Alt Left: Social Democracy Only Works in Homogeneous Societies Is Often but Not Completely True

RL:

The US and a handful of other countries are literally the only countries on this planet that regard social democracy with outrage and want nothing to do with it.

A commenter responds:

Mithridates: Yeah, I suspect much of this attitude stems from the ethnic divisions within the US that no one is ever allowed to talk about in any sort of frank or intellectually honest manner. Of course the Pluto/Mammon-worship inherent in the American mythos is a influential factor as well.

But let’s explore the first:

Basically, Ethnos A, the group responsible for most of the country’s productivity, is forced at gunpoint to redistribute a portion of their wealth to Ethnos B (and C in some regions), and a good portion of Ethnos B takes that money, pisses it away on all sorts of stupid instant gratification fuckery and doesn’t add much of anything to the country’s overall productivity; in fact, a sizable minority of Ethnos B behaves in public like zoo animals.

And then A’s gets called horrible bigots if they object to this, and especially if they object to being forced to live within shouting distance of B’s.

Most of the countries with working social democratic economic arrangements tend to have been ethnically homogeneous for most of the period when these systems were in place. And now these countries have tried the mass immigration experiment, and the same sort of shitty results is happening in those places that we here in the US have been experiencing for many decades now.

Natural Law says that humans are extra-clever social primates who are predisposed to be open to sharing among others they consider to be kin. There’s a certain other Ethnos I won’t mention by name or even a single-letter set of punctuation marks that exemplifies this principle very clearly.

Anyway, expecting all members of an Ethnos to consider the entire planet’s population of clever hominids to be a part of their kin group is quite an aberrant expectation; only weird ideologies can invert what to everyone else is a common sense understanding of Natural Law principles. And finally, loving one’s own kin does not necessarily mean hating other kin-groups.

Of course everyone has always known that this is the dirty little secret for Americans’ hostility to socialism. This is why all of the American White Nationalists are also hardline economic Rightists, Republicans and Libertarians despite this being bad for most Whites. Race trumps economics for a lot of folks. Whereas in Europe, most of the nationalist groups, even the White nationalists, are explicitly socialist.

You’d be pissed to, eh?

Actually I am fully aware of this argument, but I’m not pissed at all. For one thing, I have never been part of the wealthy White group, so Whites with money can go pound sand. They are my class enemies. I think in terms of economics. Screw race. Do the rich Whites want to help the poorer Whites? Of course not. So why should I support them. Also I know quite a few low-income Whites who use those redistributive programs that Whites hate so much.

On the other hand, I am not a typical White person. I am very hard to the Left; in fact, I am an out and out socialist.

Many countries have health care for all despite being ethnically diverse. However, in a lot of these countries, public health care and education is simply underfunded, so the dominant group, whoever they may be, simply goes to private hospitals and schools. India is an excellent example of this as is much of Latin America.

All of the Arab World has social democracy under the rubric of Islam, or in the case of Lebanon, ethnic peace, and Lebanon is unstable for ethnic/religious reasons. And some Arab countries with prominent religious of ethnic minorities are very unstable or at war.

All of North Africa has social democracy except Morocco, although minority Berbers are dealt with by denial of their existence and roping them into the main group, Arabs. Ethiopia has tremendous ethnic diversity and some religious diversity, but they have a good working socialist system. Eritrea is the same but the main divide there is religious rather than ethnic.

Zimbabwe has a good working system although it has many tribes. Argentina and formerly Bolivia and Ecuador has or had working social democracies, although all three countries had serious instabilities; in all cases the rich objecting to sharing with the poor and with a racial element in Bolivia. A number of countries in Latin America do have social democracies, but they don’t work very well because the rich don’t want to share with the poor.

In a number of those countries such as Peru, Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Haiti,and Mexico also have an ethnic element in that the dominant rich group tends to be Whiter or lighter-skinned though not usually White per who don’t want to share with the poorer, darker, folks who are more mixed with Indian and in some cases Blacks.

A number of countries in Latin America have homogeneous populations, but the rich still don’t want to share with the poor, so that doesn’t solve everything. And historically speaking, most nations were quite homogeneous, nevertheless the rich still shared just about fuck all with everyone else and needed an actual revolution to be convinced to do so.

Russia and China has very good working social democracies although they have many minorities, although China and to some extent Russia has some ethnic warfare. Ukraine has a good system despite minorities and ethnic warfare. Vietnam, Cambodia, Bhutan, and Laos have good systems despite having anywhere to a couple to many ethnic minorities. Malaysia has a working social democracy and it has a large ethnic divide. Japan has minorities with an excellent social democracy.

Most of the former Soviet republics probably still have working systems although most have large minority populations.Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran have social democracies and minority groups. However, in Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran are currently embroiled in ethnic separatist wars.

Most of the countries with non-working systems are not only rightwing but also quite poor. Hong Kong is an exception. The government is very rightwing, but there are not ethnic problems. It’s all one ethnic group, but the rich ones hate the poor ones, just as it was traditionally.

Some are just poor. Most of Africa has social democracy, but it often doesn’t work well due to poverty. To some extent this is true in Pakistan, Mongolia, Yemen, Moldova, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Burma, and Thailand. It is also true in Ecuador, Guatemala, most of the Caribbean, Chile, and Paraguay. In these places, social democracy doesn’t work more due to poverty than to diversity.

Alt Left: The U.S. Is Recycling Its Big Lie about Iraq to Target Iran

A superb article. People need to get this through their damned heads: Iran does not have a Goddamned nuclear weapons program! The CIA even said so itself in its last word in the subject in 2007. Yet this evil government of ours keeps insisting that Iran has a nuclear weapons program.

This is literally the reason for the entire sanctions regime, the targeting and war threats against Iran, the bombing of pro-Iranian Iraqi Shia militias in Iraq, and the assassination of Hajj Qassem Soleimani.

How many Moronicans believe these big fat lie? How many Eurotrash believe this lie. It must be a large majority of both of them.

After all, the entire MSM in the West – every single newspaper, magazine, and TV and radio news show, along with all Western governments insists that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. Not even one media outlet anywhere in the West will admit the obvious truth that Iran doesn’t have a nuclear weapons and hasn’t had one for a minimum of 30 lies.

Guess (((who))) cooked up this big, fat lie in the (((US media))). Guess (((why))) the entire media and every state in the West keeps repeating this lie? I’ll tell you why. (((This))) is the reason why. (((These people))) want Iran invaded and destroyed because it is the only country left other than Syria which is a sworn enemy of (((their state))).

Guess who the US, UK, France, and Germany take orders from. (((This)) is who they take orders from.

Granted the US is also out to destroy Iran because the Shia-haters in Jordan, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Sudan, Morocco, and Turkey all hate Iran simply because they are profoundly bigoted Sunnis with a homicidal hatred and paranoia of Shia Muslims.

In addition, US imperialism has had a hard-on for Iran ever since the Embassy Takeover in 1979. We never got over it. And the rule of US imperialism is simply “never forgive, never forget.” Exactly the same motto as (((some people))). Coincidence? For the crime of standing up to the US and shouting “Death to America! Death to Israel!” for 40 years, US imperialism wants Iran gone.

In addition, Iran has no central bank. US imperialism demands that all countries have central banks.

In addition, Iran is selling its oil in currencies other than dollars. This threatens the “petrodollar,” one of the essential pillars of US imperialism. The use of the dollar in international trade has indeed been declining in the past 10 years. It’s down to 63% now and a number of countries are definitely going off the dollar and substituting other currencies or a basket of currencies for international trade. So it’s not just a petrodollar. It’s a world dollar.

As long as most international trade is conducted in dollars, US imperialism can charge full steam ahead. But when that number goes down below 50%, there are going to be some serious problems for US imperialism. Namely that we won’t be able to be the Dictator of the World anymore.

And this World Dictator and Most Powerful Nation on Earth nonsense is one thing that America wants to keep perhaps more than anything else. The US will do most anything, start wars, kill millions of people – it matters not- to retain those positions.

As Lenin said, power does not give up without a fight which was one reason that he said the electoral road to socialism could never happen and why he called people who supported it “parliamentary cretins.” It’s not so much that he opposed it, as he simply thought it would not work.

It is instructive to note that every single country that has gone off the dollar has been either attacked, subjected to heavy sanctions, had coups, color revolutions, or armed insurgencies unleashed upon. Sometimes more than one or all of the above.

  • Iraq went off the petrodollar. It was invaded soon after.
  • Libya went off the petrodollar. It was quickly attacked.
  • Syria went off the petrodollar. It had an insurgency unleashed upon it.
  • Iran is going off the petrodollar. It’s been subject to many threats and vicious sanctions.
  • North Korea went off the dollar. Result was totally brutal sanctions, many deaths, and endless military threats.
  • Venezuela is going off the petrodollar. Result: sanctions, economic warfare, and coup attempts with lockout strikes, use of armed forces, violent street demonstrations and now with an entire fake alternate facts government set up led by a man who was never elected President even one time.
  • Russia and China are going off the dollar. Result: sanctions, tariffs, and hybrid warfare was launched on both countries and both have been designated as top US enemies. A color revolution is being attempted in Hong Kong.

See how this works?

The U.S. Is Recycling Its Big Lie About Iraq to Target Iran

Sixteen years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, most Americans understand that it was an illegal war based on lies about non-existent “weapons of mass destruction.” But our government is now threatening to drag us into a war on Iran with a nearly identical “big lie” about a non-existent nuclear weapons program, based on politicized intelligence from the same CIA teams that wove a web of lies to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.

