possibly ancient, Asian collectivist mindset, which had been previously opposed by feudalism. However, it is easy for a collectivist culture to toss feudalism aside as feudalism is so anti-collectivist. Feudalism was a poor fit in Asia – note the experience in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos- similar to how it never worked well in the collectivist Arab world and was easily overthrown in Russia.
  • In India, where a long-standing anti-colonial ethic and independence struggle with socialist roots goes along with a long with long-standing leadership of the non-aligned countries.
  • In Central Asia, by Islam (see above) and in Iran by the Iranian revolution.

As you can see above, the capitalist morons in most of the world weren’t thinking straight, but then when are they ever? They think about as well as any addict of anything. In the Arab World, Russia, and Asia, they set up feudalism, the worst form of pre-capitalism, which generates such hatred that when it is overthrown, most former serfs go socialist or Communist.

Further, they tried to wedge feudalism into collectivist cultures, which never works, as they are the opposite of each other. This feudalism where it was longstanding led obviously to extreme forms of socialism or sometimes Communism because feudalism is so brutal and extreme that it leads, logically, to brutal and extreme counter-reactions.

This is along the lines of the theory that the more brutal and extreme the system, the more brutal and extreme the counter-reaction to that system is.

You could hardly find a country where ultra-feudalism was more ingrained in the modern era than Cambodia, along with extreme hatred between the urban and rural people. The reaction? The Khmer Rogue.

The vicious slaver regime in Haiti was overthrown by the Haitian Revolution, where all 25,000 Whites on the island were murdered in cold blood.

In the Chmielnicki Rebellion in Poland in the 1500’s, a vicious peasant rebellion took place in which not only were half the Jews killed for being allied with the feudal lords, but 1/3 of the population of the entire country was killed. Of course, all you hear about here in the West is those 25,000 Jews who were killed. I guess all those dead Gentiles didn’t count. Gee, I wonder why that is.

There were various peasant or anti-feudal serf revolts in the Inca Empire. From what little we learn of these revolts, the serfs rebelled, seized power, and killed all of the Inca feudal elite. Peasant rebellions are not only murderous, but they tend to be exterminationist.

I could go on but you get the picture.

Elsewhere, foolish capitalists imposed their capitalism via an ultra-exploitative colonial model which is guaranteed to generate extreme hatred, rebellion, and underdog views among the colonized (if not exterminationist anti-colonial rebellions – see the Haitian example above), which leads to inevitable independence struggles usually premised on underdog philosophies like socialism and Communism. By colonizing most of the world, capitalist morons insured a post-colonial world with socialist tendencies and hostility to highly exploitative neoliberalism.

Places in the World Where Extreme Capitalism (Hyper-Neoliberalism) Holds Out

Latin America is one of the few places in the world that capitalism is so extreme as to oppose even social democracy, and this is all due to the proximity and overwhelming presence of a colonial ethic under the presence of the US.

Of course, we have long had such a model here in the US, but its  savage nature has been masked by a ferocious war on Communism cleverly turned into a war on socialism, social democracy, and even petty liberalism. The great wealth of the country has also masked the brutal features of this system, as there was so much money that even the losers in the system were able to eek out a piece of the pie, although this aspect is fading  fast – look at the homeless swarming our streets.

Further, a system of social liberalism (not social democracy but headed down the road) was installed in the New Deal (as an anti-Communist social contract along the lines of the European social contracts) and further entrenched by the Great Society, here driven in part by powerful new anti-racism on the part of the state. These band-aids over the cruel neoliberal model in the US successfully kept the inevitable “peasant rebellion,” or left revolution to be more precise, postponed for a very long time.

Of course, as ultra-neoliberalism moved along its standard path of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer (greatly increased economic inequality), an inevitable left revolution started to take form. This can be seen in the Bernie Sanders insurgency in the Democratic Party, Operation Wall Street demonstrations, and even the misdirected but Communist-led BLM and anarchist-led antifa riots this summer. Once again this violence is a form of peasant rebellion and is absolutely inevitable as wealth inequality reaches a certain point.

