Alt Left: Fascist States around the World in the Past Century

I will be leaving World War 2, where many such regimes were created in  Europe, out of this discussion because I don’t understand it well.

A discussion of fascism is very important because the Republican Party is already a fascist political party in the sense of a rightwing authoritarian party along Latin American oligarchy lines.

The Type of State the Republicans Are Aiming At

Similar regimes were installed in Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Iran, Turkey (a Mussolinist + Nazi extrerminationist model), Greece, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Zaire, Kenya, Liberia, Indonesia (a classic Mussolinist model), Philippines, South Korea, Brunei, Taiwan, South Vietnam, Thailand, Nepal, Gabon, Angola, and South Africa, not to mention the many such regimes installed in Latin America, where the rightwing authoritarian or dictatorship regime has become a classic model. Many of these had a fake democratic facade over what was basically a dictatorship.

Nazi extreminationism with an ethnic component has been installed in Turkey and possibly Azerbaijan. Those models are governing to this day in the fake Croatian and Serbian states inside Bosnia. The present Croatian and Serbian regimes have overtones of WW2 like fascism, as does Hungary under Orban. Nazi-style exterminationist regimes, albeit with Communists and leftwingers substituted for Jews, have been installed in Iran, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea, and Taiwan in the past.

One could argue that Israel is now a Mussolinist style fascist government, albeit with a facade of democracy in which various fascist parties compete to rule the fascist state.

Rightwing Authoritarian Models in Latin America in the Last Century

It’s not so much the Nazi, National Socialist or classic fascist models of World War 2, although Trump and Berlusconi do resemble Mussolini, and Berlusconi created a classic Mussolinist fascist state in Brazil along the lines of the previous years of Operation Condor in Pinochet’s Chile, Velasco’s Argentina, the generals’ Brazil, Salazar’s Paraguay, the Uruguayan dictatorship, and Banzer’s Bolivia.

Somewhat different but similar “kill the Communists” regimes were created in Ecuador in the 1980’s, Fujimora and Belaunde’s Peru, Venezuela in the late 80’s, Uribe and many others’ Colombia (where it has become the only form of the state and Uribismo is almost a classic fascist Mussolinist model), Somoza’s Nicaragua, Bautista’s Cuba, Trujillo’s Dominican Republican, Rios Montt’s Guatemala, and ARENA, D’Aubisson, and Duarte’s El Salvador, Haiti under the Duvaliers, where it became a model followed to this day, and the present government of the generals in Honduras.

The model has not yet been installed in much of the Caribbean, Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, and the Guyanas, but it’s been generalized as the classic model in Latin America in general for over a century now. There are rumblings now to create another rightwing authoritarian regime in Peru and Mexico.

Counterrevolution is ongoing in Nicaragua, Cuba, and Venezuela and has succeeded recently in Ecuador, Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia, and Haiti. There were recent rumblings in Argentina, where the large landowners (who were never broken up as there was no land reform)  were making threats of a coup if their riches were touched. There were failed attempts recently in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Bolivia. Another attempt is ongoing in Venezuela and Nicaragua.

Alt Left: Francis Miville on the Need for a Do-over of the American System

He is commenting on my post here. Full Democracy in the US Will Be a Boon for Democrats and a Catastrophe for Republicans.

What I meant is an Alt Left notion of “The system is too far gone for reform. Let’s tear it all down and start over again from scratch,” which is exactly how I feel about my country.

However, I meant just the basic political system and culture. However, that would indeed take a “Cultural Revolution” if you will. And many countries had them. We had a huge cultural revolution in the 1960’s. It’s not all about Red Guards.

The sickness is baked far too deeply into the system. The State Department, the Executive and Legislature Branches themselves, the legalization of mass bribery and corruption via money-based elections, the Pentagon, the CIA, and even the FBI – they all need a wipe it out and start over again cleansing.

Look at how hard it will be to dismantle even US imperialism. Imperialism is baked into US society from top to bottom. 500 military bases overseas? Sanctions? Embargoes? Economic warfare? US control of the world monetary system via the dollar as fiat currency? The sickness of the weapons for oil deal with the Gulf Arabs, the alliance with fascist Turkey, NATO its very self (which is controlled by the US), on and on.

For instance, few know this, but the CIA is baked into all of US society at the levels of the elite class and the corporations. The elite class (the rich), the corporations, the powerful lobbies, ethnic and commodity-based, the Pentagon, the Treasury Department, the Commerce Department are all baked in with the national security state and its vast intelligence arm consisting of 17 different out of control agencies with a $30 billion budgets for scullduggery, lying, cheating, thieving, murder, and overthrowing other countries via coups of all sorts, including the fake color revolutions.

These are the people who killed Kennedy.

These are the people who run this country. The oil barons in Texas, the Silicon Valley uber-rich, the capitalist bastards on Wall Street and at the Wall Street Journal, the sick and twisted FIRE sector, the last of which basically a parasitic and non-prodcutive form of wealth creation via speculation or as I call it “a giant casino in the sky.”

That’s the US economy now – a giant casino in the sky for rich people. All the rest of us? We can go pound sand. That or get rich, which is usually accomplished by mass lying, cheating, and thieving on an individual level. We are now virtually governed by corporations and billionaires. We have billionaires taking over NASA for their own sleazy ends. We’ve outsourced everything to the billionaires and the corporations.

When you study the Kennedy Assassination, you realize that there was a vast group of people either in on it or supportive of it, and many of them have talked. A friend had lunch with LBJ’s attorney, who said Kennedy was killed by “the foreign policy establishment of the United States.” And that right there is the Deep State, and not only that, but the Deep State also encompasses all of the above via the support of the rich and the corporations for US foreign policy.

The Pentagon and the CIA work for Exxon and Elon Musk, not you and me. We overthrow foreign governments for the Richard Bransons and the Chevrons, not for you and me. How does it feel to join the US Army and become the personal army of and risk your life for Monsanto and Rex Tillerson? You died in a US war? Sucker! You died for Jeff Bezos and the Blackrock Group! You proud of yourself now, wherever you are, chump?

Because the rot and evil is so “baked in” to the system, it is going to be very hard to change. Look what happens in Latin America where they try to do similar cleansings of the oligarchies and diseased societies they created. You get coups, economic warfare, sanctions, embargoes, propaganda wars, assassination attempts, lockout strikes, color revolutions, stolen elections, lawfare, guarimbas, contra armies engaging on counterrevolution, on and on.

I am absolutely certain that at least some of those will happen if we try to do a do-over on America. The big guns are just not going to like it, and they will do everything in their power to stop it.

I agree with you wholeheartedly. I am especially irked when I hear so many ne’erdowells whining about their beloved Trump having been defrauded of his sure win election by the evil globalists and America’s now being in great danger to suffer a Mao-style Cultural Revolution at the hands of the “ultra-Left”.

Such a degree of abuse of words might terminate faster than we think, as English as an international communication tool fit for intelligent exchange of ideas. First of all, how come the Republican Party is “red” and any state refusing it “blue”: that seems to go together well with the US being the only country refusing to go metric.

Had America been endowed even with a tolerably good semblance of democratic system as used to be usual in Europe and still is here and there, Trump would have had no chance to be anything more than a backwater talk show animator and maybe the governor of Missouri or Louisiana turning that state into a laughingstock for the nation and triggering that state to go full radical Socialist Left the election after. Trump was imposed onto America thanks to its stochastic electoral system.

The system looks like that of the old Republic of Venice (which was more or less a kind of rigged from behind roulette-like game of chance, with the difference they claimed of chance and not of the people’s will) against a definite majority’s will by both the financial forces revolving around the Goldman Sachs bank and Netanyahu.

Netanyahu is Trump’s alter ego in the Old World (Russia playing a subsidiary role in that enterprise). He was actually a kind of Israeli governor directly imposed at international level against America’s own Zionist, but still to intelligent oligarchy just as a reminder to the nation that they are no longer sovereign and are to be treated like any African dependency where no intelligent people need apply from now on.

Alt-Right fell for that trap, bar very few thinking people. In a certain sense, Trump has been America’s first real “black” president.

They fear for a Mao-style Cultural Revolution to happen by the American ultra-Leftist forces. For the time being I see nobody on the American horizon still trying and succeeding in part to impose the cult of his personality as a kind of savior or Emperor Cyrus rather than Orange-Hue-Tan.

He is in the real position (though not in mental capacity, and probably not in mental disposition neither, as he doesn’t give a damn for his adoring crowd) to head a Cultural Counterrevolution to be followed by a Great Leap Backwards leading to the transformation of the US into the Neo-Medieval Republic of Gilead as described by Margaret Atwood in Handmaid’s Tale.