In 2002-3, U.S. officials and corporate media pundits repeated again and again that Iraq had an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction that posed a dire threat to the world. The CIA produced reams of false intelligence to support the march to war and cherry-picked the most deceptively persuasive narratives for Secretary of State Colin Powell to present to the UN Security Council on February 5th 2003.

In December 2002, Alan Foley, the head of the CIA’s Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation, and Arms Control Center (WINPAC) told his staff,

If the president wants to go to war, our job is to find the intelligence to allow him to do so.

Paul Pillar, a CIA officer who was the National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia, helped to prepare a 25-page document that was passed off to Members of Congress as a “summary” of a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq.

But the document was written months before the NIE it claimed to summarize and contained fantastic claims that were nowhere to be found in the NIE, such as that the CIA knew of 550 specific sites in Iraq where chemical and biological weapons were stored. Most members read only this fake summary, not the real NIE, and blindly voted for war. As Pillar later confessed to PBS’s Frontline:

The purpose was to strengthen the case for going to war with the American public. Is it proper for the intelligence community to publish papers for that purpose? I don’t think so and I regret having had a role in it.

WINPAC was set up in 2001 to replace the CIA’s Nonproliferation Center or NPC (1991-2001), where a staff of 100 CIA analysts collected possible evidence of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons development to support U.S. information warfare, sanctions, and ultimately regime change policies against Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Libya and other U.S. enemies.

WINPAC uses the U.S.’s satellite, electronic surveillance, and international spy networks to generate material to feed to UN agencies like UNSCOM, UNMOVIC, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which are charged with overseeing the non-proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.

The CIA’s material has kept these agencies’ inspectors and analysts busy with an endless stream of documents, satellite imagery, and claims by exiles for almost 30 years. But since Iraq destroyed all its banned weapons in 1991, they have found no confirming evidence that either Iraq or Iran has taken steps to acquire nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons.

UNMOVIC and the IAEA told the UN Security Council in 2002-3 they could find no evidence to support U.S. allegations of illegal weapons development in Iraq.

IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei exposed the CIA’s Niger yellowcake document as a forgery in a matter of hours. ElBaradei’s commitment to the independence and impartiality of his agency won the respect of the world, and he and his agency were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.

Apart from outright forgeries and deliberately fabricated evidence from exile groups like Ahmad Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress (INC) and the Iranian Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), most of the material the CIA and its allies have provided to UN agencies has involved dual-use technology which could be used in banned weapons programs but also as alternative legitimate uses.

A great deal of the IAEA’s work in Iran has been to verify that each of these items has in fact been used for peaceful purposes or conventional weapons development rather than in a nuclear weapons program.

But as in Iraq, the accumulation of inconclusive, unsubstantiated evidence of a possible nuclear weapons program has served as a valuable political weapon to convince the media and the public that there must be something solid behind all the smoke and mirrors.

For instance, in 1990, the CIA began intercepting  Telex messages from Sharif University in Tehran and Iran’s Physics Research Centre about orders for ring magnets, fluoride, and fluoride-handling equipment, a balancing machine, a mass spectrometer, and vacuum equipment, all of which can be used in uranium enrichment.

For the next 17 years, the CIA’s NPC and WINPAC regarded these telexes as some of their strongest evidence of a secret nuclear weapons program in Iran, and they were cited as such by senior U.S. officials. It was not until 2007-8 that the Iranian government finally tracked down all these items at Sharif University, and the IAEA inspectors were able to visit the university and confirm that they were being used for academic research and teaching as Iran had told them.

After the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, the IAEA’s work in Iran continued, but every lead provided by the CIA and its allies proved to be either fabricated, innocent, or inconclusive. In 2007, U.S. intelligence agencies published a new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran in which they acknowledged that Iran had no active nuclear weapons program. The publication of the 2007 NIE was an important step in averting a U.S. war on Iran.

As George W. Bush wrote in his memoirs, “…after the NIE, how could I possibly explain using the military to destroy the nuclear facilities of a country the intelligence community said had no active nuclear weapons program?”

But despite the lack of confirming evidence, the CIA refused to alter the “assessment” from its 2001 and 2005 NIE’s that Iran probably did have a nuclear weapons program prior to 2003. This left the door open for the continued use of WMD allegations, inspections, and sanctions as potent political weapons in the U.S.’s regime change policy toward Iran.

In 2007, UNMOVIC published a Compendium or final report on the lessons learned from the debacle in Iraq. One key lesson was that “complete independence is a prerequisite for a UN inspection agency” so that the inspection process would not be used “either to support other agendas or to keep the inspected party in a permanent state of weakness.”

Another key lesson was that “proving the negative is a recipe for enduring difficulties and unending inspections.” The 2005 Robb-Silberman Commission on the U.S. intelligence failure in Iraq reached very similar conclusions, such as that“…analysts effectively shifted the burden of proof, requiring proof that Iraq did not have active WMD programs rather than requiring affirmative proof of their existence.

“While the U.S. policy position was that Iraq bore the responsibility to prove that it did not have banned weapons programs, the Intelligence Community’s burden of proof should have been more objective…

“By raising the evidentiary burden so high, analysts artificially skewed the analytical process toward confirmation of their original hypothesis – that Iraq had active WMD programs.”

In its work on Iran, the CIA has carried on the flawed analysis and processes identified by the UNMOVIC Compendium and the Robb-Silberman report on Iraq.

The pressure to produce politicized intelligence that supports U.S. policy positions persists because that is the corrupt role that U.S. intelligence agencies play in U.S. policy, spying on other governments, staging coups, destabilizing countries, and producing politicized and fabricated intelligence to create pretexts for war.

A legitimate national intelligence agency would provide objective intelligence analysis that policymakers could use as a basis for rational policy decisions. But as the UNMOVIC Compendium implied, the U.S. government is unscrupulous in abusing the concept of intelligence and the authority of international institutions like the IAEA to “support other agendas,” notably its desire for regime change in countries around the world.

The U.S.’s “other agenda” on Iran gained a valuable ally when Mohamed ElBaradei retired from the IAEA in 2009 and was replaced by Yukiya Amano from Japan. A State Department cable from July 10th, 2009 released by Wikileaks described Mr. Amano as a “strong partner” to the U.S. based on “the very high degree of convergence between his priorities and our own agenda at the IAEA.”

The memo suggested that the U.S. should try to “shape Amano’s thinking before his agenda collides with the IAEA Secretariat bureaucracy.”  The memo’s author was Geoffrey Pyatt, who later achieved international notoriety as the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine who was exposed on a leaked audio recording plotting the 2014 coup in Ukraine with Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland.

The Obama administration spent its first term pursuing a failed “dual-track” approach to Iran in which its diplomacy was undermined by the greater priority it gave to its parallel track of escalating UN sanctions. When Brazil and Turkey presented Iran with the framework of a nuclear deal that the U.S. had proposed, Iran readily agreed to it.

But the U.S. rejected what had begun as a U.S. proposal because by that point, it would have undercut its efforts to persuade the UN Security Council to impose harsher sanctions on Iran. As a senior State Department official told author Trita Parsi, the real problem was that the U.S. wouldn’t take “yes” for an answer.

It was only in Obama’s second term after John Kerry replaced Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, that the U.S. finally did take “yes” for an answer, leading to the JCPOA between Iran, the U.S., and other major powers in 2015. So it was not U.S.-backed sanctions that brought Iran to the table but the failure of sanctions that brought the U.S. to the table.

Also in 2015, the IAEA completed its work on “Outstanding Issues” regarding Iran’s past nuclear-related activities. On each specific case of dual-use research or technology imports, the IAEA found no proof that they were related to nuclear weapons rather than conventional military or civilian uses.

Under Amano’s leadership and U.S. pressure, the IAEA “assessed” that “a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device were conducted in Iran prior to the end of 2003,” but that “these activities did not advance beyond feasibility studies and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competences and capabilities.”

The JCPOA has broad support in Washington. But the U.S. political debate over the JCPOA has essentially ignored the actual results of the IAEA’s work in Iran, the CIA’s distorting role in it, and the extent to which the CIA has replicated the institutional biases, reinforcing of preconceptions, forgeries, politicization and corruption by “other agendas” that were supposed to be corrected to prevent any repetition of the WMD fiasco in Iraq.

Politicians who support the JCPOA now claim that it stopped Iran getting nuclear weapons, while those who oppose the JCPOA claim that it would allow Iran to acquire them.

They are both wrong because as the IAEA has concluded and even President Bush acknowledged, Iran does not have an active nuclear weapons program. The worst that the IAEA can objectively say is that Iran may have done some basic nuclear weapons-related research some time before 2003, but then again, maybe it didn’t.

Mohamed ElBaradei wrote in his memoir, The Age of Deception: Nuclear Diplomacy in Treacherous Times that if Iran ever conducted even rudimentary nuclear weapons research, he was sure it was only during the Iran-Iraq War which ended in 1988, when the U.S. and its allies helped Iraq kill up to 100,000 Iranians with chemical weapons.

If ElBaradei’s suspicions were correct, Iran’s dilemma since that time would have been that it could not admit to that work in the 1980s without facing even greater mistrust and hostility from the U.S. and its allies and risking a similar fate to Iraq.