There are a few other places outside Latin America:

  • In the Philippines, though the new president calls himself a socialist and had good relations with the Maoist NPA guerrillas.
  • In Indonesia, which however recently elected a social democrat.
  • In Thailand, where long-standing military rule tamped down class struggle, which now rages uncontrolled in a very confusing way.
  • In South Africa, where a racist White ruling class did not want to share anything with the Black underclass, and Communism, socialism, and the Left period was associated with the Black struggle for self-rule and the guerrilla war which followed. However, the ANC government is full of former Communists and people with Marxist roots.

Alt Left: About That Long Electricity Outage in Venezuela in March, 2019

Found on the Web: When I first read this story, I thought of the power outages in Venezuela the past year. Those attacks must have hit hard, especially patients in hospitals or care residences.

Last year there were a number of attacks against the Venzuelan electric system. The system runs via hydropower from dams. The hackers somehow had access to the software that ran the dams. They took the dams electricity production capability out, so Venezuela had little no electricity for 3-4 weeks.

Of course the despicable Western media played this up as yet another failure of Venezuela’s perpetually mismanaged “socialism.”

The message: All forms of socialism, including (or especially) social democracy, lead to utter failure and a collapsed economy, sort of like the way that we associated the Soviet model of Communism with abject economic failure. In other words, install social democracy in your system like 98% of the world has done and watch your economy collapse.

In reality, Venezuela is barely a socialist country as almost the entire economy is in private hands and is run by the capitalists, who of course have been waging economic war on the economy since 2002. Just about the only thing the state runs is the oil industry, and that was nationalized in 1976, long before Chavez took and during the period that the Western press crows about being the Golden Age of Venezuela.

It is important to note that like in the fake Roaring 20’s, when only 20% of Americans actually increased their income and 80% of Americans saw their incomes decline, the Golden Age of Venezuela was a mirage. It only enriched the top 20% upper middle class and rich and possibly some of the middle class.

Most people were poor and they had no running water, no safe housing, no secure employment, no sewer systems (the shit from the toilets simply ran downhill in the gutters of the slums of the big cities, few education choices as education funding was starved, and no access to medical or dental care at all, as all of this was privatized and public medicine was starved for funds.

For much of this time, Venezuela was run by “social democratic” parties which were actually members of the Social International such as AD (Accion Democratica or Democratic Action). In Latin America, don’t be fooled. Just because a party calls themselves socialist or social democratic doesn’t mean jack.

Many Latin American social democratic parties simply enforce elite rule, which their leaders and members benefit from. To give you an example, Juan Guaido’s political party, probably the farthest righting party in Venezuela, calls itself social democratic and they have actually joined the Socialist International. The International is rapidly becoming meaningless. They need to start throwing out rightwing parties and parties that govern from the right while using the fig leaf of socialism. They’ve started to a bit of that lately.

I know quite a bit about those outages in Venezuela. The attack against the hydroelectric system was very well-planned. The people who did it were Venezuelan exiles in Canada and Houston, Texas (a lot of the opposition moved to Houston in addition to Miami). The opposition is very, very good, and they sit up there in the US plotting schemes to destroy the economy.

For instance, for a long time the fake exchange rate was being set by an opposition person in Houston who ran his own exchange rate site. He always deliberately inflated the street exchange rate in order to cause a currency crisis, which would devastate the economy. A lot of things caused that exchange rate crisis, but that guy sitting in Houston sabotaging the exchange rates to cause a monetary crisis was no small part of that.

The attacks were staged out of Canada and Houston. The people who did it had very intimate knowledge of those systems, mostly because those systems were using software made in Canada. The people in Canada had access to the source code of that software.

Perhaps the company itself was in on the sabotage in the same way that the voting machine companies are in on rigging the voting machines to steal elections for Republicans. In that case, Republican operatives have taken over the voting machine companies, and the election hacking is done by those companies like E S & S themselves in coordination with people like Karl Rove and the Bush and Romney families. All of those computer machine companies are owned by the Bush and Romney families, and Karl Rove also has a huge stake in them.