Actually I have also come on my own to your own conclusion: The US is indeed in great need of some Mao-like Old Far Left Cultural Revolution that should do away with all “olderies” and force all conservatives to acknowledge at last, through violent behavioral psychiatric techniques if need be, that there is absolutely nothing worth conserving in the US and that all has to be rebuilt from zero, and preferably from Ground Zero.

There is no single historical non-fake monument worth preserving except North Harlem’s Cloisters: the few other ones of decent colonial style have been all demolished to make room for cheaper and cheaper built and dearer and dearer sold condos, except a few that were built by slavers still having descendants caring for their property, but that kind of historical monument is rather to be classified with Holocaust Museums in my opinion.

The general infrastructure is in such a state of disrepair that bombing it all first would probably come out cheaper than getting back a working one. Most cities of the Rust Belt are already kind of bombed, so why not finish the job? There is nothing worth fireworks in the background; instead, there is everything worth fireworks in the structure.

As it is a Cultural Revolution we are talking about here, my opinion is that at the present moment no university is worth preserving. That is an euphemism: There is rather an emergency case for burning them all down, while what needs to be taught could be taught for free on the internet, preferably from as far overseas as possible. The diplomas emitted by them should be all declared void as has been done with Trump University sheepskins. Showing one in order to get any job should be an offense.

Among the olderies to be done away with first are the American religions: they are 100% crap. Their buildings should have one use – lodging and feeding the homeless. If they are no good for that purpose, they should be used as quarries for construction material by the homeless. As a general rule a new Homestead Act should apply: the first who sees a university building or a religious building that doesn’t serve the poor, let him take the ground and material for his own physical needs as if it were a vacant lot in conquered territory.

By what kind of economic miracle has America, which used to be the chief manufactured goods exporter of the world and won two world wars as such, turned into a chief exporter of only religion and mega-churches only (if we except the military sector from our equation, which is concentrated in the former Slaving South)? Has America so many saints, sages, and masterworks of timeless wisdom to be exported to the planet?

There should be only one single tax: Henry George ** 2. His equation was by the square of the value of real estate owned per owner or co-owner, which would make collectivization the only survivable solution while preserving personal liberty.

Activities not resulting in the production of physical goods, including religion, law, education, and medicine, should be declared out of reach of any lucrative enterprise and the attempt to make them lucrative classified together with prostitution. That is, either they are practiced for free as leisure, or they are charities (for real needy ones), or they are public services.

Alt Left: Chaos in Lebanon

Damn, what’s this all about? The country’s economy is in a state of collapse mostly due to a massive embargo that has been placed on it by the (((US))), which is trying to force Lebanon to throw Hezbollah out of the government. Problem: Hezbollah and its allies won 65% in the last election and control that many seats in the Legislature, so they US is demanding that 1/3 of the government throw out 2/3 of the duly and popularly elected government. It’s not going to work. Hezbollah is a permanent fixture in Lebanon with an easy support of 2/3 of the populations, including huge numbers of Lebanese Christians.

The Christians are actually split in half. Half are with Hezbollah and half are against them. The Sunnis are much more united against Hezbollah. The Sunnis in Lebanon are just awful. Total traitors and they are all with the Saudis – they are essentially the pawns of the Saudis and their raison d etre is hatred of Lebanon’s Shia, Iran, and the Shia of the Arab World.

There are articles in Israeli papers with the Israeli government saying that they need to make a massive humanitarian intervention in Lebanon to save the day, but that’s not going to go over very well since the whole reason the economy has collapsed is due to Israel.

The banks of Lebanon have been locked out of the rest of the world’s banking system by the US and France due to ties with Hezbollah. All banks in Lebanon has extensive monetary ties with Hezbollah due to the organization’s massive presence in Lebanese society. So the finance sector has been locked out of the world economy and the result has been an economic collapse.

All of this was done by (((Donald Trump))), by the way.

Alt Left: Cornel West Is a Great Man

He’s even good on race. Like most true Leftists, he’s not into Identity Politics too much on race. His main focus in economics. He’s not an SJW or anything like that. He thinks Black racial politics are basically a huge waste of time and that’s exactly what they are.

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: Full Democracy in the US Will Be a Boon for the Democrats and a Catastrophe for the Republicans

I do believe there are parties, groups, and individuals, in fact 10’s of millions of them, right here in the US who very much support democracy in the US itself. Those would be people associated with the Democratic Party and the Left in the US.

Few if any persons on the Right in the US support democracy, although there are a few. The reasoning is simple.

Full democracy implemented in the US, something we have never had and never even tried to have, would help the Democratic Party and the Left in the US quite a bit. So of course they support it. But they supported it even when majorities were voting Right to be fair.

Full democracy in the US, which as I noted we have never had one day of in this silly blighted land, would be a disaster for the Republican Party.

The country is far to the left of the Republican Party. Since 2005, Democrats have held a +10% support advantage among the US electorate. With the implementation of full democracy in the US, the Republican Party will never win another national election and they will probably never control Congress again either. The only way out of this jam is to move the Republican Party somewhat to the left in order to be in line with a left-moving population.

But that probably cannot be done because it goes against the basic foundations of the Republican Party itself. I’m not saying it couldn’t be done, but they would have to turn their back on over 100 years of Republican Party policy and go all the way back to Teddy Roosevelt.

Hell, at this point, a return to Richard Nixon or Eisenhower would be wonderful, but the party is too far gone to even do that. Instead of moving left with the electorate as they should if they wish to survive, every year they get increasingly rightwing to the point where the Republican is an actual anti-democratic rightwing authoritarian party. They now don’t support democracy at all. They support some form of Latin American style rightwing hard or soft dictatorship. It’s transformed itself into an actual Latin American-style fascist political political party.

Survival against All Odds Via Computerized Election Theft

The only reason the Republicans have been winning all of that time is because they’ve been stealing elections. No way on Earth could fifteen years of +10% Democratic advantage in the electorate coincide with massive Republican wins, especially at the state level. However, it coincides almost perfectly with the rise electronic voting in the US. Since the advent of US computer voting, we have seen massive poll and election poll failures across the US, the likes of which we have never been before in this country since the advent of sophisticated polling in 1946.

The only possible explanation for the massive and unprecedented failure in in pre-election and election precinct level polling is that the Republicans have been engaged in massive election theft via computer voting machines for the last 20 years. In fact, Karl Rove is on record admitting that the Republicans have been stealing elections via computer voting machines. He said he it’s within a few points, they can try to steal it because no one notices but if it’s more than that, they don’t even try.

2020 was the most brazen election theft in US history. Republicans tried to steal elections in Wisconsin and Michigan where they were down by 8-10 points and they almost won in both cases. So this shows that the Republicans are getting very desperate. Even if Democrats are ahead by 8-10 percentage points, Republicans will still try to steal it and no one in the Democratic Party or the media will ban at eye.

They will just blab on endlessly about poll failure. In this sense, the US Democratic Party fully deserves every terrible thing that has happened to it and in a larger sense, US Democrats deserve every shitty rightwing thing that has happened and will happen to this country for being so stupid and obtuse to refuse to recognize this obvious election theft being conducted right under their noses. I have no sympathy for the US Democratic Party. They can burn it to the ground for all I care, and while they are at it, burn every one of those corporate media companies to the ground too.

The system is too far gone for reform. I’m at the “burn it to the ground and start all over again from scratch” point now. Otherwise known as creative destruction. That’s an almost Maoist point of view. Sometimes things are just too far gone for petty reformism. You need to raze it all to the ground and start all over again with a complete political and cultural revolution.

Alt Left: Why The Republican Party is Now Literally a Latin American-Style Rightwing Authoritarian or Fascist Political Party

Fascism: A Popular Palingetic Dictatorship against the Left

This is if we define fascism as any rightwing dictatorship or rightwing authoritarian system. I think it’s a good argument that any rightwing dictatorship is basically a fascist political system if we define fascism according to its excellent new definition of “a popular dictatorship against the Left.”

It also tends to have nationalist or ultranationalist palingetic properties in many cases, palingetic referring to a project along the lines of the mythic bird rising from the ashes that seeks to restore the blood and soil glory of the ancient nation before it was destroyed by insurgent anti-nationalists, typical liberals or minorities.

Trumpism, Erdoganism, and Hindutvadism: Three Fascist Ideologies

Viewed through this mirror, you can see how Trumpism, Erodgan’s Ottoman Islamism, and the BJP Hindutva regime in India are all classic fascist political parties. Note the strong support by the middle classes of all three projects, in particular the Hindutvadi one. Religion is wedded to religious bigotry in all three nations – Christianity (albeit in a mild form deeply associated with regressive Judaism) in Trump’s case, a religio-nationalist Islam in the case of Turkey and a religio-nationalist Hindusim in the case of India.