Regardless of uncertainties regarding Iran’s actions in the 1980s, the U.S.’s campaign against Iran has violated the most critical lessons U.S. and UN officials claimed to have learned from the debacle in Iraq.

The CIA has used its almost entirely baseless suspicions about nuclear weapons in Iran as pretexts to “support other agendas” and “keep the inspected party in a permanent state of weakness,” exactly as the UNMOVIC Compendium warned against ever again doing to another country.

In Iran as in Iraq, this has led to an illegal regime of brutal sanctions under which thousands of children are dying from preventable diseases and malnutrition and to threats of another illegal U.S. war that would engulf the Middle East and the world in even greater chaos than the one the CIA engineered against Iraq.

Nicolas J. S. Davies is a freelance writer, researcher for CODEPINK and author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Alt Left: Communism Is a Universal Movement Not Tied to Any Ethnicity

Communism appeals to all sorts of people on a basic level. Look at what Communism promises. It’s pretty clear that that’s something that a lot of humans would want, not any particular ethnicity or culture.

Polar Bear: NS Germany surely had a German spirit. Was Communism based on Russian farm culture or anything native? I often think it contrasts with warring Celtic tribes on the British Isles and Ireland. Maybe some of it is Slavic in nature.

I’m not sure. You know it took off in Mozambique, Grenada, Angola, Cuba, Afghanistan, China, Vietnam, Laos, Chile, Congo, Cambodia, Mongolia, and Yemen too, right?

And they almost won in Peru, El Salvador, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Greece, Turkey, and Colombia.

The CP was huge in Iraq – the  base of Moqtada Sadr’s movement is actually the old Iraqi CP! Most of Sadr’s followers and soldiers were former members of the Iraqi CP. It had huge memberships in Sadr City. Eurocoms were huge in France and Italy. The CP is in the ANC government in South Africa.

In addition, Communism  was very popular in Kazakhstan (Turkics), Tajikistan (Iranics), Uzbekistan (Turkics), Turkmenistan (Turkics), Kyrgyzstan (Turkics), Karelia, Mari-El and Udmurtia (Finno-Urigics), the Caucasus, Azerbaijan (Turkics), Armenia, among Siberian Turkics, Buryats (Mongolics), Tungusics, the Nivkhi (Japanese types), and the Chukchi (Inuit types).

I’m afraid there’s a little more to it than Slavicism. I do not believe it was ever very popular in Poland, the Baltics, Finland or Georgia though. Stalin once said that forcing Communism on the Poles was like putting a saddle on a cow.

Anyway, Marx was German and Engels was British. Rosa Luxembourg was German. Antonio Gramschi was Italian. Carlos Luis Mariategui and Edith Lagos were Peruvian. Manuel Marulanda Gabriel Garcia Marquez were Colombians. Gabriel Mistral was Chilean. Farbundo Marti and Roque Dalton were Salvadorans.

Augustino Sandino was Nicaraguan. Pablo Picasso was a Spaniard. Ho Chi Minh was Vietnamese. Mao Zedong was Chinese. Patrice Lumumba was Congolese. Samora Machel was Mozambican. Those are all very famous Communists who were non-Slavic.

We and our pals overthrew non-Commie Leftist nationalists in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama, Mexico, Colombia, Paraguay, Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil, Guyana, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Portugal, Iraq, Iran, and Libya. We and our pals tried unsuccessfully to overthrow them in a number of other places.

Communism has universal appeal. It is nothing less than the dream of a better world. That is why in a way I was sad when the Eastern bloc collapsed because what collapsed with it was that most beautiful dream.

The Latin American Left believed in the dream of a better world. And in Latin America, that is a dangerous thing.

– Alejandra, an Argentine ex-girlfriend

Alt Left: None of Us Are Dindus: Ronald Biggs and the Sex Pistols, “No One Is Innocent”

I was thinking about Mithridates’ response to the Chmielnicki thread, which tragically implied that most if not all of the Jews killed in the peasant revolts of Eastern Europe pretty much had it coming for acting as tax farmers for the nobles and hence perfectly appropriate targets for an peasant revolt against feudalism. Sure, leave the Jewish women, kids, and old men out of it – except who ever does that in a war, especially 350 years go.

Anyway this made me feel very bad. Those Jews were killed in terrible ways and all my life I’ve been told that the Jews of Europe were dindus who dindu nuffin and just got picked on by mean Gentile antisemite Nazis. Turns out a lot of them asked for their own brutal fate. But that doesn’t make me happy. It makes me so sad. I don’t know but it just does.

And the first thing I thought is fuck this dindu crap. Fuck this we dindu nuffin shit.

What I mean by screw this dindu crap is: Goddamn it, none of us are dindus! You know how many of us dindu nuffins! Zero fucking percent, that’s how many!

Which reminds me of a song by the Sex Pistols. A man named Ronald Biggs helped participate in the Great Train Robbery in the UK in 1964. He hightailed it to Brazil. Brazil has no extradition treaty with the UK, so he’s been living it up down there laughing at the world and giving us all the finger the whole time. Well, good on him. I might do the same.

The Great Train Robbery? They stole lots and lots of money, so good on them. They became something of these Robin Hood type folk criminals, though if you research the case, they’re just dirty psychopaths and criminal scums as you might expect.

And though I wanted to love the romantic story myself because I’m kind of an asshole who hates all authority figures, when I read about it, I thought again. A man defending the money stash on the train was not killed, but he was very badly hurt. Maybe for a long time. Well, screw that. I’m not going to cheer on the Great Train Robbery anymore, thank you very much.

Also I read up on Biggs’ life down in Brazil, and of course, being a psychopath, he lived the typical life of a total psychopath down there in Brazil. Duh. And keep in mind this is Brazil, where psychopathy is virtually normal. He acted real bad down there, got into constant trouble, and was basically a huge dick. Which logically follows of course from him being a psychopath. Because, you know, psychopaths gotta psycho. It’s what they do.

Well, the Sex Pistols, after the first album, decided, just to be total assholes, which we already knew they were anyway, to go down to Brazil and record a song with Ronald Biggs. Biggs recorded a song with them called “No One Is Innocent.” Which is the fitting coda to this silly blog post in which I point out that none of us are dindus, even though we all think we are:

Fuck it, man! No one is innocent! We’re all guilty, dammit!

Which is awful damn Christian, now that you think about it, no?

God save the sex pistols they’re a bunch of wholesome blokes
They just like wearing filthy clothes and swapping filthy jokes
God save television keep the programs pure
God save William Grundy from falling in manure

Ronnie Biggs was doing time until he done a bunk
Now he says he’s seen the light and he sold his soul to punk

God save Martin Boorman and Nazis on the run
They wasn’t being wicked God that was their idea of fun
God save Myra Hindley God save Ian Brady
Even though he’s horrible and she ain’t what you call a lady

Ronnie Biggs was doing time until he done a bunk
Now he says he’s seen the light and he sold his soul to punk
Ronnie Biggs was doing time until he done a bunk
Now he says he’s seen the light and he sold his soul to punk

God save politicians God save our friends the pigs
God save Idi Amin and god save Ronald Biggs
God save all us sinners God save your blackest sheep
God save the good Samaritan and God save the worthless creep

Ronnie Biggs was doing time until he done a bunk
Now he says he’s seen the light and he sold his soul to punk
Ronnie Biggs was doing time until he done a bunk
Now he says he’s seen the light and he sold his soul to punk
Sold his soul Sold his soul Sold his soul to punk

European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese Are Almost Two Different Languages by Now

PB: The Portuguese Royalty set up shop in Brazil during Napoleonic Wars. Other former colonies of Portugal understand European Portuguese better than Brazilian Portuguese. Brazil likely received Portuguese from Royals as earlier settlers spoke Tupi or Tupi-Portuguese blend.

Indeed the Portuguese made the same mistake as the Spanish. They didn’t bring any chicks over! Nothing but a sausage fest on those boats to Brazil. It was another story when they landed of course, as the place was full of horny Indian women for the taking, and take them they did. There was a famous case of a Portuguese man who had ~10-15 Tupi Indian wives and maybe ~50 kids between them all. People wonder how Brazil got so race-mixed. Well, there ya go.

Later they brought Black slaves over, and the country was darkening up awful fast. Not that that matters really, but the rulers thought this was an catastrophe. In the 1800’s, they implemented an emergency project called Blanquimiento or the Whitening  Project. This involved mass encouragement and importation of as many White settlers from Europe to Brazil as possible.

The goal? To Whiten the place up, dammit! I always chuckle when I think of this project. Like Hell you could get away with that anywhere in the Current Year. The UN would probably drop a nuclear bomb on anyone who did.

PB: Was this just a romantic Brazilian fantasy or is Brazilian Portuguese more for Lords and Ladies? Basically, what’s the Portuguese equivalent of Castilian Spanish?

Oh Eu Portuguese is absolutely the gold standard lol. Br Portuguese is considered to be much more slangy. A lot of the older tense and mood inflections that have gone out of Br Portuguese are still present in Eu Portuguese. E

u Portuguese can understand Br Portuguese just fine. I mean Brazil has, what? 15-20X as many speakers as Portugal? Portuguese people watch Brazilian movies and news all the time. Their TV is flooded with that stuff.