So it’s quite possible that that Canadian software vendor that sold the software which ran on Windows XP, was taken over by Venezuelan opposition people to gain access to the source code so they could hack those systems. With knowledge of that code, they hacked the systems from Canada and Houston. They were very good, excellent hackers. It’s not known if they had state help from the US and Canadian governments, although I definitely would not rule it out.

The civilian programmers who did this are criminals in the literal sense. Ideally they ought to be caught and tried for murder for the death of all of those Venezuelans in hospitals and nursing homes who died due to the power outages.

The information about how the attacks were done from Houston, Texas and Canada came via Russian intelligence. Notice the Canadian connection. Trudeau in particular has gone full fascist in his fanatical support for the Venezuelan opposition fascists.  Even worse, his foreign secretary, who is actually a member of the actual social democratic party in Canada (the liberal party is not officially social democratic), a fairly leftwing political. She has been a full-throated supporter of  US imperialism and Canada has supported all of the recent fascist coups undertaken by the CIA.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov stated at the  time:

According to the country’s legitimate government headed by President Nicolas Maduro as well as information from other credible sources, the electricity sector of Venezuela came under attack from abroad on March 7 of this year. We provide all necessary assistance to Venezuelan friends on the basis of requests from the legitimate government.

This attack was done via comprehensive remote influence on the control and monitoring systems of the main power distribution stations where the equipment produced in one of the Western countries has been installed. They and the instigators of sabotage are responsible for the deaths of people, including of those in hospitals which were left without electricity.

Alt Left: Rightwing Authoritarianism Via Coup in Latin America: Some Recent Attempts and Successes

The following Latin American countries have recently had attempted or successful fascist coups and most are at the moment by rightwing authoritarian states or dictatorships.

Brazil: legal or judicial coup (lawfare) to remove a Leftist president on false legal grounds. Immediately started killing Leftists in the streets as soon as they got in. These are actual, real deal, Mussolini-style fascists in the European tradition. Most Latin American fascists are quite different from that.

Paraguay: Parliamentary coup to remove a Leftist president on a completely false basis by the rightwing Legislature.

Bolivia: Armed coup with rioting to remove a Leftist president over fake election fraud – the military and police were heavily involved.

Ecuador: Coup by devious lying – the conservative ran as a Leftist allied with the Leftist president who could not run anymore. As soon as he got in, the first he did was turn to the Right, say he had never been a Leftist, and attack the Left, harassing, arresting, and issuing arrest warrants for most of the Left he claimed to be a part of. False criminal charges were filed against the former President, so he can’t come back.

Colombia: The Left is kept out of power permanently by a death squad rightwing dictatorship with a democratic facade that stays in power simply by committing mass murder against the unarmed Left. Why do you think the Left in Colombia took up arms? All legal avenues for change were blocked and the army (with US Special Forces help) was running around the country looking for Leftists so they could murder them. The Left said we can either sit here in our villages and wait for the army to come out and kill us or we can pick up a gun so at least we have a hand when they come to kill us so we can shoot back.

Nicaragua: Armed coup of Venezuela/Bolivia type (mass rioting) attempted. Smashed by the Sandinistas.

Venezuela: Ongoing coup attempt for 22 years now ever since Chavez and the Bolivarians took power. So far all attempts of coups of all sorts – including economic, lawfare, parliamentary, rioting, assassination, military revolt, currency manipulation – have failed.

Haiti: Permanent fascist regime installed by the US. The very popular Lavalas Party, which won 92% of the vote in the last election, was overthrown by the CIA and a CIA-recruited army from the Dominican Republic. The President was arrested by US Special Forces in the middle of the night and ordered to leave the country. He is still banned from coming back even though everyone loves him. The Lavalas Party is permanently banned and the new police have murdered thousands of Leftists in order to keep the Left down and stay in power. The UN “peacekeepers” actually helped the death squads arrest and kill the Left. It was sickening!