In the latter two cases, religious minorities are associated with treasonous insurgents who needed to be eliminated from the body politic, which they are seen as literally poisoning. In Trump’s case, the prejudice is not so much religious as it as against liberals and liberalism and apparently even democracy, the twin enemies of fascists everywhere dating all the way back to 1930’s Germany. Liberalism and democracy makes the nation soft and allows the national enemies, who happen to be minorities and liberals, to worm their way into the body politic and eat away at the nation itself like termites.

Alt Left: Russian Thinking on Black-White Versus Grey Areas

Commenter Siberiancat, who is a Russian, left this comment a while back:

Russians are pretty good with gray areas.

An illustration:

A Russian emigrant mathematician and psychologist Vladimir Lefevre was an adviser to Reagan on how to conduct negotiations with Gorbachev. He had a theory that Western and Eastern European (in this case, Soviet) ethics were completely different.

In Western thinking, there is a clear difference between Good and Evil. One should confront evil, yet compromise with an enemy is a good thing

In the Eastern approach, there is no Good and Evil. Everything is gray. The ends justify the means, and one should not compromise with an enemy.

The advice was to conduct negotiations in such a way that the Soviets would not look like compromising to the domestic constituency. Make negotiations mostly informal. Avoid formal deals that might be seen as defeats by the ordinary Russians.

I would not say that Russians are Easterners, having nothing in common with the Chinese or Indians, yet the ethical systems between them and the West are obviously different.

Oh, and Lefevre was the guy who coined the term Evil Empire.

I find it interesting that he ties Eastern European (as in Slavic?) thinking with Russian thinking. What about in the Baltic states? They’re so Westernized. And the Czechs are so Western they are barely even Slavs. And what do we do with the Romanians? The culture and religion of the East, yet the language of the West? I suspect they are more Eastern than we think. The Balkans, Greece, …Hell, even Bulgaria, are more Southern European or better yet, Southeastern European.

I know everyone over there hates the Turks and I don’t blame them, but I’m afraid that they’re more Turkified than they think, especially the Greeks. Or perhaps the entire region is Southeast Europanified, Southeast European being different from both Eastern and Southern Europe. The Turks like to delude themselves that they are part of general Southeastern Europe, but that is just more Muslim arrogance. They’re so much closer to the Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, and Kurds that they hate so much than they will ever admit. Religion isn’t as big a part of human culture as everyone thinks. In a lot of areas, it’s almost a cultural “add-on.”

I do like this part though:

In the Eastern approach, there is no Good and Evil. Everything is gray.

Reminds me of the great line from Rumi:

Over there
In that field
Beyond good and evil
I will meet you there

– Rumi

That is just so perfect, I am sorry. And it’s so…Eastern…Hell, it’s almost downright Chinese for Chrissake. Rumi was an Iranian Shia Sufi poet. I wonder to what extent Iranian thinking is “Eastern?” I hate to say like Chinese, but I sense a deep vibe of Chinese philosophy in that bit of terse poetry.

Alt Left: PFLP Funeral from 1976

Translation: From the funeral of the martyr Abd al-Wahhab Eid al-Tayeb, a leader in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and a member of its central committee, who was assassinated with his militant wife Khalidiya Ali Khalid in Beirut, December 25, 1976. The commando Laila Khaled appears in the video, shooting in the air.

Abd al-Wahhab Eid al-Tayeb is on the left, and his crazy badass Arab commando wife Khalidiya Ali Khalid is on the left.

Great PFLP video from 1976 in Lebanon. The great revolutionary Leila Khaled appears partway through the video shooting her gun in the air. Look at how long everyone’s hair is. A lot of the male cadre literally look like hippies! This was during the 1970’s when most men wore their hair long and facial hair was also quite popular. I used to have a moustache myself. Notice that none of the women wear a hijab either.

Also notice the presence of armed female cadre. Many women took up arms back in those days. Back then, the Palestinian movement was revolutionary, leftist, and almost counterculture. During this period, it was common for radical hippie chicks to have photos of Leila Khaled in their bedrooms with a kaffiyeh and an automatic weapon! She was this badass hippie revolutionary bitch! These Arab women seem so sweet, demure, and ultra-feminine, but these bitches are nuts. They will kill you! Arab women are badass. I kinda like that, actually.

In fact, the Islamists were sitting out the fight at this time and they were assassinating revolutionaries for being atheist Communists. They were Quietists who sat around arguing about how long your beard should be. Revolution was for Commie atheist apostates. You can also see in this video how socially conservative Palestinian society has become. Even women at PFLP rallies often cover their heads, albeit with the most stylish of hijabs.

Alt Left: Ahmad Jibril, PFLP-GC Founder, Dies

The great Palestinian revolutionary Ahmad Jibril, leader of the PFLP-GC, a PFLP split from 1970, died today at age 83 in Syria where he had operated for many years. His group led many famous early raids, including a famous handglider attack that killed over a dozen Israeli soldiers. He sometimes led these attacks himself. Israel killed his son, Jihad Jibril, in Lebanon. The (((CIA))) had a $10 million bounty on his head in the 1980’s and as you can see, the Mossad even hijacked a Libyan airlines jet to try to catch him, but they mistook a Baath Party official of the same name for Jibril.

The PFLP-GC has a significant following in the refugee camps in Lebanon, and they also have a small but significant group of supporters in Gaza, including a small armed faction. Their orientation is probably Leftist. They were very close to the Syrian government almost to the point of being an armed force of that state.

Alt Left: Why We Fight (PFLP version)

The great “Conversation between the Sword and the Neck interview with Ghassan Kanafani, the great Palestinian revolutionary of the PFLP. He was one of the founders of the organization. He was a revolutionary who never held a gun. His weapon was the pen. He was also a great poet and novelist. He was assassinated by the Zionist Entity on this day in Beirut, Jerusalem in 1972. This is a very famous interview that was done with him by some sellout Western journalist. It is so perfect.

Anyone on the Left and anyone in particular who believes in the Black freedom struggle of the Panthers, etc. against racism, etc. should support the Palestinian movement. This is a movement for liberation by a colonized people and Black and Hispanic people really should support all such movements, since in they were all colonized people at one point or another.

Everyone on the Left who wonders about the validity of this struggle, an essential struggle for basic civil rights, should pay close attention to this video. It will answer all of your basic questions about the conflict right there. Also if you have some liberal worries about the Palestinians being backwards and reactionary and the Israelis being progressive and modern, remember what Stalin said about the necessity of forming alliances with just about everyone against imperialism.

Stalin formed alliances with many backwards and socially reactionary people such as Muslims in his war against imperialism. “If they are against imperialism, then we need to ally with them,” was his mindset. Also, keep in mind that peasants and working class people all over the world are often deeply backwards and socially reactionary or even barbaric. This does not mean, as the anarchists claim, that they are fascists!

The workers must be supported in all cases. Their backwards views are unfortunate but they are for them to own and do with what they will. If the progressive forces capture a country, social revolutions can unfold in which the working people are gently brought into a more modern and less barbarous mindset. This worked very well in many places such as the USSR, China, Vietnam, Laos, Cuba, and Venezuela. It was always a pretty easy sell to gently bring people along to the ideas that women and other oppressed peoples were in need of their basic rights.

This business of “We must support Israel because Palestinians are backwards and don’t give women basic rights” is liberal bourgeois imperialism – the “imperialism of human rights.” It is essential to the worldview of liberal Democrat “humanitarian bombers” like Joe Biden and Samantha Power. It’s just another imperialist trick! Don’t fall for it!

Alt Left: An Overview of the Recent Israel-Gaza War

I have contacts very close to the whole Resistance Bloc  and I can tell you flat out that a lot of the material published by corporate media is just false. I know people close to Hezbollah, Iran, the Houthis, the Iraqi militias, and the Iranian and Iraqi governments. They’re journalists with great access.

During this war, rockets were shot from Lebanon. The corporate media began insisting that the rockets had been fired by Hezbollah. First of all, Hezbollah did not shoot any rockets out of Lebanon. They wanted to stay out of this fight. Also, Hamas themselves did not want Hezbollah to join in.

Instead, Hamas asked permission from Hezbollah to launch rockets, mortars, etc. from Lebanon. Hamas has many activists in Southern Lebanon, probably associated with the refugee camps. The request was  granted. Five rockets were launched. They were all Grad missiles! As they were Grads, they probably came from Syria. A couple of rockets were fired from Syria days ago. I don’t know who did it, but it wasn’t the government.