On the other hand, with a speaker base maybe 7% of the size of Brazil’s, Brazilians don’t get exposed to much Eu Portuguese. This may be more of a problem in written material. I have heard that Br Portuguese can only understand ~50% of Eu Portuguese written material, and it’s a big problem.

The language is written differently in both places. In terms of written language, Brazil would be the equivalent of Castilian Spanish because they continue to write Portuguese based on Portuguese from the 1600’s! The time of the Jamestown, the Mayflower, and Shakespeare.

Imagine if we spoke English like we do now but we still wrote it in Shakespearean Middle English? Crazy or what? By the way, I can only understand 27% of Shakespearean Middle English, and I understand exactly 0% of the Old English of Beowulf.

So there is this huge diglossia issue between the spoken language and the written language, similar to the case of Western Punjabi, spoken in Pakistan, more or less intelligible with Eastern Punjabi spoken in India but written in a completely different way. Indian written Punjabi is more like Sanskrit or Hindi with all sorts of Indianisms. Written Eastern Punjabi is full of Arab and Persian borrowings, and it is very hard for Western Punjabi speakers to read.

Czech also has two languages – a spoken language and a written language. I believe that the written language is an archaic Czech frozen in the 1700’s.

I believe there are some other languages that are written differently from how they are spoken, but they elude me now.

So the way Br Portuguese is written, it is indeed a language for Lords and Ladies, correct. But for spoken Portuguese, Eu Portuguese would be the more archaic and classic form.

Portuguese is actually a rather complex language if you wish to speak it correctly, which few Portuguese speakers bother to do.

I knew a Brazilian woman who proudly told me that her written Portuguese (the 1600’s) was superb, as she used to be a Portuguese teacher. This took me aback a bit, as I thought this was an easy language. The spoken language also has a lot of complex verbal forms, some of which have gone out of the rest of Romance, like the Future Subjunctive.

They are having all sorts of problems in Brazil nowadays but maybe not in Portugal, with Br Portuguese speakers neither writing nor speaking the language properly.

That’s prescriptivist, but so what? Languages have rules. Are you going to speak the language properly or you going to ignore all the rules and botch it up? I can’t believe that linguists actually think that is a stupid question and think it’s real groovy to go ahead and botch up any spoken or written language any way you wish.

“It’s all just nonstandard, dude,” they say, taking another hit on the bong.

Yeah right.

Alt Left: “The Explosion in Lebanon Has Been Delayed: Until When?”, by Elijah J. Magnier

Very nice article that lays bare a lot of the bullshit surrounding the Lebanon protests. Of course they are being manipulated by the US and Saudi Arabia to turn them into anti-Hezbollah demonstrations with the aim of overthrowing the Hezbollah government.

Yes, you heard me right. The Lebanese government right now is controlled by Hezbollah and its allies. This has been the case since 2018 when they won the elections. Hezbollah has 55% and the anti-Hezbollah group consisting of Sunnis, Druze and half of the Christians has 35%. 10% are neutral.

So we have yet another case here of a minority trying to overthrow a majority as was recently done in Bolivia, Honduras, Brazil, Ecuador, Haiti, Paraguay, and Ukraine, and as the US is attempting to do in Venezuela and Nicaragua, with regime change operations in Dominica and probably Mexico coming soon. The Dominica operation is already well underway.

There has long been an attempted regime change operation in effect in Syria and there is an ongoing one in Yemen, Iraq, and Iran. There also appears to be a regime change operation in effect in Hong Kong. Of course, Cuba, North Korea, Zimbabwe, and Eritrea are victims of long term regime change operations. So is Venezuela for that matter – the operation against Venezuela has been ongoing for 17 years now. I don’t support those rightwing protestors at all.

Everywhere around the world, anti-US regimes are being overthrown with regime change operations, often coups of one variety or the next. The US simply does not believe in democracy at all. It only likes democracy if its favored groups win. If the groups it does not like are in power, the US will always try to overthrow them even if they have majority support. And we’ve been doing for over a century now.

The Explosion in Lebanon Has Been Delayed: Until When?

Europe is concerned about the Lebanese political crisis and its potential spillover consequences in case of a civil confrontation. Even if the European states do not have differing strategic objectives in Lebanon from the US, a civil war will affect Europe directly, as refugees will be flocking from the neighbouring continent. 

Reaching an agreement over a new government to prevent further unrest is proving difficult. Sources in Beirut believe it may take several months to form a new government as was the case in forming the last government. Some wonder if it might not be better to wait for the results of the US elections before forming a new government.

Or perhaps a new government will only emerge after a major security event, like the assassination of the late Prime Minister Rafic Hariri which triggered a political tsunami in the country. All indications on the ground point to the prospect of a civilian confrontation arising from the absence of a robust central government that can take in hand the security of the country. Can Lebanon avoid a civil confrontation?

The closure of the main roads and the “deliberate” incompetence and inaction of the security forces – due to US requests to tolerate the closure of main axes linking Lebanon with the capital – is no longer surprising behaviour.

The main roads now closed have been carefully selected: closed are the roads linking the south of Lebanon to Beirut and linking Baalbek and the road to Damascus with the capital Beirut. These areas are mainly inhabited and used by Shia. The roads are being blocked mainly in certain sectarian areas controlled by Sunni supporters of the caretaker Sunni Prime Minister Saad Hariri and his Druse ally Walid Joumblat.

The closure of other roads in the Christian-dominated Dbayeh by the pro-US Christian leader Samir Geagea, leader of the “Lebanese Forces”, and in Tripoli seem to be diversions of attention from the main goal: challenging Hezbollah.

Sources in Beirut believe the objective is to exasperate the Shia who represent the society that protects Hezbollah. The goal is to force the organisation into the streets. Hezbollah is aware of this and is trying to avoid responding to provocations. The closure of these roads is an invitation to Hezbollah to take the situation in hand and direct its weapons against other Lebanese citizens, as indeed happened on the 5th of May 2008.

In 2008, Druse minister Marwan Hamadé – directed by Walid Joumblat – and pro-US Prime Minister Fouad Siniora asked Hezbollah to cut its fibre optic private communication system linking all corners of the country.

Israel never ceased to monitor the Hezbollah cable that, due to its high-security system and regular control, had managed to neutralise all Israeli tapping devices attached to it by Israeli Special forces during their infiltration to Lebanon for this exact purpose.

An effort was made by the Lebanese government in May 2008 to cut the cable to break through Hezbollah’s high-security system, the key to its command and control in time of peace and especially in time of war. This insistent attempt – despite repeated warnings – provoked two days later a demonstration of force by Hezbollah occupying the entire capital in a few hours with no serious victims.

Lebanese pro-US armed mercenaries who gathered and hid in Beirut to trigger a civil war on this day, anticipating Hezbollah’s possible reaction, were neutralised in no time despite hundreds of millions of dollars spent on their supposed readiness for war against Hezbollah in the streets of Beirut.

Today the goal is to see Hezbollah controlling the streets and arming anti-government Syrians and Lebanese. The goal is to take the Lebanon issue to the United Nations. The aim is not to see Hezbollah defeated by the initial clashes: the firepower, training, and military organisation of Hezbollah cannot be defeated by enthusiastic mercenaries and locals.
Their aim is to deprive Hezbollah of its legitimacy and pay a heavy price for its “unforgivable” victories in Syria and Iraq and its support to the Palestinians and the Yemenis.

Lebanon’s financial problems are not the primary issue.

In Congressional testimony, the former US Under Secretary of State and Ambassador to Lebanon, Jeffery Feltman, told the US Congress that “Lebanon’s entire external debt (around $35 billion) is in line with the estimates of what Saudi Arabia is bleeding every year in pursuing a war in Yemen ($25-$40 billion).”

Regional and international financial support to Lebanon will be injected with one purpose: to trigger a civil war in the hope of defeating Hezbollah in the long term. This might also save Israel from a severe political crisis by provoking a war against Lebanon rather than an internal conflict among Israelis, as seems possible after two failed attempts to form a government.

Most Lebanese are aware of the sensitive and critical situation in the country. Most fear a civil war, particularly in view of the behaviour of the Lebanese Army and other security forces who are now standing idle and yet refusing to keep all roads open. These actions by the security forces are greatly contributing to the possibility of an internal conflict.

Sincere protestors with only a domestic agenda have managed to achieve miracles by crossing all sectarian boundaries and carrying one flag: an end to corruption and associated poverty and the return of stolen capital to Lebanon.

Protestors are asking the judiciary system to assume its responsibility and for the country to head towards a secular ruling system. But sectarian elements and foreign intervention are managing to divert attention from the real national demands that have been overwhelming the Lebanese since decades.

The foreign intervention is not relying on the justified demands of protestors in its confrontation with Hezbollah. It is relying on sectarian Lebanese who want to contribute to the fall of Hezbollah from the inside.

This is not surprising because Lebanon is a platform where the US, EU, and Saudis are strongly present and active against the Axis of Resistance led by Iran. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Hussein Salame warned in his most recent speech that these countries risk “crossing the line.”

Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran has not initiated a military or preventive war on its neighbours but has limited its action to defending itself and in building its “Axis of Resistance”. Recently, Iran proposed – to no avail – a HOPE (Hormuz Peace Endeavor) to its neighbours, seeking a commitment to the security of the Middle East separately from any US intervention.