Honduras: Democratically elected Leftist president overthrown by a military coup greenlighted by Hitlery Clinton and led by the rightwing army. After they seized power, 1,000 unarmed Leftists were murdered by quickly formed death squads.

Mexico: A Leftist President won the election, and already the light-skinned wealthy elite is making a lot of noises about taking him via a coup, and in fact a vague coup attempt seems to be forming. Many of the upper middle class and middle class Mexicans support this effort.

Now I will look at the US and show how the Republican Party, a fascist party since 2002 at least, is modeling its fascism or rightwing authoritarianism on the model implemented by the Latin American elites.

US: The fascist US Republican Party seems to be modeling its fascism or rightwing authoritarian politics on the reactionary and fascist Latin American elite. I urge everyone to watch Latin American politics very closely because whatever you see down there, you’re going to see here sooner or later.

That means the appearance of death squads. That sounds insane, but that is always a feature of these states the Republicans are modeling themselves on. And did you notice that the US capitalists and conservatives quickly went fascist in the face of a serious threat from the Left (Sanders, the Squad, Occupy Wall Street, BLM/antifa riots this summer)? Remember what I said in the previous post – when the capitalists face a serious threat to their money and power from the Left, they most always go fascist in a last ditch attempt to keep their money and stuff.

Alt Left: The US Has Always Supported Fascism Except for a Few Years in the 1940’s

America loves fascists, that’s the bottom line. And it’s worse America loves fascists, that’s the bottom line.

And it’s worse than that. Capitalists love fascism. Capitalists have never opposed any fascist state or rightwing dictatorship. Nor have any conservatives ever opposed a single fascist state or rightwing dictatorship.

Now that does not mean that the US is a fascist country, at least in its domestic policies.

Its foreign policy is a lot harder to figure. The US been supporting fascism overseas ever since US corporations started migrating overseas, first in Latin America, in search of greater profits, as capitalism demands that they must do. We may well be a fascist country at the moment. Trump is a fascist and the Republican Party is now a full-fledged fascist party, whereas before this aspect of itself was somewhat submerged, hidden, or put on the back-burner.

But the US has always been a pro-fascist country. We supported fascism from 1910 all the way through the 1930’s. The New York Times praised Hitler when he took power. Corporations in the UK felt the same way. He was killing and imprisoning the Left, and making the country safe for wealth and capital. Which is all any capitalist ever wants.

It is only when fascism became racialized, expansionist, and colonial in part due to rage at not being invited to the party when the European powers were racialized and expansionist as part of the divvying up, enslavement, and looting of the word outside of Europe by the European powers.

Japan and Germany were left out of this block party, so they decided, “Hey it’s our turn now. You guys have your colonialism, now we will have ours.” As the West continued to hold all of its colonies, the Axis powers were correct. Indeed we had to be forced into the war by the Japanese attack that we literally provoked and forced them into.

World War 2 was the only time in history that the US has ever used its military might to attack fascism, mostly because fascism had been getting rather out of hand, uncontrolled, chaotic, and destructive.

Right before the war, the US was pro-fascist, and no sooner was the ink dry on the surrender papers when the US started recruiting former Nazis, Mussolinists, and fascist Axis collaborators in Eastern Europe, but also in Italy, Greece, and Turkey. We immediately hired these Nazis to be our army for the dirty war we declared on the Soviet Union probably a day after the Yalta Agreement.

And no sooner were the Japanese fascists defeated that we started funding and training the Japanese fascist collaborators in South Korea to fight communism. The truth is that no one hates Communists more than fascists. Fascists think they should be killed on sight. More non-fascists are a bit more squeamish or at least not as extremist. So we recruited this brutal and amoral fascists to be dirty-fighting (Nazi-like) soldiers in our war against Communism. The first fascist armies funded by the West started operations in the Baltics and Ukraine only a few months after the Armistice.