The point here is very important. Assad gave those missiles to Hamas in Lebanon to shoot at Lebanon. And he probably gave whoever shot those missiles from Syria at Israel permission. This is very important. What this means is that Assad was getting his revenge for years of attacks against his army in Syria. This war was also used by Iran to get revenge on Israel, often via Syria, for all of the attacks Israel has made against Iran recently. Iran and Syria used this Hamas war to get their revenge on Israel.

In an important sense, every one of those 4,400 rockets came from Syria, and to an even greater extent, Iran. You would think this would be a great line for the corporate media to play on, but they completely missed it as did the US and Israeli governments. This war was really Iran (and to a lesser extent) Syria versus Israel. Of course the Palestinian role was essential  also and they were a major source of the combatants, but to overlook the vengeance Iran and Syria got out of this war is a huge mistake.

A drone was at first thought to be launched from Jordan and shot down over Israel. Later examination showed it had been launched from Iraq by the Shia militias parts of the Iraqi Army.

Vast crowds massed at the Jordanian border trying to cross into Israel. Police held them back but the Jordanian police were completely in favor of the demonstrators. It’s false to say that Jordan is pro-Israel. Sure, the government is but that’s because it’s a dictatorship. If they had elections there, a vehemently anti-Israel government would be voted in very fast. 65% of the citizens are Palestinian refugees from the war in 1967. The rest are conservative Bedouins who are basically Islamists. They don’t like Israel much either.

Three infiltrators got in. These are just local Palestinian Jordanians try to sneak in to Israel. They all say they want to go to Jerusalem. I know that one Palestinian in Jordan somehow made it to Gaza and was very happy that he had returned to Palestine. He was killed in the war, but he had gained his wish and he died happy.

Also, Hamas reported that one of their suicide submarines bombed a gas platform off the coast. A platform off of Haifa caught fire. Israel said the cause was an accidental explosion, but we still don’t know yet if it was hit by one of these suicide subs. Israeli Shin Bet intelligence somehow knew nothing about this submarine, so their intel is not as good as you think.

Mossad does not work in Gaza, as Israel considers Gaza part of Israel and Shin Bet is the intelligence force for Israel proper. Mossad only works overseas in Lebanon, Iran, Syria, Qatar, Iraq, and UAE.

A missile that hit a building in Beersheba killed 2 civilians and wounded 15 more. The building was a small factory that employed overseas workers.  That must have been a big missile that hit that building, considering the damage it did.

In the course of a single day, there were eight IDF troops wounded, two seriously, in the Gaza Belt or Gaza Envelope. In Kissifum, an IDF helicopter crashed. possibly hit by a rocket. At Nahal Oz, several soldiers were wounded, probably by a mortar barrage. The helicopter that crashed was coming to evacuate the wounded soldiers. These mortar barrages were being launched by a number of groups, not just Hamas.

The DFLP and PFLP, two explicitly Marxist or leftwing groups, were launching quite a few rockets and mortars, mostly shorter range. Hamas and Islamic Jihad seem to have the long range missiles and rockets. Surprisingly, the DFLP and especially the PFLP are very popular in Gaza, which is interesting as they are both basically Communists.

The Salah al Din Brigades are (Popular Resistance Committees) Fatah rejectionists. Fatah, the armed wing of the PLO, gave up armed struggle and surrendered to Israel. However, many members of Fatah rejected this surrender and split off to form their own groups. The Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades, especially large in the West Bank, was the largest of these. AAMB is explicitly secular.

The Popular Resistance Committees were groups of Fatah rejectionists in Gaza. The Salah al Din Brigades is their armed faction. They tend to be more Islamist than Fatah proper. They have quite a bit of weaponry and fired a lot of rockets and mortars in this war, mostly short-range. SADB is the third largest group in Gaza after Hamas (13,000 members) and Islamic Jihad (7,000 members).

A new group called Palestinian Mujahedin or PM is ideologically close to Islamic Jihad Hamas. They also shot some missiles. This is one of the smaller groups in Gaza.

The PFLP-GC is a secular group founded by Ahmad Jibril that is secular. They are very close to Syria almost to the point of being Syrian-controlled. They have a fair amount of support in Gaza but they do not have a large force or arsenal.

The “resistance” in Gaza actually consists of 17 different groups. One is a Hamas cutout, then there are DFLP, PFLP, PFLP-GC, SADB, AAMB, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and PM. I was only able to find names for nine of them. Most of the rest seem to be Fatah rejectionists, secular.

They all work together, Communist atheists right alongside Hamas and Islamic Jihad Islamists.

This whole war was cynically started by Netanyahu in order to stay out of jail, and it worked. He’d been stoking the flames for these wars since he came into office in 2009. Really most of the Israeli public is aligned with either Netanyahu’s Likud Party or similar parties like the one Bennett is a member of that are just as bad if not worse. The Israeli Left, including the Labor Party, has basically collapsed.

The uprising among Israeli Arabs in Israel proper was an utter catastrophe for Israel. Netanyahu said it was a worse problem than the rockets from Gaza.

The whole Arab population of Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza was in open revolt along with large sections of Arabs in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen. There was also a huge outcry in Pakistan.

This was due to a accumulation mostly of 11 years of Likudism and worse. This is where it led. There were huge riots in Jerusalem. Entire Arab cities all across Israel shut down one day for a general strike. Gangs of Arabs rioted all across Israel and in the north, they were even gathered along major highways where they threw rocks. It was dangerous to go anywhere in Israel during this war. In the first week of the war, 1,000 arrests of Israeli Arabs were made, 500 for attempted murder. So 500 Israeli Arabs, basically an army, all tried to kill Jews in the last week. Disastrous!

Of course Hamas decided to attack. Neither they nor any of the rest of the Resistance takes orders from Iran. The corporate media is wrong about that. They go to Iran if they want to do attacks, and Iran gives them a list of attacks that they might do that Iran would be ok with. Then they can do them. For really crazy attacks, they have to get ok’d by Iran first, and they get shot down a lot. If they do decide to do an attack, Iran may help plan and carry it out.

Iran helped plan that Houthi attack on Aramco. Also there are Iranian and Hezbollah advisors in the Houthis. The Houthis are just the former Yemeni Army, and they have huge factories, mostly underground, where they are churning out all these drones and missiles. They use Iranian prototypes and then modify them from there. Iran and Hezbollah, especially Hez, help them make the drones and missiles.

The “Iraqi militias” are just the Iraqi Army! They are not attacking the US directly usually. Instead, member of those militias take leave and go off on their own and form little resistance groups and moonlight as guerrillas while being soldiers the rest of the time. The militias have plausible deniability, as they are not doing or planning the attacks. However, anyone in Iraq who tried to crack down on those resistance groups would be stopped. You can’t. They’re too popular and wield too much power. No one can go against them.

Also, these grouplets contain moonlighting Iraqi Army from outside the militias people and Federal Police members. Munitions are probably Iraqi Army stuff.

Hezbollah was in contact with Islamic Jihad and Hamas in Lebanon every hour since this started. Later, we heard that Hezbollah used drones to help the Gaza resistance avoid Israeli attacks. I have also heard that much of the tunnel infrastructure is intact. Most of it is 90 feet underground and as such, it is going to be very hard to for conventional bombs to get at those tunnels. They will either require a ground invasion or the use of mini-nukes to take them out.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad make their own stuff now in underground factories. Some is Iranian smuggled in. It is very easy for Iranian weaponry to get into Gaza. Only a week after a war, Iran was already busy resupplying the Palestinians with money and weapons.

Once again as with Ansar Allah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad use Iranian prototypes and then make local knockoffs. Iran and Hezbollah help them a lot in these underground factories to make these munitions, and they helped, especially Hezbollah, helped build the tunnels.

The decision to launch this attack was Hamas’ alone. But once it started Iran and Hez gave them moral support.

The Palestinians have their own agenda so they did not launch this war for Syria and Iran, but in a way this is a multiple front war. Israel was attacked from Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Gaza and the West Bank was in open rebellion with a number of towns in the West Bank becoming “liberated zones” by Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, normally quiescent but now resurrected and the main force in the West Bank. They’re secular.

During the war, there were many attacks every day in the West Bank: 5-10 shooting,, 1-2 attempted or completed ramming or stabbing, ~20 firebomb, and 80 fireworks! Some Israeli soldiers are even fled the front briefly. They felt under siege. A checkpoint was abandoned by fleeing troops and briefly taken over by AAMB.