Iran defeated the mainstream international community when it helped prevent the fall of the government in Damascus after years of war. It has effectively supported Hezbollah and the Palestinians against Israel, favoured ally of the US; Iran stood next to Iraq and prevented a hostile government reaching power; Iran has also supported the defence of Yemen against Saudi Arabia’s useless and destructive war.

Iran’s enemies are numerous and have not given up. They tried but failed to achieve their objectives in 2006 in Lebanon, in 2011 in Syria, in 2014 in Iraq, and in 2015 in Yemen. Today a new approach is being implemented to defeat Iran’s allies: the weaponization of domestic unrest motivated by legitimate anti-corruption demands for reform at the cost of “incinerating” entire countries, i.e. Lebanon and Iraq.

Protestors have failed to offer a feasible plan themselves, and caretaker Prime Minister Hariri is trying to punch above his parliamentary weight by seeking to remove political opponents who control more than half of the parliament. Lebanon has reached a crossroads where an exchange of fire is no longer excluded. The conflict has already claimed lives. Thanks to manipulation, Lebanon seems to be headed towards self-destruction.

All images in this article are from the author

Alt Left: The Neoliberal Ghost of Pinochet Is Finally Being Exorcised from Chile

The Neoliberal Ghost of Pinochet Is Finally Being Exorcised from Chile

More than 46 years of initially military-imposed neoliberalism in Chile has finally exploded into widespread frustration, protest, and violence. This neoliberalism culminated in 2017 with twelve businessmen, among them Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, monopolizing at least 17% of the national GDP, demonstrating the huge gap in wealth equity.

There is little doubt why the latest protests have exploded violently, with 18 dead so far – Piñera had declared war on his own people to protect his lucrative monopoly racket.

It is without surprise he had declared war. The aggressive neoliberalism that has dominated Chile since the 1973 Chilean coup d’état when socialist President Salvador Allende was killed and eventually replaced by neoliberal Augusto Pinochet with the backing and blessing of U.S. President Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, the CIA, and the so-called “Chicago Boys” neoliberal economic team.

Although the so-called communist threat was defeated in Chile, it was not until 1990 that the kinder face of neoliberalism returned to the country with the first democratic election taking place since the coup. The return to democracy did not equate to any changes in the economic system.

The appearance of GDP growth in the South American country created the mythology of the Chilean miracle, ‘thanks’ to the Chicago Boys, the group of young Chilean economists who studied at the University of Chicago under the adviser to U.S. President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, professor Milton Friedman.

They were the so-called economic liberators and advised Pinochet on applying complete free-market policies – essentially to privatize state-owned industries and companies and to open the economy.

The pernicious globalist model was applied and deemed a miracle because of significant GDP growth. However, this was only to the benefit of shareholders and private companies and did not reflect the average Chilean’s experience. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Gini coefficient value, a method to measure wealth distribution, stood at a record 0.50 in 2017, one of the highest inequality coefficients in the world.

This is because the incomes of the richest 10 percent of Chile are 26 times higher than the incomes of the poorest 10 percent of the population. This is partly also due to an unfair taxation system that creates a massive tax burden on the poor, as Chile’s government earns less from income taxes than any other country in the 35-member OECD.

Despite praise for the supposed fantastic economic performance, almost a third of Chilean workers are employed in part-time jobs, with one in two Chileans having low literacy skills according to the OECD.

And now as Chile literally burns and 18 people are dead, we cannot forget that former president Michelle Bachelet grotesquely dedicated lessons on “human rights” against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. Although Piñera has apologized, he did not do so for his declaration of war against the people but rather for decades of unresolved problems, which he  followed with an announcement for a new social and economic program.

A reversal of the crippling neoliberal economic system? Highly doubtful and probably more a Band-Aid option.

Neoliberal propagandist Enrique Krauze Kleinbort – accused of the coup attempt to overthrow Mexican President López Obrador – proclaimed that Chile was ‘the role model’ for Latin American economic growth. If inequality is considered a ‘role model,’ it shows that the oligarchs of Latin America have not recognized the growing trend of violent opposition to neoliberalism as the recent case in Ecuador demonstrates.

The very fact that Piñera attempted to increase transportation and energy costs in Chile demonstrates his lack of knowledge about international outrage to neoliberalism.

The French Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) in France began their actions 12 months ago, which soon spread across Europe, when neoliberal President Emmanuel Macron attempted to increase gasoline taxes. In 2018, Brazilian truck drivers blocked roads in a demand for a decrease in diesel prices. Mexico in 2017 saw a 20% rise in fuel prices that exploded into riots.

However, the attempted increase in transportation and energy costs was only the spark that lit the fire. As Piñera the man who is part of a monopoly over the Chilean economy, was forced to admit this is an explosion after decades worth of frustration, neglect, and abuse.

Candida Cecilia Morel, the wife of the billionaire Piñera, sent a WhatsApp message that was leaked in the media in which she comments on the violence and the protests shaking her country, and it certainly does show the disconnect that the elite of Chile have with the common Chilean.

The message said that “we are absolutely overwhelmed, it is like a foreign invasion, alien,” and that “we will have to decrease our privileges and share with others.” Her suggestion to decrease “privileges” is a stark reminder of Charles Dickens 1800’s Britain.

With such elitist comments and referring to Chileans as aliens, there is little wonder that there has been little calm despite Piñera’s half-done apology and promises of more neoliberalism with a softer punch.

Although circles close to the Chilean Presidency affirm that the disturbances and destabilization are orchestrated from abroad, it is unlikely to be true. We can of course expect that Venezuela will be the scapegoat by some Chilean oligarchs just as the oligarchs in Ecuador and Colombia have done, but there remains little evidence that this is the case.

Rather, as Piñera has had to attest, decades of neoliberalism is the cause of the disturbances. Perhaps inspired by events in Ecuador, it appears that the Chilean people are finally exercising the neoliberal ghost of Pinochet from its country.

It appears that the violence will not end unless the Chilean president makes drastic changes to the Chilean economy. Whether he does this remains to be seen.

This article was originally published on InfoBrics.

Paul Antonopoulos is a Research Fellow at the Center for Syncretic Studies.


Alt Left: What Are the Effects of the Mulattoization of a Black Population?

Following from Jason’s piece here:

Who care if low morals, unattractive White women have sex with Black men? I mean we are going to have unattractive and low morals White women no matter what. Does it matter that they are screwing Blacks?

I get pummeled for saying this, but there may be advantages to mulatto or mixed race children.

They are much more intelligent than full Blacks. Mulattos have IQ’s of 93.5, and full Blacks have IQ’s of 87.

I am not sure if they act better behaviorally. There is some evidence that the young ones act worse because they don’t fit in with either group. Two of the worst gang members in my complex with mixed race young men, one White-Black mixed, the other Hispanic-Black mixed.

Also Latin America, which has a high number of mixed race people, has one of the highest crime rates on Earth. Countries such as Colombia, Panama, Venezuela, and Brazil have many people with mixed Black ancestry. The mix here is generally White-Black-Indian. Hugo Chavez was a mix like this. I think they are called Zambos, but that is pejorative.

Puerto Rico is the same and Puerto Ricans commit lots of crime. Puerto Ricans in fact are precisely 1/3 Black, 1/3 White and 1/3 Indian.

I just had a date with a 23 year old half-Black, half-Hispanic woman that was one of the worst dates of my life. I believe she was a female psychopath.

However, we don’t have to look far to find mulattos or light-skinned Blacks among the finest achieving Blacks in our country all the way back to George Washington Carver. Many of our finest Black intellectuals have quite a bit of White in them. You also find a lot of light-skinned Blacks among the top positions in society such as law, medicine and politics.

Although I discussed some mulattos who acted very bad, I don’t have to think very hard to find a lot of mixed race or mulatto people I have met who act exceptionally good. Many of them are completely outside of the low class – ghetto type culture, one of the major Black cultures. They are very common among middle class Blacks, and the young ones I have met typically act just like the other well-behaved young people in their environment.

Of course many dark-skinned Blacks are also part of the Black middle class, act quite good, and are quite intelligent.

Increased mulattoization of US Blacks would lead to continuing improvements in the group, with an increased number of Blacks moving into the Black middle class, and the ghetto culture possibly shrinking.

US Black intelligence would increase very slowly as measured by IQ.

We would see more Blacks in top fields such as law, medicine, academia and politics than we see now.

We would probably see more Black and mixed race people mixed in with the general population or living among Whites than we do now. Presumably these mixed race people would be less likely to be packed into ghetto Crime Manufacturing Enterprises than we do now.

Since Blacks act better when they are spread out through the population rather than being packed together in a  segregated group, this presumably would have a good effect. In other words, other than the obvious genetic effect, increased mulattoization would increase actual integration in US society, and integration of good for Black people.

Whether crime itself would go up or down is somewhat up in the air as Latin America shows that mixed race populations such as Black-White or Black-Indian-White can have some of the highest crime rates on Earth, even higher than full Black populations. When it comes to the causes of crime, there is a lot more than genes going on.

Racism in Latin America, with an Emphasis on Anti-Black Racism

Tulio: It seems the Latin America right is mostly dominated by whites. I yet to see many dark brown Amerindian leaders of right wing movements in Latin America. They seem to be all people of European descent.