So we only fought fascism for four years, from 1941-1945. Before that until 1910, we had supported it. And from 1945-on, the US supported any and all fascist countries or guerrillas everywhere on Earth.

After 1989, US liberal Democrats said this fascist dirty war was the lamentable but sadly necessary policy of the Cold War. Now that the Cold War was over, we didn’t need to be so evil anymore, and now we could go back to being the shining city on the hill.

Except the fascist Cold War didn’t end in 1989. It’s still going on to this day in the sense that it has reverted to the pre-World War 2 policy of supporting rightwing authoritarians and attacking any and all manifestations of the Left. All of the Left countries that were targeted in the Cold War remained targets after Gorbachev.

So the Cold War was never about fighting the evils of Communism in the form of the USSR. The Cold War was simply another phase of the fascist war on the Left everywhere on Earth that the US has waged since 1910. The enemy was never the USSR. The enemy was always socialism, or in many places, even social democracy or social liberalism.

So while we have traditionally not been a fascist country, we have always been a pro-fascist country. We didn’t practice it, but we supported itself everywhere it appeared on Earth.

Alt Left: The Basis of US Foreign Policy: Worldwide Total War on the Left

US foreign policy has been to attack the slightest manifestation of socialism anywhere on Earth but particularly in Latin America, “our backyard,” in other words, our colonial possessions. And indeed, official US policy is that all Latin American states are US colonies.

This goes back to the Monroe Doctrine, after which we stated that we will not allow any European (or other, as updated) country to interfere in Latin America. They’re our babies. We will fight to the death for them.

After 1900, with the rise of US economic power and formal US imperialism, which uses the US military and intelligence power to make sure US investors and corporations get the upper hand everywhere they wish to invest on the planet. In other words, the whole planet is a casino for the US rich and corporations.

And effectively that means that all nations under the boot of US imperialism (most countries, that is) are effectively colonies of the ruling class, the rich, and the corporations of the United States.

This effective colonialism is backed up by the might of the US military machine and increasingly, US economic power (control over international banking), which has now been weaponized to the point where the US Treasury Department is for all intents and purposes an arm of the Pentagon.

And indeed, US economic and military power work hand, with the first being utilized and at first and then the second utilized, if at all, only when the economic power seems to be fading as a coercive tool. But they definitely work together such that US economic and military power can be seen each one being a part of the other. It’s one entity. Call it the Deep State. The Deep State is simply “the foreign policy establishment of the United States. Its intelligence arm, the CIA is the head of the snake so to speak.

Alt Left: Why Capitalism and Fascism Are Inextricably Intertwined

Because there’s nothing better for business than a rightwing dictatorship. Free speech? The only people who have no free speech are the Left! LOL. Rightwingers and conservatives and capitalists can say any damn thing they want along those lines. After all, those are the official lines of the state itself (and conversely the society by osmosis).

Fascism is a last ditch attempt by the capitalists to save their skin, privilege and mostly just money in the face of a serious threat from the Left. Anytime anywhere on Earth you see the Left rising up, winning an election, growing stronger, rioting in the streets, taking up arms, fascism is always right around the corner.

The conservatives see that and start saying we need a dictatorship to arrest these Leftists and keep these people and keep the peace. An angry capitalist class that cannot get its way is a scary thing. Look how they act in Nicaragua, Cuba, and Venezuela. Look at the coups of various types they pulled off.

Alt Left: People Wonder Why I Am a Socialist

All of the governments above are at least somewhat socialist because the action that they took right there is a socialist action.

Being a socialist, to me, at the very least means supporting the actions of the first seven countries and opposing that of the lasst, the shameful US. No capitalist country would ever do anything like that. If they did, they would no longer be a capitalist country. America is a much more capitalist country than a socialist one, as exemplified by the last figure in the list. People should not be surprised. The US is basically a capitalist country with a very weak socialist layer, and it is acting just like one in this and so many other ways. Why is everyone so shocked?