Also all of these rockets and missiles that everyone has all come from Iran in one way or another. Even the weapons that the Commie groups have. The AA weapons, antitank guns and automatic weapons are all Iranian. Some is smuggled in. The smuggling route goes from:

Iran -> Sudan -> Egypt -> Sinai -> tunnels -> Gaza.

Alt Left: Argument: There Is No Peaceful Road to Socialism

Transformer: I saw this on Facebook with a discussion about Communism and this is a statement from a Libertarian:

The Marxist delusion of no government always leads to absolute tyranny. The anarcho-communists sweep away tolerably governments and pave the way for the Stalins, Maos, Pol Pots, Castros, Mugabes, Chavezes, etc. It’s not that they justify Stalinism, but that they justify measures that always result in Stalinism, and they still don’t have a clue as to why that keeps happening.

I disagree with his statement that the governments before these revolutions were tolerable.

The CIA supported Pol Pot.

Yes, the US supported Pol Pot the whole time they were in and for many years afterwards as guerrillas.

You are certainly free as a liberal to Leftist to oppose Marxism. A lot of people on the Left, especially liberals, are against Marxist dictatorships. There’s a good argument against them. They’re not exactly democratic.

Chavez was not a dictator at all. Venezuela under Chavez was one of the most democratic countries on Earth. Mugabe wasn’t really a dictator. The opposition always ran in every election, and Mugabe always got the most votes not counting fraud. Same thing in Russia. Putin always gets the most votes whether he steals a few or not. Same thing in Belarus. The opposition runs every time and Lukashenko always gets 75-80% of the actual counted votes. There was no fraud in the last election.

There’s never been any serious electoral fraud in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Haiti, Iran, Syria, or Peru or most places the US has alleged that massive electoral fraud allowed the Left to win. I can’t recall the last time the Left anywhere on Earth had to steal an election to win. It’s usually the Right who does that.

Anarcoms have never completed a successful revolution. The no government thing is supposed to be way off in the future and it’s never happened anywhere. The “Stalinism” is just the dictatorship of the proletariat. It’s part of Marxist theory. It’s not an aberration or anything. Look at Honduras, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Zimbabwe, Guatemala, El Salvador, Haiti, Bolivia, Guyana, Peru, Mexico, Italy, Ecuador, Brazil, Chile, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Iran, etc.

There’s no peaceful way to put the Left in power. Anytime a Left government comes in, there’s this nonstop war to overthrow it, usually culminating in a rightwing fascist coup. They always ruin the economy, first and foremost. This is why orthodox Marxists regard the peaceful road to socialism as either a sick joke or a great idea that is not possible in the real world. Lenin called advocates of the peaceful road to socialism “parliamentary cretins.”

Alt Left: Banned Again

LOL just got banned from another Facebook group! Yay! First thing you need to know is I get banned from almost all Facebook groups. When I come to a Facebook group, if I hate it, I usually think, “How can I get banned from here as quickly as possible?” And then I proceed to do just that. And I’m usually banned in less than an hour. Half those Facebook groups? Why do they even exist? I figure they exist for guys like me to troll them and see how fast I can get banned, right? What other reason could they possibly have for their pathetic existence?!

The group is called This Is Why Conservatives Call Us Snowflakes. I figured the group is Alt Left, but it’s really not. It’s just the usual SJW idiots, except that they are slightly less crazy than the ordinary SJW idiots. There are a lot of these “lesser brands” about nowadays. I’m not real happy with this trend. It’s still the same poison, just more diluted this time. If you’re going to make a break with the Cultural Left, it has to be total.

Here’s the problem right here:

Hate speech of any kind is not allowed. No racism, homophobia, transphobia, etc allowed. Respect people’s pronouns & identities. No slurs of any kind are allowed. Mayo, Karen, etc are allowed tho

Ok, that’s not Alt Left at all. No Alt Left group would ever put anything that stupid on there. Of course, I think Alt Left groups should ban people for using certain slurs or possibly for severe bigoted language. Emphasis on severe. Every time I see one of these No Hate Speech signs, I want to bang my head on the desk. Because anyone who puts up a sign like that thinks “hate speech” is, just about, anything. And everything. And the kitchen sink.

There’s no attempt at nuance, and if you’re not doing nuance, you’re nowhere near being a self-actualized humans. Because one of the only things separating us elevated types for the usual fucktard rabble is…nuance, a sense of proportion, taking things case by case, the spirit of the law and not the letter, take each case separately and evaluate, things  like tone, intent, humor, basically, a sense of scale. All of which is always missing in any idiot tard who puts up a NO HATE SPEECH sign.

Notice that the only slurs they allow are mayo and Karen. Karen is just a slur for a certain type of nosey and annoying suburban White woman. More globally, it is a slur against White women period. Mayo is a shitty slur against White people. So these are just standard SJWtards. The only people it’s ok to hate are White people and White women. Everything else is bigotry, including calling trannies trannies, which, by the way, is one of my favorite pastimes.

I probably got banned for transphobia. That’s what I usually get banned for nowadays. I love to misgender these people because to me, it’s misgendering when you refer to a man who thinks he’s a woman as a woman. He’s not a woman. He’s a man who thinks he’s a woman. Likewise, it’s misgendering to refer to a woman who thinks she’s a man as a man. Of course she’s not a man. She’s a woman who thinks she’s a man.

And I just love to call those people trannies. How can you not love that word? Listen to it. Swirl it around on your tongue like a fine wine. Savor it. Smack your lips a few times. Doesn’t that word tranny just have the greatest mouthfeel?

I also love to call trannies mentally ill because that’s exactly what they are. If you are a man who thinks you’re a woman, 90% of the time, I would say you’re nuts. If you are a woman who thinks she’s a man, 95% of the time, I would say you’re nuts. Except for a few early onset cases which I am willing to make amends for (though they’re still not the opposite sex), a man can never be a woman and a woman can never be a man.

No one even knows what any of that shit above means. What’s hate speech? Define it. Give me a good, concise definition that everyone can agree on. I don’t usually use other racial slurs when I write, but boy is it tempting! I so wanted to call a Japanese guy a Jap the other day! Why? I dunno. Because these shitwad SJW’s told me I can’t, that’s why! If you tell me there’s words I am banned from saying because they are offensive, those are probably the first words I am going to use in my next sentence to you.

Come on. We came out of the punk rock movement, Goddamn it. You have any idea what the punk rock movement was like? Like,  nothing is sacred. Like, giving the finger to everything. Like, breaking all the rules. Like, saying all the words you’re not supposed to say. Why? For the living fuck of it, that’s why. Which is to say, no reason at all!

We came out of the Goddamned punk rock movement, and you think we’re going to listen to SJW Miss Manners telling us to watch our language? LOL. Get out. Half of our songs had slurs in them. That was the whole idea. Not to hurt people’s feelings, but just to piss all over everything, the whole system. Tell us we can’t say something, and we’d say it. Tell us we couldn’t wear something, we’d wear it. Tell us not to say, do, or wear something because it’s mean, Hell, that’s even more reason to break the rules! It was all about pissing people off? Who? Everyone! Why? For no damned reason at all!

I won’t say those words for any particular reason and certainly not to hurt people. I’ll only say them because you, an authoritarian shitwad, ordered me not to! Hey, I’m still a rebellious teenager in a 63 year old body, sorry.

I do use words like this in my personal life. But not commonly and even then, only a few special words for certain folks who’ve really got it coming to them!

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: The Nicaraguan Violence of 2017 Was Actually a US-Sponsored Fascist Coup Attempt

I was following the fascist coup in Nicaragua in 2017, which was written up as some righteous civil disturbances and riots against a brutal and vicious leftwing Sandinista dictatorship run by Daniel Ortega and his wife Rosario. Really it was just a fascist coup attempt by the 27% of the population opposed to Ortega. That figure is about right for Latin America. The opposition to the Chavistas in Venezuela amounts to 27% of the population. Furthermore, 70% of Venezuelans openly state that they are Chavistas. As long as people keep saying that, the Right will never win.

There was one report after another of outrageous murders and attempted murders by the government. They all shocked me in their depravity.

The government had set an opposition radio station on fire, killing everyone inside!

Whoops. It turns out that the fascists had set a government radio station on fire, killing 10 government employees inside.

There were regular riots at the universities, where rich brats were said to be barricaded inside against murderous government forces inside.

I did some research and it was actually..

Whoops! The fascist students who had taken control of the university and were attacking the government forces and supporters.

Everything I read turned out to be the exact opposite of the way it was reported.

Government forces set a house on fire, killing a family of four inside!

Whoops! It turned out that this took place in an opposition controlled neighborhood where government forces were not present and were instead five miles away. Opposition rioters had raided a two story house full of Sandinista supporters and set it on fire, killing a family inside.