Yep. White people act pretty horrific down there.
I know you don’t like Chavez, but he is the hero of the Blacks and Browns down there. The opposition is mostly White and light-skinned. During the recent rioting, the opposition attacked some Black Venezuelans on the assumption that they were Chavez supporters and set them on fire in the streets.
The Opposition habitually called Chavez a mono or a monkey. He was a zambo, a mixture of Black, White, Indian. This mixture is pretty common in Venezuela, Colombia and Panama. I have read interviews with members of the opposition. One was an unmarried White upper class man in his late 20’s who lived at home. He said he felt so insulted every time he saw Chavez because it was like his people (upper middle class Whites) were being ruled by their maids and gardeners. The idea that this proud White man should be ruled by his inferiors was infuriating.
Peru is an extremely racist society. Now it’s mostly against the Indians, it’s true. They hardly have any Blacks. There was recently a case of a beautiful Black woman who tried to get into an exclusive nightclub in the wealthy Miramar District of Lima and she was turned away at the door. I guess they had a “No Blacks” policy.
Chile is incredibly racist against Indians, and they are supposedly one of the most progressive countries down there. I had a friend whose father had worked in Allende’s administration. He was a sociology major and he was doing some work with the Mapuche Indians who  live in the South. But his racism against those Indians was off the charts. Chileans are extremely racist Peruvians, and most of it is wrapped around the idea that Peruvians have much more Indian blood than the Chileans do, though the average White Chilean is ~25% Indian.
I’m not sure how racist things are in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia or Brazil. Some people say that Colombian Whites are extremely racist against Blacks, but others said it’s not the case.
Actually in Latin America there is the phenomenon of social race. A wealthy Latin American told me that even Black Latin Americans can be completely accepted in wealthy White circles if they only have enough money.
This phenomenon is called social race. It is especially prominent in places like Brazil. So a wealthy Black Brazilian can be effectively “White” and a poor White in a favela (there are many Whites in favelas) is effectively Black or mixed race (a wigger).
Racism is forbidden by law in Brazil but it still exists. I think there was a case recently where a White woman was in an elevator and she would not let a Black person in the elevator with her. It generated a lot of controversy. Nevertheless, there is a racial hierarchy. White women are regarded as wives and mothers but not so much as sex objects. In fact, they are too pure for that. Black women are regarded as unattractive. Their only use is maybe to be your maid. However, mixed race mulatta women are the most highly prized of all, and even White men see them as the sexiest women of all. They are sexualized as sex objects.
I had a White Brazilian woman who was my friend for a while. She mostly spoke Portuguese so it was hard to talk to her. I told her, “You try not to be racist against Blacks here, but it’s hard.” She agreed with me, and said, “Yes, I agree, we try not to be racist too, but it’s hard. We Whites have a saying here in Brazil, ‘If a Black doesn’t steal from you when he’s coming, he steals from you when he’s going.” In other words, if he doesn’t steal from you when he’s walking in the door, he will definitely steal from you when he is walking out the door. So even down there Blacks are regarded as thieves.
There’s not a lot of racism in the Caribbean because there are almost no Whites. However, the mulattos in Dominican Republic are extremely racist against the Blacks in Haiti. They still enslave them, for Chrissake.
Mexico, I am not sure, but in barrio culture here, low class Hispanics are much more racist against “mayate” Blacks than Whites are. The mestizos are openly racist, much more so than the Whites who probably think open racism is uncouth as Mexican Whites are very into being proper, mannered people. In there is open racism against Blacks in Mexico at least in the media. Further, the Mexican media is ~100% White. I have told Mexican-Americans that they are 4% Black and they don’t believe me. They also act a bit insulted. But it’s true. Every regular mestizo Mexican you meet is ~4% Black. The population just bred in with the Blacks and practically wiped them out except for a few around Veracruz. They simply bred them out of existence and everyone ended up with a bit of Black in them.

The Menace of Trump's Alter Ego Bolsonaro in Brazil

Tulio: Robert, do you have any thoughts on Bolsanaro? Looks like Brazil is about to take a hard right turn toward fascism. Steven Bannon is down there advising him. The thought of that fucker makes me physically ill.

He’s a monster, of course. I had no idea that half of Brazil’s population were reactionary Rightist maniacs. He’s worse than Trump. I have met two Brazilian Rightists and they were out and out monsters. Both absolutely hated democracy. One was a Brazilian Jew and the other is the former commenter Santoculto.
They’re murderous, as bad as the Bolivian, Venezuelan, Salvadoran, and Nicaraguan Right. They’re not as murderous as the Haitian, Guatemalan, Honduran, and Colombian Right, but they definitely kill people. A Black woman who organized in the Brazilian favelas was recently murdered by the Right government that is in power now.
This Bolsonaro had as part of his project putting on trial and executing all of the former armed rebels from the 1960’s. He has the support of the reactionary military in that. Thing is though, the last president was a former urban guerrilla from the 1960’s and her government was full of former guerrillas, so he’s openly advocating the trial and execution of  most of the former government.

Conservatives Are Murderous and Hate Democracy All over the World and at All Times

The Murderous, Democracy-Hating Latin American Right

The murderousness of the Chilean, Peruvian, Ecuadorian, and Argentine Right is in the past, but you never know when they will spring up again.

  • There was talk on the Argentine Right of calling for a coup when the last president talked about regulating the agricultural sector. They run that country like a mafia and no one dares to touch them. The Argentine Right worked with Wall Street to bankrupt the country and ruin the economy so they could win an election.
  • The Paraguayan Right overthrew the government with a judicial coup.
  • The Ecuadorian Right attempted an armed police coup several years ago.
  • The Peruvian Right staged a coup 25 years ago.
  • The Chilean Right only allowed a weak democracy 18 years ago.
  • The Honduran Right staged a military coup to get rid of a democratically elected president. Since then, death squads have murdered 1,000 people.
  • Aristide was overthrown by US sponsored coup 23 years ago, and they haven’t had any democracy since because Aristide’s party is banned from running. The last time they ran, they won 92% of the vote. After the coup, death squads rampaged through the population, murdering 3,000 members of Aristide’s party.
  • The rightwing Brazilian legislature overthrew the Left government based on a complete lie and they jailed the former president on a completely fake charge based on a bribe that he didn’t even accept! I mean they simply overthrew a democratically elected government with a parliamentary coup. They do this stuff all the time down there with either judicial, parliamentary or military coups.

The Latin American Right hates democracy.
If you wonder why the Left goes authoritarian down there, well, this is what happens if you try to do it democratically. They try to do it democratically, they wage coups and economic wars against you, start terrorist riots destroying you cities, murder the members of your government and political parties, start contra wars, or if they are in power, run death squads and slaughter the members of your parties.
I mean if they block all efforts at peaceful change, why not just put in a Left dictatorship? By the way, this is why Lenin said peaceful efforts towards socialism were doomed to fail because power never surrenders without a fight. He called such efforts parliamentary cretinism. I don’t agree with that, but I see the point.
The main point is that everywhere on Earth, the Right hates democracy and they are determined never to allow any Left governments to take power. Things are a bit different in Europe, North Africa, the Arab World, and Central Asia, but once you start getting over to South Asia, once again, they won’t give it up without a fight.

The Murderous, Democracy-Hating Right in Southeast and East Asia

  • Thailand overthrew a Left government with a judicial coup and the middle class rioters called yellow shirts destroying the country.
  • Indonesia staged a fake coup so they could murder 1 million Communist Party members.
  • The Philippines runs death squads that slaughter the Left.
  • The Taiwanese state consolidated its power after 1949 when they fled to they island by murdering hundreds of thousands of Leftists.
  • South Korea also killed hundreds of thousands of Leftists from 1945-1950 before the Korean War even started.
  • Between 1954-1960, Communists tried to take power peacefully in South Vietnam, but the government murdered 80,000 of them. They kept asking the North Vietnamese for permission to take up arms but it was never granted. Finally, in 1960, Ho gave them permission to take up arms.

Intellectual Cultures Around the World That Are Superior to America's

One thing I have noticed is that people from other cultures acknowledge the existence of intelligence far more than Americans.
Arabs, South Indians, Afghans, Pakistanis, Iranians, Turks, Khmer, and especially Chinese people have extreme reverence for intelligence and education.
If they spend any time with me at all, almost all of them act like they are almost stunned to the point of fainting by the breadth of my knowledge. They simply don’t believe that I learned it all from reading. I must have lived in these countries that I talk about.
Mexicans come from a complete retard culture in Mexico itself, but the less intelligent ones, especially if they were born in Mexico, often acknowledge that some people are wicked smart. If they were born here, they were born into Mexican-American culture, one of the most retarded and ferociously anti-intellectual cultures on Earth. Like I said, even Mexico has a more intellectual culture than US Mexican Americans. Mexico’s higher level culture is even more intellectual than that of America itself.
When you get down to South Americans, they are much more likely to acknowledge that intelligence is a thing and a good thing at at that. This is because South America in places like Colombia, Peru, Chile, Uruguay, and Argentina have retained a lot of the intellectual culture of Old Spain, including a reverence for literature and what my Argentine girlfriend called “men of letters.” Peruvians and Argentines in particular are very intellectual and especially literary.
Brazil’s culture is pretty stupid, but at the higher levels where people are much Whiter, it is highly intellectual and often very educated. In particular they take pride in their knowledge of the Portuguese language, which is not an easy language to completely master at all. The extreme hedonism of Brazilian culture, even among White Brazilians, somewhat masks the intellectual culture of the Whiter Brazilians.