Of course there are many definitions of socialism, but here I refer to social democracy. The nations above other than the US are all social democracies (socialist) in one form or another. In fact, nearly the entire world is some form of social democracy (socialist). In much of the world, social democratic (socialist) parties either run the country or are large opposition parties with large support in Parliament.

The US, in ferociously rejecting even the suggestion of social democracy (socialism) and regarding it as the worst horror known to man, is actually completely out of step with the vast majority of nations on Earth.

Alt Left: No, China Is Not Engaging In Imperialism or Colonialism in China

It’s not doing either. Vijay Prashad here tells us what imperialism and colonialism are and lays out how China, a Communist country, is of course neither because imperialism and colonialism both violate Communist principles. In addition, much of the investment is from Chinese state firms or public enterprises and these firms by their nature do not exploit people or plunder resources as they do not operate on an extreme profit motive.

Yes, they like to make money but instead of the money going into the owners’ and shareholders’ pockets, it goes into government coffers, where it is then given back to the people in various ways. A firm with that sort of orientation is not going to be rapaciously profit above all else oriented. Few state enterprises are. This nonsense is all just Western propaganda against China. China has done more for Africa than the West ever did. All we ever did is exploit Africans and plunder their resources.

China, being Communist, operates on the basis of solidarity, not imperialism. And it’s orientation is win-win. The orientation of Western capitalists is zero sum game. As much as possible for me (profits) and as little as possible for you (cuts into profits hence minimized. Western imperialism, by its very nature, is I win – you lose. It can’t be any other way. That’s the air that capitalism breathes.

As I noted, China is not without self-interest and they want something out of all of these operations in Africa. And public firms do operate on a modified profit motive. I like this system better than the “profits uber alles” (maximize profits) motivations of capitalist corporations.

Profits aren’t everything. Many nonprofit enterprises do just fine. They hire lots of workers, pay them well, and stay above water. Cooperatives operate on a profit basis, but the cooperative mode of development is not a capitalist mode because there is no exploitation. All profits go back to the firm and management decides how much to plow back into the firm. Whatever is left over goes into the pockets of the workers.

There has to be a disinterested management layer above the workers because when you leave these decisions to workers as was done in Yugoslavia, they failed to reinvest enough in the firms and instead opted to put much of that money into their pockets. Predictably, as reinvestment was not kept up, the firms tended to deteriorate and collapse.

This can be avoided as in the Mondragon Cooperatives in the Basque Country in Spain by having the workers hire and fire disinterested management. Furthermore, decisions regarding how much to reinvest and how much to dole out in salaries are made at the level of huge community-wide banks. These banks are not stuffing their pockets with the profits of these firms, hence they are able to rationally allocate resources to reinvestment or profits as required. There’s no self-interest on their part.

Nevertheless, the Mondragon cooperatives have to compete with bottom line uber alles capitalist firms so they too are subjected to the laws of capitalism – successfully compete with the competition or go under. The result is that this form of development ends up being less utopian than it could be.

Instead, China is engaging in commerce, or in a word, capitalism. Furthermore, Chinese loans are given to Africa on very favorable terms and many loans are out and out forgiven. China is building an incredible amount of infrastructure in Africa. Nor is China only hiring Chinese and not hiring locals. In fact, 90% of the employees of Chinese enterprises in Africa are Africans themselves. 60% of the management are Africans. No country on the planet has ever done more for Africa than China.

Alt Left: Why There Are No Liberal or Leftwing Newspapers, Newsmagazines, or Radio or TV Stations

The New York Times is a classic corporate Democrat newspaper pushing the ideology of the pro-corporate DNC Centrist wing of the Democratic Party.

They never promote liberal anything other than humanitarian bombing and the Cultural Left Freakshow. The joke is that the Times is a “liberal” paper.

Look, I’ve got some news for you. There are no liberal newspapers in the US. There are no Left papers in the US. We don’t even have anything as progressive as the execrable UK Guardian. But in the UK, that’s what passes for the left. They’re corporate Laborites. France has Liberation, a long time Left paper. I think Italy has one too.