Roadblocks with armed insurgents were set up all over the country. People coming by were questioned, and government supporters and employees were taken out of their cars, beaten, tortured, and sometimes killed.

Finally, there was a fake human rights report issued by Amnesty International that got everything wrong and attributed almost all of the violence and deaths to the government, when really it was the other way around, and 80% of such was attributed to the opposition. Amnesty International, a disgusting imperialist organization that works hand in hand with the US government nearly as an arm of the CIA, got most of their data from the fascist organizations among the insurgents.

Slowly but surely, the government took the country back. When it was all over, 300-400 people were dead. The government was pretty reasonable considering that they were dealing with an attempted by armed mobs of rioters representing only 25% of the population trying to overthrow the democratically elected government with violence.

Most other countries would have been much more brutal. Nicaragua didn’t even arrest that many people, and most of those traitors have already been released. Out of 4,000 opposition organizations, four were shut down by the government for the obvious role they played in the sedition. The US reacted with outrage to this and said that the Sandinista government, which typically got favorable ratings of 70-80%, was a dictatorship.

The openly seditious media was allowed to continue to publish, even though most of them should have been shut down. The openly treasonous political parties that engaged in an attempt to overthrow the government by force were not shut down and were allowed to continue to run for office. I would have shut them all down.

Alt Left: The Left Won in Peru!

Amazingly, the Left has finally won in Peru and it’s about time. Things had really come to a head there. The Shining Path insurgency had not taken place in a background. Peru spawned the worst leftwing insurgents because it had one of the worst systems on Earth. Similarly, few countries were more feudal or unequal than Cambodia in the 1970’s. People were distributed into five economic castes depending on income. People of lower castes were virtually forbidden from speaking to the higher caste people. The city people viciously exploited the rural areas, and the rural people hated the city people. Cambodia had one of the worst societies on Earth. So of course it spawned the worst Leftwing movement ever.

The Right, of course, in the form of the party of former dictator Fujimori’s daughter, is already screaming fraud. There was no fraud. Anyway, the election was run by the center-right former government, and they were dead-set against this Leftwing guy winning. The US government and media can be reliably predicated to chime in quickly that the election was fraudulent. You just wait. The rich in Lima are trembling and threatening to pull all their money out of the country. The Lima Stock Exchange (which probably should be shut down) is having conniptions. We will see how this plays out in coming days, but I’m not optimistic.

Thing is, every time the Left wins, the US insists that it’s automatically a dictatorship. Meanwhile, the US does everything it can to provoke the state into overreacting with constant coup threats and regular coup attempts and even actual coups, huge street riots that turn into virtual counterinsurgencies, a vicious rightwing opposition that is downright seditious and takes all of their money from the US, lockout strikes by the bosses, currency warfare by currency traders, economic warfare (make the economy scream a la Henry Kissinger) when businesses refuse to produce goods or simply stockpile them to drive prices up, creating inflationary crises.

That’s in addition to the capital strikes and mass capital outflow, which has to be stopped. Problem is the only way to stop it is with currency controls and sooner or later currency controls cause a currency black market and dual currencies, usually effecting the real currency badly. The black market currency rate is often deliberately tinkered with to create inflationary crises. This is what the treasonous Venezuelan rich did with their currency firms in Houston that set the black market rate at crazy prices that caused wild inflationary spinouts. Eventually the real currency has to be floated, which wipes out everyone’s saving and drives the cost of the currency down to a very low number.

 

Alt Left: The Left Won in Mexico

AMLO’s leftwing party won a majority of the legislature just the other day. He hasn’t been a very Lefty president. He ran as one but I don’t think he has been governing as one. But just to show you that Mexico is a part of Latin America, the rich and middle class raised a huge uproar over this man’s victory. And so has the US and especially the US media.

And an overtly fascist and putschist reactionary elite of the Mexican ultra-rich, associated with the most conservative strands of the Catholic Church and social conservatism, appeared on the scene calling for a fascist coup to overthrow the “dictator” AMLO. US papers have been full of articles about how AMLO is a “dictator” and has authoritarian tendencies. Apparently it’s complete nonsense. Even the more honest members of the opposition say there’s obviously nothing undemocratic about him. He’s as democratic as any Mexican President and perhaps more so.

Also, there’s been wild cartel-related mass violence and homicide raging across Mexico for 20 years now. These break into all out warfare between gangs and the police and army, who are often on the take and working for the gangs. The gangs also kill journalists or local politicians who get in their way. The same insanity has continued under AMLO, possibly even at a lower level, and while it was barely mentioned before, not AMLO is letting the cartels spin out of control and is allowing violence and homicide to rage across the land. For this reason he needs to be ousted.

But they get people all riled up about this more or less lies. Anyway, crime is rarely a state’s fault and once crime goes completely out of control, there’s not a whole lot you can do about it short of imposing an extreme totalitarian and authoritarian dictatorship. In El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, and Brazil the mass crime and high homicide rates have nothing to do with the governments. They occur under both left and rightwing governments.

Leftwing governments leave and rightwingers come in and the crime stays the same. The opposite happens and crime stays the same. But heavy crime is only weaponized against leftwing governments. Crime in Venezuela is just as bad as in rightwing El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, but only in Venezuela has it been the fault of the governments. All of those governments have tried everything they could, but when crime goes completely out of control, there’s not much the state can do short of outright dictatorship.

I was shocked but then not so much. Of course the Mexican Right is fascist. It’s just that they haven’t had a real Left government in since Cardenas in 1936. The ghosts of the Revolution are dead and the party of the Revolution, the PRI, turned corrupt and rather un-revolutionary, though the basic changes of the revolution were allowed to remain unchanged.

When the PRI couldn’t win an election, they simply stole them. The Leftist PRD, running Cardenas descendant, won the election in 1986, but the PRI declared the election flawed and said it had to be counted over. The government retreated for two weeks and said nothing. When it was over, a PRD victory had suddenly turned into a PRI win. In other words, they stole it. The “liberal” New York Times cheered it on and said there had been massive fraud in favor of Cardenas while it cheered for the “democracy” of the PRI stealing an election.

Alt Left: The Playbook of US Imperialism: Everything They Say Is the Opposite of What Really Happened

This analysis is based on the theory that US imperialism and Western imperialism for that matter is basically fascist. Not that our societies are fascist themselves because we have managed to insulate ourselves from this. But European jerkoffs spend most of their time running around the globe trying to deny the Third World even the barest social democracy that has made Europe so livable.

Modern Western Liberalism: Liberalism at Home, Fascism Abroad

How else you can you explain how Europe attacked social democracy in Latin America in Mexico, Haiti, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Brazil, Bolivia, El Salvador, Honduras, Peru, and Colombia? Social democracy at home, fascism abroad. This is the project of the Europeans nowadays, and NATO spearheads this project. In the US it is similar, social liberalism at home, fascism abroad, at least for the Democratic Party. Canada has something between social liberalism and social democracy, and their politics is for this project at home and fascism abroad.

When reporting about hot button issues abroad in the West, keep in mind that everything you read about countries the West is hostile to is really the opposite of what really is or what really happened.

Everything Is the Opposite of What It Really Is

With fascists and fascist supporters like the US, everything is the opposite of what it really is.

Elections That Never Make Sense

Rightwing governments that use fraud to steal elections are restoring democracy.

Leftwing governments that win elections always win due to fraud because of course they cannot win any other way. As soon as they get in power, no matter how much freedom they allow, they are always authoritarian dictatorships. The elections that government has, even if they are models of fair elections, are always marred by massive fraud.

Rightwing governments that overturn these legitimate elections and steal them for the Right are always uncovering the massive fraud. The resulting election theft is called by the New York Times and US government “restoring democracy.”

When the Venezuelan fascist coup overthrew the democratic government of Hugo Chavez in 2002, the US government and the New York Times lauded the “restoration of democracy and end of dictatorship” that the fascist coup (the fascist coup was a restoration of democracy) against a democratic government (the democratic government was a dictatorship) represented.

The US/NATO Fascist Playbook: Mysterious Snipers Shooting at Both Sides

Fascist gangs usually supported by the US and/or NATO, a fascist military organization in Europe, open fire on both security forces and and either left or rightwing rioters. Fascist forces often fire on their own people and blame it on the government as a pretext for a coup to overthrow the government. This is what happened in the US-supported fascist Maidan Coup in Ukraine. When the fascist gangs open fire, the US turns it into leftwing security forces opening fire on leftwing mobs and security forces.