Street Crime in Latin America

Rahul: What I noticed about crime in South America was that in most areas crime isn’t really prevalent, however cities just yank up the crime rates. And the cities are very very bad. In the rural areas, a lot of drug production happens, in the cities, the drug shit happens. Oh, and gang rivalries and violence certainly help in increasing the crime rates.

Chavistas studying the issues think it started with the drug production and dealing in the area. Drug production and dealing is going on all over the region, and a lot of crime is associated with it. Yes the crime in poor parts of Venezuelan cities is very bad, but in the wealthier areas, it’s not that dangerous.
Other cities in Latin America are similar. Colon, Panama supposedly has a very high crime rate and it’s a real shithole.
A lot of Black Caribbean countries are serious shitholes of violent crime.
There is a lot of crime in the rural parts of Mexico though because that is where the drug cartels are.
Lima, Peru, has a lot of crime. Hold onto your wallet or get a money-belt, better yet. Watch out for your purse. Pickpockets, petty thieves and purse-snatchers are everywhere, especially in tourist areas.
Crime has been horrific in Brazilian cities like Rio and Sao Paolo forever now, of course.
There is a lot of street crime in Latin America. You need to be very careful of your surroundings and who you are associating with, especially at night.

The Success of America's Longstanding Propaganda War Against the Concept of Socialism

Socialism, the very concept, especially in its social democratic and democratic socialist varieties, is the ho-hum status quo on most of the planet.
The war on the very concept of socialism has probably been worse in the US than anywhere else in the West. It has a 3rd World death squad tinpot dictatorship feel about it. I keep wondering when the rightwing death squads are going to show up in the US. They show up everywhere else in states with a US-style reactionary and Left-hating culture.
The difference between the US war on socialism and the war on socialism waged in various death squad democracies is that the war on socialism has been more successful in the US than anywhere else on Earth other than Colombia, but the Left is armed to the teeth there. The war on socialism was just as bad if not worse due to the death squads and all of the imprisonments, beatings, tortures, murders and genocides all over Latin America and in the Philippines and Indonesia.
These countries differ from the US however in that all those Latin American countries and SE Asian countries have gone Left in recent years.
Even in the Philippines, Duterte calls himself a socialist and had friendly relations with the Maoist NPA  guerrillas when he held office in Mindanao.
In Indonesia, the female elected President recently ran on a socialist ticket.
To the south, Mexico has been officially socialist since the Revolution. The Left in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia, Peru, and Argentina was armed to teeth and fought vicious wars against reactionary regimes. That has to count for something.
In El Salvador, the former Left guerrillas are now running the country.
In Honduras, a leftwinger was recently elected President only to be ousted in a coup sponsored by the CIA and Hillary Clinton.
Nicaragua of course had a successful Leftist revolution, and those revolutionaries have been holding office now there for quite some time.
Haiti elected a Leftist in Jean Bertrande Aristide, only to be ousted by Bush Administration officials via a contra death squad army from the Dominican Republic. Aristide himself was arrested at gunpoint in his mansion by armed Blackwater mercenaries acting under the command of the Pentagon.
A number of the island states in the Caribbean have gone Left in recent years and most were members of the Chavista Bolivarian Movement. Most political parties in the Caribbean have words like Left, Socialist, Workers, Progressive, etc. in their party names regardless of their ideology because any party that wants to get anywhere in the Caribbean has to at least dress  itself up in Left garb.
Grenada had a successful Leftist revolution that was subsequently overthrown on illegal grounds by Reagan.
Venezuela of course has been voting Leftist since 1999 when the Chavistas took power. They have never left.
In Ecuador, a Leftist, Rafael Correa, ruled for many years. Recently a man named Lenin Moreno ran on a Leftist ticket of continuing Correa’s Left reforms, but as soon as he got into office, he immediately shifted gears and went hard Right.
Right-wing parties run as fake Leftists all the time in Latin America because generally rightwingers running on a rightwing agenda cannot get elected down there because most Latin Americans hate rightwingers and don’t want them in power. Hence the Right obtains power by contra wars and fascist mob violence in the streets, waging wars on economies and currencies, judicial, legislative, and military coups, and even open fraud.
The definition of conservatism is aristocratic rule. It is the antithesis of rule by the people or democratic rule.
The definition of liberalism is democratic rule by the people, not the aristocrats.
Not many Latin Americans want to be ruled by aristocrats, so the Right down there has to seize power by extra-democratic means.
The Opposition in Venezuela recently ran on an openly social democratic platform, but most people thought it was fake they would turn Right as soon as they got in.
In Brazil, the Left has been running the country for some time under the PT or Worker’s Party until it was removed by a rightwing legislature in an outrageous legislative coup. They even imprisoned a former president, Lula, on fake corruption charges. A female president was recently elected who was an armed urban guerrilla in the 1960’s.
In Paraguay, a Leftist former priest was elected President, only to be removed in an outrageous legislative coup.
In Chile, not only was Leftist Allende elected in the 70’s, the Left was not only armed  all through Pinochet’s rule and once came close to assassinating him. In recent years, a socialist named Michele Bachelet has won a number of elections.
In Bolivia, Leftist Evo Morales has been in power for a long time.
Uruguay recently elected a Leftist, a former armed urban guerrilla in the 1970’s.
Argentina recently elected two Leftist presidents, the Kirchner, a husband and wife. A rightwiger was recently elected after a rightwing Jewish billionaire named Singer obtained a court judgement against Argentina in a US court. That judgement bankrupted the economy, so you could say that the Right destroyed the economy in order to get elected.
So with the exception of Peru, Costa Rica, Panama, and the Guyanas, all other countries have since gone full Left at one time or another recently. Costa Rica’s already a social democracy, and Peru had an ultra-radical murderous Left for a very long time. Panama’s been reactionary since the CIA murdered Omar Torrijos by sabotaging his helicopter and killing him via a fake copter crash. The Dominican Republic and Jamaica have not gone Left since the 60’s and 70’s.
But the war on socialism has been so much more successful here in the US than even in the above named backwards countries because even the world norm of social democracy was so demonized here in the US that it never even got off the ground.
In some ways, the US is one of the most rightwing countries on Earth at least in terms of political economy.
 

More Support for My Theories about Hispanic Intelligence, Culture, Etc.

I would however say that this mostly applies to Mexican-Americans. I am not even sure if it applies to Mexicans in Mexico because there is actually a High Culture in Mexico. In Mexico City there is opera and the main paper has a large book review section every week. In other words, a true highbrow intellectual culture, right in the heart of Mexico. It goes without saying that the members of this highbrow culture are White or a lot Whiter than average Mexicans. But in Mexico, White and people involved in highbrow White Mexican culture extends all the way down to 60-70% White. These people have an idea of lowbrow culture as being “naco.” Naco is also associated with quite a bit of Indian blood. In Mexico, it’s not whether you have Indian blood or not. It’s more a matter of just how much Indian blood you have. I have never thought that Indians were particularly dangerous. Even the racist Latin American Whites that I read on Stormfront (I read 1,000 pages of their threads) said that Indians were fairly harmless. They said that they could get loud, rude and verbally violent, but it didn’t often expand beyond that. One said, “You have give an Indian a handful of tortillas and a six pack, and he’s good for the night. He goes off quietly and you never hear from him again.” On the other hand these Latin American Whites were scathing in their views of Latin American Blacks, who they viewed as very violent and downright dangerous as Hell. It is interesting to note that in Latin America, the existing Blacks are often quite mixed with not only White but also Indian. The result – a White – Indian – Black mix like Hugo Chavez and many others in the far north and the east of Latin America (Venezuela,  Colombia and Brazil ) and the far south of Central America (Panama) and parts of the Caribbean (Puerto Rico) – is called a Zambo. This term is a source of some ridicule among Latin American Whites like Chileans or Peruvians (some of the worst Whites in Latin America) as a term for a mystery casserole of a human so badly mixed that they are nearly indescribable, but a lot of Zambos are quite beautiful. Cali, Colombia is a Zambo city and the women of Cali are said to be the most beautiful in all of Latin America.
The high culture of Mexico City compares starkly with the rest of Mexico.
Your typical Mexican mestizo is a pretty lowbrow person – he’s probably never read a book in his life nor does he wish to. Nevertheless, even the lowliest cook in a corner market knows how to read and write. They definitely teach you that in Mexican schools and most Mexicans have been to school.
And most Mexicans from Mexico,  even a lowly corner cook like I mentioned, know something about Mexican history – the Civil War of course and even the clerical contra rebellion afterwards ~1930 that most Americans have never heard of. Every Mexican knows who Emilio Zapata and Benito Juarez are. I was stunned at how many of these very uneducated people had even heard of Frieda Kahlo. How many Americans know who she was?
How many Chicanos know even a parallel basics of US 20th Century history? And you will never meet a Mexican-American who knows who Frieda Kahlo is nor do they care to find out.
Beyond that, we descend even lower to Mexican Indians, who not only don’t read books but may not even know what a book is. Mestizos believe in some strange saints in their profoundly syncretic Catholicism, but when you get out to the Indian villages, people actually still believe in witches. As you can see, the descent from High Culture down to beyond lowbrow is a steep one indeed. You will nearly break a leg walking too quickly down that slope.
The South Americans I have met in the US are not so anti-intellectual as the Chicanos below. South America after all has a much better High Culture than Mesoamerica. South American High Culture is so intact because the culture of Spain still lingers down there to a great degree while it has nearly vanished from Mesoamerica. I have talked to rich people in Lima and Bogota who literally spent half the year in Spain. Literally.
I had an Argentine girlfriend once. She often called me Senor instead of my first name (imagine an American girlfriend routinely referring to you as sir) and was in stunned awe of the fact that I was an hombre de letras or a “man of letters.” Intellectualism is a big deal in Argentina.
The Salvadorans and Nicaraguans I have met in the US were highly politicized, and I was shocked at how smart they were. You think you are dealing with another “ignorant Mexican in a mini-mart” until you start them off on politics, and they start rattling away and soon leave you in the dust. Every Salvadoran I have ever met has heard of La Matanza (The Massacre), and that happened in 1932. And I’ve not met one yet who could not tell me who Farabundo Marti was (see La Matanza above).  How many Americans know who Farabundo Marti was?
Most Americans don’t have the slightest idea what either of those things are. It just goes to show that you can take a society with an IQ like Chicanos and supercharge them politically and possibly even culturally if the objective conditions are right. The Colombians, Peruvians, and Chileans I met here and outside the US (not to mention the Argentine woman) had a shockingly deep knowledge of politics for an ordinary person, and the Latin Americans were often as learned as a Spaniard or at least wished to be.
How many Americans know who Tupac Amaro was? But the young Peruvian woman I knew all about him and even knew quite a bit about his wife, who is a proto-feminist hero down there to some mestiza and indigena women..
I never asked her who Jose Carlos Mariategui was, but I am sure she could have told me all about him too. Another Peruvian woman I met knew all about Jose Arguedas and his famous novel The Fox Above and Below, which ties in with Mariategui, if you think about it. Arguedas was one of the most famous figures in Peruvian literature and his own daughter, incredibly enough, sat on the central committee of the Shining Path. Sendero was about indigenismo and to a lesser extent feminismo than anything else.
They even his name in the formal long name of their group – El Partido Comunista del Peru en la luz del pasado sendero luminoso del Jose Carlos Mariategui or The Communist Party of Peru in the Light of the Shining Path of Jose Carlos Mariategui.
Here is a recent comment from a half-Mexican American who agrees with most everything I have said about these people.