The problem for leftwing newspapers is an old one. How do you get advertisers? Name one capitalist who wants to advertise in a liberal or leftwing paper? You would think there would be some if they had a big enough circulation, but most of them would just boycott the paper. And once they did start accepting advertising, the fake wall between advertising and news would collapse for real and the paper wouldn’t be so left anymore as it would now have to support the interests of its capitalist advertisers, which are never anything but rightwing.

The old Chicago Tribune got around this problem, and yes, back in the day, it was an actual liberal big city newspaper. It was run by a very rich yet progressive man named Marshall Field. Advertising was always a problem, predictably, so he ran the paper at a loss and funded it out of his pocket. His son is an record executive at Death Row/Interscope Records and is similarly loaded. He has floated the idea of a millionaire-financed left paper to be sold across the US.

Alt Left: Patti Smith, “People Have the Power”

Patti Smith, 1979. From her debut album,”Horses.” With Fred “Sonic” Smith, late of the great MC5.

All right, that does it. Enough of this slacking off and lollygagging around.

Time to get back to some serious leftwing politics, back when that meant something sane and worthwhile. But beyond whatever Left distortion, contortion, freakshow, or Clown World du jour is playing in the Current Year, what is the Left really all about, since its very inception in the French Parliament, on the left side of the room, natch?

Left politics is about the spirit. The spirit of the Left. The dream. The dream of a better world. The dream of liberation. The dream of freedom. The dream of something resembling justice. And and even smaller something resembling equality. No matter how badly it was implemented, it was always the spirit that mattered.

Everyone likes to dump on East Germany. For all I know, maybe it did suck. But what was important about East Germany? It was the spirit, the dream, the rebellion, the fist on the air, the power of the people. Sure, it all came crashing down. But that’s not the point. The point was the death of the East Bloc was the death of a dream. These people dared to dream of a better world. Something we in the capitalist world don’t even bother to do because better worlds aren’t possible under capitalism. All you can is paint the turd, polish it up, put some fancy decorations on it. It’s always still capitalism and it always still blows in exactly the same way, like clockwork. Or physics, almost.

The only time it’s halfway ok is when it’s shot through with a huge dose of socialism to smooth out the shittiness and polish up the considerable good things.

Capitalists: A better world is not possible. This is capitalism we’re talking about, guys! Come on! This is as good as it gets. And it works. It sucks, it’s shitty, it’s evil, but it works.

The Left: A better world is possible. And if it’s not, we will dream anyway. Because the purpose of the Left is not the achievement itself but the spirit. And the dream. We at least dared to dream enough to try to create a better world. At least we tried. No matter what, you always had a roof, clothes, a job, and food. We let people survive. For this, the crime of letting, nay demanding, that people have the basics to survive, we are condemned as Pure Evil itself. It was good and it didn’t blow, nor was it shitty in the capitalist sense, but it doesn’t really work.

Pick your poison, boys.

Something evil that works.

Something good that doesn’t work.

And you only get to pick one, although I think right now the capitalist model is not only evil but it doesn’t even work. So as usual, we get the worst of both worlds.

Alt Left: Why Capitalism Will Always Inevitably Lead to Fascism

Sure, having the state run the economy has some issues. You don’t have to a conservative to figure that out. And we have plenty of good evidence of the serious limitations of the capitalist model too – number one in my book is that it inevitably and in fact cannot not lead to imperialism.

Show me all these advanced Western countries that voluntarily gave up imperialism. Tap tap tap. Getting impatient.  You don’t have any,  do you? Capitalist fanboys come here and insist that capitalism need not lead to imperialism. Well, fine! That’s a nice thought experiment, isn’t it? How about some real world examples? You don’t have any? Well, ok then!