See the 2002 coup in Venezuela, where fascist gangs operating from overpasses shot and killed 32 people, all Chavista protestors or Chavista Venezuelan security forces, then feverishly blamed the government forces for shooting at their own supporters and comrades in arms. The US media tripped over itself reporting how the Left had opened fire on itself, massacring 32 of their own people. It took some time to straighten it all out.

Sanctions

The local fascists and the US also destroy the economy with economic war or sanctions, and then the US and the fascists scream that the Left government has destroyed the economy with its “socialist policies.” Of course it was really the economic war and the sanctions, but no matter. Even notice how all US articles on the Iranian and Venezuelan economies blame the government for the economic and social crisis that was deliberately caused by US sanctions?

Syria

In Syria, gangs of Al Qaeda-linked Islamists (Salafist Islamist like Al Qaeda and ISIS linked forces resemble fascists in many ways) raided villages full of government supporters and murdered everyone inside. Then these same forces screamed that the Syrian government had raided an opposition village and killed all the opposition people inside. The US and Western media then flooded the news with reports that the war criminal Assad has committed another massacre.

There have been 10-20 huge massacres of whole villages in the Syrian Civil War. The US, the West and the Islamists all claim that they were all done by Assad. If you go to Wikipedia and look up all of these massacres, it will tell you that they were all done by Assad.

I researched every one of those massacres in depth.

They were all done by the Free Syrian Army, who are Al Qaeda linked Islamists who burned down churches in every city and town they conquered. The villages massacred were inhabited by Sunni government supporters, Alawites, and Christians. All three groups were feverish supporters of the government. The US continues to state that all of these cases were massacres of opposition supporters by Assad’s forces.

That’s like I set your house on fire and then stand outside screaming about what an arsonist you are as you try to put out the fire. I call the fire department and they arrest you for arson while you’re hosing the building and thanking me, still holding kerosene and matches, for being such a good citizen as they walk by back to their trucks.

The Ties Between Fascism and US Imperialism Are Deep

This is basically how the US and all other forces linked to Western imperialism run their foreign policy. And every government in Europe that is a member of NATO, I’m talking to you. NATO is basically a fascist army. As you can see, the ties between fascism and imperialism are deep. In modern imperialism, the West goes around the world installing fascist and rightwing dictatorships and supporting fascist forces that are trying to overthrow leftwing governments. Not all of the governments it supports are fascists, but all are rightwing, at least in Latin America.

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: PFLP Military Parade in Gaza

Very, very well-done. I support the PFLP 100%. They are secular Leftists along with the DFLP, who I also support. Both groups were founded by Christians, George Habash in the case of the PFLP and Nayef Hawatmeh in the case of the DFLP. Of the two groups, the PFLP is quite a bit larger. They have a large presence in the West Bank, but I was very much surprised at the size of their army and following in Gaza.

People think all these Palestinians are crazy Muslims keep in mind that many of the people in this organization are atheists or at least not very religious. They’ve always had a lot of support among Christian Palestinians. Curiously these secular Leftists fight right alongside Islamist Hamas and Islamic Jihad. In the latest war, the PFLP fired many mortars, missiles, rockets, and anti-tank projectiles at Israeli towns and the IDF army. The DFLP, the Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades and several other Fatah rejectionists such as the Salah-al-Din brigades and the Popular Resistance Committee, along with the Mujahedin, a jihadist group along the lines of Hamas and Islamic Jihad all fired many missiles and mortars in the latest battle.

The pro-Syrian PFLP-GC founded by Ahmad Jibril also fired a few rockets. Some shady Salafist groups also fired a few missiles. The Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades have a huge presence in the West Bank, where Hamas has little presence. All of the automatic weapons that AAMB carries in the West Bank are homemade! Yep they have factories that actually make automatic weapons there. Of course in Gaza, Hamas has factories that make drones, missiles, rockets, mortars, and even believe it or not submarines. I don’t know where the anti-tank missiles come from, nor do I know how those missile launcher trucks come from either. If I can say one thing about Arabs, it’s that they are endlessly adaptive! Sort of like Black people.

Towards the end, half of their attacks were against the army. I’m not wild about shooting at towns, but all of these groups do that. I don’t really care if they shoot at towns as long as they don’t kill or seriously hurt anyone. If they’re not seriously hurt or if property, buildings, or houses get destroyed, I could care less. The Israelis deserve it. As you can see, some of the women are not wearing headscarfs. This is Gaza! Hamas has not implemented Islamic Law in Gaza, which is one of the beefs that the Salafists have with them. Hamas and Islamic Jihad are not Salafists and Hamas has a poor relationship with the Salafists.

I have no idea how all of that military equipment gets into Gaza. Presumably it is smuggled in via the many tunnels that connect Gaza to the Sinai. The imports go from Iran to Sudan and from there to Egypt and across the Sinai to Gaza. It’s pretty amazing all of the weaponry they have come up with considering they are under a total blockade by Israel. Almost all of the weaponry these days comes from Iran as the Sunnis are giving up on the Palestinians. They’d rather kill the Shia then fight the Zionists.

You ask me if I dislike Jews? Sure, the ones squatting in Palestine! What about the Jews in the Diaspora? Are they squatting in Palestine? No? Well, ok then, they’re not part of the problem, are they? I don’t like Israel-firster Jews in the US, but most Zionists are actually Christians. I understand how Jewish people are quite conflicted on the Israel question. I get it. They want to support their people, but Israel makes them queasy as it should.

This video is extremely well-done and I am shocked at the support the PFLP has in Gaza of all places. It just goes to show how secular Palestinian society is. Palestinians have always been among the most secular of the Arabs going way back. In a recent surveys, 27% of Palestinians described themselves as “not religious.” That’s about right.

Just goes to show you that all Palestinians aren’t lunatic Muslims trying to kill all the infidels.

Speaking of which, the PFLP is a bit unusual as they do not demand the Jews leave Palestine, which is what most of these other groups demand. The PFLP has always said that the Jews can stay in a single state. I remember George Habash said that if he were to come back to his old house after liberation, he would build another floor on the top of the house so the Jews who were living in his old house in Jaffa could continue to live in the house. I think the DFLP is wiling to let the Jews stay also.

Those Jews aren’t going anywhere. They’re not going to go back to Europe or New York or wherever. Not happening. They’re not going to leave. Demanding that all the Jews taking off shows how unreasonable a lot of the Palestinian factions are. This is the position of Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas and Islamic Jihad. However, Iran has also said that the Jews can stay in a single state, and Hezbollah said they would accept a two-state solution, even though it’s not their preference.

Speaking of which, the two state solution is now dead and buried. Israel never intended to go along with it from the moment it was proposed. Prominent Israelis have come forward to say that now. The settlements are so cemented into the West Bank that there is no moving them. It’s one state or the status quo, and the status quo is not acceptable.

Alt Left: Israel Versus Egypt and Lebanon

Polar Bear: Egyptians, Lebanese, etc. defeated Israel in battle, and they backed off.

Egypt

Egypt, sure. But Egypt also has to suck up to Israel as part of the peace deal. They also get $1.5 billion completely wasted tax dollars a year as part of the peace deal. Consider that $1.5 billion as more or less aid to Israel.

However, the peace between Israel and Egypt is a cold one indeed. Especially the ordinary people seriously hate Israel. The Israeli Embassy was burned to the ground by a mob of thousands of people a few years back. The entire staff had to flee. The cops just sat back and let the mob burn it to the ground. Curiously enough, the mob was not mostly Islamists. Sure, they were there too, but it was mostly Leftists, including quite a few Communists. There were a lot of women without hijab in that mob. At any rate, the Leftists and Islamists worked very well together.

It’s the same thing in Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel proper. Both Islamists and Leftists in those places really hate Israel, so they get along swimmingly. There are two Marxist Palestinian groups who work very closely with Hamas!

For one thing, Leftists tend to be extreme rejectionists of making any sort of peace with Israel, so they have that in common with a lot of Islamists.

Obviously I am not including the Islamist sellout traitors in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE.

In Morocco and Sudan, sure, the governments made peace with Israel recently (because they were bribed to do so, as were the Gulf Arabs), but the people still hate Israel. The difference in opinion between the people and the regimes is vast in all of those US-allied Arab states. The only reason any of those US Arab allies are in power at all is because they have dictatorships. If they had real elections, no way would any civilians in the Arab world vote in a pro-Israel government, never, ever.

Truthfully, of all of the governments that recently recognized Israel (they didn’t make peace like the idiots keep saying because they were never at war recently anyway), only the UAE has excellent relations with Israel. The UAE is so friendly to Israel that it is almost bizarre. I guess they sold out the Palestinians for the $$. That’s all they care about anyway. They and the other Gulf traitors think they can make a lot of money working with Israel, and more than anything else, they want Israeli weapons systems.

They’ve all been allied with Israel forever anyway, but it’s always been behind the scenes, so no one saw it. The Saudis have been allied with Israel for a good 40 years. The Saudis used to own some islands in the Gulf of Aqaba. In 1979, the Israelis, with their usual charm, decided that those islands were really owned by Jews, so they demanded that the Saudis hand them over. The Saudis did just that and of course got nothing in return. They sold out to Israel like craven sissies.

However, Oman, Kuwait, Yemen, and especially Qatar do not have good relations with Israel at all. Qatar has long housed the leadership of Hamas. Khaled Meshal made an appearance there recently to a mob of cheering civilians.

In Egypt, an anti-US and anti-Israel Muslim Brotherhood (Ikwan) government that won with 75% of the vote was overthrown by secularists in the Army. The Army is secularist and they have been fighting Islamists in Egypt forever. The secularist army set about massacring innocent MB supporters who were sitting in in huge numbers in the capital. They would not vacate their sit-in, so the army started shooting them. They government has since cracked down very hard on all dissent.

In addition, Egypt maintains a terrible blockade on Gaza, an anti-Hamas blockade. The probable reason is because Hamas is the Muslim Brotherhood of Palestine, and the Egyptian government despises the Ikwan.

The Ikwan is also despised in Saudi Arabia and UAE, but this is due more to competition than anything else. This is why you see Islamist UAE and Saudi Arabia allying with Egypt and why you see the UAE arming the anti-government army in Libya where the UN-recognized government is the Ikwan. Turkey and Qatar support the Ikwan, so this is why you see Turkey in Libya supporting the government.

The Ikwan proper is often friendly to Iran because they figure the Iranians are very religious Muslims too. Hamas, Qatar, and Turkey enjoy good relations with Iran. This was strained for a bit when Hamas supported the Syrian rebels. The Iranians didn’t care that much, but the Syrians were very angry. Syria has now made up with Hamas. Sunni Hamas has excellent relations with Shia Hezbollah in Lebanon, the PMF in Iraq, Ansar Allah in Yemen, and Iran.

Hamas never talks about being Ikwan-Palestine because the Ikwan has always been unpopular in Palestine. Palestine is actually one of the more secular Arab states, a longstanding trend. 27% of Palestinians checked “not religious” on a recent survey. That’s typical for Palestine. They aren’t a bunch of raving Islamist maniacs.

Gaza is a very conservative society and has been for a long time. The West Bank is also pretty conservative but not as conservative as Gaza. In Israel proper, the Arabs are less conservative. In that famous recent video from Lod, those are young Arab women or teenage girls climbing that pole, tearing down the Israeli flag, and putting up the Palestinian flag to the cheers of a crowd below full of teenage girls and young women. None of them are wearing a hijab. But Lod is in Central Israel very close to Tel Aviv, which is the secular, SJW center of Israel, so there’s probably some bleed-over.

East Jerusalem probably has the most secular Arabs in Palestine for some reason. Why might that be? In videos of recent riots, many of the younger women were not wearing a hijab. In a lot of these communities, you often see teenage girls and young women not wearing a hijab while the older women still do.

But in Umm al Fahm in the Galilee, a famous nearly all-Arab town, most women wear the hijab.

Lebanon

Yes, Hezbollah eventually threw Israel out of Lebanon, but Hell no, has Israel backed off on Lebanon. See that nuclear bomb Israel dropped on Beirut a while back? You call that backing off? By the way, speaking of civilian populations hating Israel, the Lebanese probably are some of the worst Israel-haters in the Arab World.

Like Syria, Lebanon is still officially at war with Israel. Syria has been since 1973, but Lebanon has been since 1948. Both refused to sign an armistice. The Christian Maronite Phalange, however, are pro-Israel to some rather weak extent, but the rest of the Maronite Christians are with Hezbollah. The Greek Orthodox are represented by the Leftist, profoundly anti-Israel Syrian Social Nationalist Party. The Druze go back and forth, but Walid Jumbalatt has been a serious Israel-hater in his time. He’s just a guy who no principles of morals with his finger to the wind.

Opinion polls in Lebanon recently showed that 85% of the Lebanese population supported Hezbollah. That figure is lower now because of the Sunni-Shia split fanned by the US, Israel, the UAE, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia and to a much lesser extent by Jordan, Egypt, and Sudan, but it is still probably high.

What people don’t realize is that Lebanon has no real army. The true army of Lebanon, with much more power and capabilities than the Lebanese Army, is Hezbollah. The Lebanese Army has been deliberately kept weak by the West, with whom they are rather unstably allied. Notice that the Army worked for Israel in the latest conflict, arresting a few of the Hamas people in Southern Lebanon shooting Grad missiles at Israel and dismantling some rocket launchers. They’re traitors, or maybe they are just scared.

Alt Left: I’ve Been Thinking This a Long Time Now

I’ve been thinking for a while now that the Republican Party is the party of fun and getting laid while the Democratic Party are the nuns who say flirting is sexual harassment, dating is sexual assault, and sex is rape.

It’s the Drag Left, the No Fun Left, the Party Pooper Left, the Turd in the Punchbowl Left, the Taliban Left, the Victorian Left, the Comstock Left, the Sex-Hating Left, The What about the Children Left, the Pearl Clutching Left, etc.

And all this shit has come straight out of feminism, every single bit of it.

Not that the antiracist fucktards are a barrel of laughs either.

Alt Left: Liberal in the Diaspora, Fascist at Home

RL: It’s always been odd that Jews are the most liberal group in the US, yet they’ve been supporting what is obvious Jewish ethnic nationalist fascism all this time. Israel has been a far rightwing country for a long time now. The disconnect is jarring and it was probably always unsustainable.”

Rishi: You can say this for pretty much most ethnic groups. Indians are notoriously liberal in the West and far more conservative than any group when it comes to India and the BJP. They’re ethnic nationalists who are hardwired worse than the Nazis (and that’s saying something).

This is excellent. Thank you to Rishi! He just pointed out that Jews are not unusual in this regard and that this tendency is somewhat true of ethnic groups in general. I had thought of this before but never quite so explicitly. You learn something new every day! One thing he did not mention is for these same groups to be liberal when in the minority and conservative to fascist when in the majority. That’s not just true for these particular groups but it is true in general. Minorities tend to be liberal as they tend to be at least somewhat oppressed or at least feel different and a bit unwelcome or not truly a part of things.

Majorities tend to be more conservative as power creates bullies and a particularly arrogant type of bullying and domineering chauvinism.

They also tend to have privileges which they do not wish to give up. When you have nice things there is legitimate fear of having them taken away from you. When you have nothing, you have no such fear. Instead, you envy and hate everyone who has more than you to the point where you want to steal their stuff either covertly at night or openly with weapons. This the basic revolutionary spirit wired into all of humanity and ruling classes and groups are correct to fear it and worry about villagers with torches and their heads being put on pikes. Marx was absolutely correct when he pointed this out and it has always been true and always will be true. A peasant rebellion is a brutal thing.

A revolution…is not a picnic!

– Mao Zedong

It also causes them to fear weaker majorities taking power over them in their own homeland, which is particularly disturbing. Like if you live in a huge apartment complex with 100 people like you and 10 people from a different ethnic group move in and start lording it over the majority. This is what the Arabs go through in the West Bank. This is what Kurds go through in Turkey and Iran. Any time that happens, it’s pretty much just colonialism.

Alt Left: Why Are American Jews So Liberal?

It’s always been odd that Jews are the most liberal group in the US, yet they’ve been supporting what is obvious Jewish ethnic nationalist fascism all this time. Israel has been a far rightwing country for a long time now. The disconnect is jarring and it was probably always unsustainable. The liberalism of Jews is odd especially odd given their extreme wealth, which by all rights should make them conservative. However, Jews associate conservatism with fundamentalist Christianity and they don’t like any kind of Christianity, fundie or otherwise.

In addition, US conservatives are very uptight and Jews are notoriously loose about sexual and other matters. In addition, the Jews were very poor when they came here and most were originally working class. The suffered all of the deprivations of an abused working class group in US cities suffered 100 years ago. Hence, a lot of them became active leftwingers. Jews in Russia supported liberalism and even Communism mostly as a reaction against anti-Semitism and the racism of Czarist society. Jews worldwide have been very influential in the Left. This started the day that Napoleon let them out of the ghettos. In contrast all of those centuries in the ghettos, Jews were a very conservative, typically wealthy minority with the usual rightwing politics of any group of rich people.