Modern Social Democracies Are All Imperialist Countries That Support Fascism

Furthermore, we see no apologetics from the capitalist fanboys here for why Western countries inevitably and without fail, always without exception, engage in imperialism. It’s true that they didn’t used to. As recently as 40 years ago, a lot of Western European social democracies supported the Sandinistas and even the FARC in Colombia. But Olaf Palme Social Democracy has been dead in Europe as long as he has. By the way, he was assassinated by rightwing enemies, not be some lone deranged killer. Has his killer even been caught?

But today’s social democracies are not your father’s social democracies. I always wondered why Commies called social democrats social fascists, but now I get it.

Why Social Democracies Must Be Imperialist and Must Support Fascism

I finally figured out why all European social democracies are gone full-blown imperialist. What are the economies of the social democracies?

The economies are capitalist. The income of the nation is derived from its capitalist corporations. Therefore, the interests of their corporations is the primary if not the only interest of any European social democracy. They’re all working for their corporations! So they have to be imperialists.

And they have to go fascist every time there is a threat to the foreign investments of their corporations from the Left. Of course they need to overthrow all these Left governments and replace them with rightwing fascist dictatorships.  That’s the only way to guarantee the safety of their capital amidst this extreme threat from the Left.

Bottom line is that fascism is always a strong tendency in any capitalist world. Capitalists will always go fascist. Just about every capitalist out there will go capitalist without the slightest hesitation any time there is a threat to their investments and  income from the Left. And as Trotsky immaculately noted, fascism always arises when capital feels a strong threat to itself from the Left.It’s a last-ditch effort of Capital to maintain itself when seriously threatened by the Left.

Fascism and Imperialism Directly Related to a Country’s Wealth

As a country gets wealthier, a tendency towards fascism and violent undemocratic rightwing politics becomes increasingly inevitable. And in fact, countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE now support Western imperialism to the hilt. And why not? When you get a certain amount of money, the corporations and investors in your country always and inevitably start investing their profits in  enterprises overseas. And once those investments are in place, a fascist politics to protect those investments has to happen. It cannot not happen.

As do the Israelis, who have gone so far as to actually train and run death squads for Latin American fascists for decades now. How many times have I told you that Zionism is fascism for Jews? You need more evidence? Even during “leftwing” Labor Zionism, Israel was training and  funding  death squads all over Latin America. Where it was hazy for the US to do such things, we farmed it out to the Israelis. If Israel was ever a socialist country, it hasn’t been one for 50 years. How many socialist countries train, fund, and run fascist rightwing death squads?!

What Is Western  Imperialism?

Western imperialism is about exploiting the Global South and the Third World, robbing them blind and stealing their resources, forcing them to run export-only agriculture to give us cheap food, while selling them expensive canned foods produced by out food corporations, forcing them to open up their economy to penetration and inevitable domination by US corporations, and signing over all of their resources to Western corporations to get rich off the theft of the patrimony of the global South while leaving the locals (other than the comprador traitors who make alliance with the Western exploiters) with barely a nickel nor a pot to piss in.

Most of the “Enemies of America” Aren’t Socialists So Much as They Are Just Nationalists

Most of the “socialists” we demonize are just nationalists who want control over their national resources.

Can’t you see how the project outlined in the paragraph above maximizes profits for US corporations and investors parasitizing the country? Western countries are imperialist because it makes them rich. Get it? They oppose anti-imperialist nationalism because it cuts into their damned bottom lines. Get it?

Given that, now why is it you capitalist fanboys keep insisting that imperialism does not grow inevitably from capitalism? It makes the capitalists in the West rich, right? LOL well if so, why in God’s name would they voluntarily give up the gold mine?

Mugabe was demonized because he bailed on IMF and World Bank slavery, started demanding foreign firms sell the state and 50% share in their companies, and nationalized the Western mines. That’s why we demonized him in addition to protecting  the sorry asses of 4,000 British farmers who occupied 2/3 of the arable land and almost all of the good farmland while the Black majority starved.

We demonized Chavez because he was a nationalist. He nationalized Western oil firms where he did not demand  they sell him a 50% stake. He insisted on state development of a Venezuelan economy for Venezuelans, not for Western capitalist vultures.