As a half-Hispanic raised with Hispanics, I mostly agree with this. My Mexican mother who immigrated illegally to the US paid tens of thousands for in-vitro fertilization, and that’s what pulled me out the ditch. This was evidently high-quality sperm because I still managed to turn out above average.
The people around me were impressed that I actually liked to read and learn. When I was young, the other Hispanics were amused that I could memorize the times tables and recite miscellanea about science and history, besides being capable of drawing dragons properly.
To give you context, my mother has been living in the US for over 25 years, and still does not understand a drop of English. They have a culture which consists of strong work-ethic (never missing a day of work and so on) followed by self-induced brain death post 9-to-5. They just watch mindless television and do not learn.
I discovered my own origins at the age of ten. I also achieved standard atheism at the age of nine (which I consider a standard benchmark for the ability to display rudimentary acts of rationality.) Then it took me years of hard work to unwire all the Catholic stupidity in my mother’s brain. This culture has no concept of logical reasoning, so her mind kept swinging in repetitive loops whenever I tried to carefully and methodically pin her down to the implications of specific arguments.
I succeeded in that endeavor, and am now in the process of teaching her where she is actually standing by explaining the crucial insights of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. People may laugh at the fact that she didn’t know the Earth was a sphere orbiting the sun, but yet most ‘educated’ humans alive today are just as ignorant about reality. For example, by not knowing that there is no universal now sweeping forward, or by holding the belief that we are made of little billiard ball particles bouncing around.
In my experience, whites at least fake like they want to learn. They’ll say “Oh yeah, that’s cool. Schrodinger’s cat is dead and alive… lol… because it’s all probabilistic, hur dur” or something. Of course, they don’t know jack-shit and also prefer to consume mindless media, but their culture says it’s okay to be smart. Hispanics just don’t give a shit. A lack of intellectual culture is their biggest setback.
The ghetto lower-middle income schools I went to were torture. The kids couldn’t do basic algebra; the teachers were underachieving whites who couldn’t get higher paying jobs in other districts or who preferred having less responsibility because black and hispanic parents wouldn’t bitch to them about grades, or have any expectations whatsoever really. And the teachers made no secret about this, they outright told us this was the reason.
Also, what you say about Mexicans bringing Mexico is absolutely true. I stayed in La Villita when I went to university in Chicago because some kind family members we barely knew were willing to rent super cheap. As I walked through the dirty streets past yet another leather boot store blasting trumpet music I almost felt ashamed, like ‘How could Mexicans escape to a new country and yet prefer to make it Mexico again?”

The Rich Only Support Democracy when the Elected State Serves their Class Interests, Otherwise They Try to Overthrow It

Zamfir: Thanks Robert. I appreciate the site, and it’s nice to feel welcome.
Obviously one problem in discussing this is that terms like ‘left’ and ‘right’ or ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ have been given all kinds of different meanings. If economic conservatism is identified with free market ideology then I’m pretty ambivalent about that, at best. And if it’s identified with support for whatever this internationalist economic system is that we have now, I’m against it.
I find it very weird that people who are conservative about social and cultural issues often support “economic conservatism” of that kind. It’s so clear that these things are incompatible! Anyway I certainly have no problem with socialism per se. I would only disagree with certain versions, or cases where I believe socialism ends up being destructive of healthy families and cultures (in much the same way that capitalism can be).
As for democracy I’m not sure what I think about it. I think I’m a reactionary to the extent that I don’t believe that democracy, or any other specific system or procedure, is always good or always essential to a good society. My sense is that some democracies or kinds of democracy are fine, while others are really bad. It all depends on some many factors aside from the system or procedure itself.
I do want a society where the interests of most people, including the poor, are taken into account fairly. But I don’t see any reason why that could never happen in a non-democratic state. Or, more precisely, for anything that’s good about some democracies, I don’t see why certain non-democratic regimes couldn’t also have those good things; it would all depend on other factors such as the culture and history of the people, their typical behavior and beliefs, etc.
So I guess I’d support coups against democratic regimes in some cases–though things would have to be pretty bad–and also against non-democratic regimes in some cases. I don’t think coups are always bad. (In fact, that’s one thing that seems silly about a lot of rigid ‘conservative’ ideology–the wish to preserve order and the status quo no matter how terrible it’s become…)
You say the rich don’t support democracy. I wonder if that’s true. Maybe they don’t support the ideal of democracy, for the reasons you mentioned. But, again, bearing in mind the looseness of terminology here, they sure do seem to support systems that we normally call “democratic”. Is the US a democracy in your view?
Are England or Ireland or Canada democracies? If so, then I don’t agree that the rich never want democracy. My sense is that they long ago figured out how to manipulate these kinds of systems to get the results they want. They manage the perceptions and values of the masses so that they always end up “freely choosing” the same garbage that the elites wanted all along.
A good question is whether this is an inevitable feature of democracy. (I don’t know the answer.) It could be that in any feasible form of democracy, no matter how close it gets to the ideal, you end up with powerful interests rigging the process to maximize their own wealth and power. And I don’t like that, because I want the interests of ordinary people to be taken into account. Ironically, then, I’m skeptical about many forms of democracy because I think the masses deserve to have a say.
So I’d be against democracy in cases where ‘democratic’ systems are hijacked by elites and used against the people. That’s what’s happening in most of the western world, I’d say. Not to say I’d support a coup in this situation–and certainly not if the point of the coup was to install an even more extreme form of exploitation. But I’m not entirely sure what to say about democracy. I think the reactionary critique has merit. (But then, don’t communists also criticize democracy for roughly similar reasons?)

The Communist view is that seeking power peacefully would be a great idea except the ruling classes will never allow it to happen. They say that power never gives up without a fight, and I believe that they are correct. Nevertheless, most Communists support Venezuela, Nicaragua and only leftwing democratic countries. But the Communists would say, “Look what happens why you try to take power peacefully. You get Nicaragua, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay, Honduras, Haiti, and even Argentina.”
The ruling class will just overthrow the democratic Left state any way they can, always using anti-democratic means to do so. That’s why Lenin called people who supported the peaceful road to socialism “parliamentary cretins.” He thought it was a great idea but it would never work because the rich would never allow the Left to take power peacefully.
The Communist view is also that you never have democracy under capitalism anyway, as the capitalists and the rich always ending ruling the state one way or another through all sorts of means. And yes, the rich and the capitalists always take over all the media in any capitalist country as you said, they use it to shape the view of the people to support the class politics of the rich. Such support being called false consciousness.
Gramsci said that the ruling class took over the entire culture in capitalist countries and brainwashed the masses into supporting the project of the rich. They did this via cultural hegemony. Marx said that the culture of the rich is always the popular culture in any capitalist country. So the ruling class turns all of us into “little rich people” or “little capitalists” to support their project. They brainwash us into thinking we are the same class as the rich and that we are all capitalists ourselves, so we should support Capital. These are lies, but most Americans are easily fooled.
Ralph Nader called this “going corporate” or “thinking corporate.” He says that in the US, most people adopt the mindset of the corporations and think of themselves are part of the corporate structure whether they are or not. If everyone is part of the corporate structure, then what’s good for corporations is good for all of us, which is the project of the Republican Party, neoliberalism everywhere, the Latin American rich, etc. It’s a big fat lie, but people want to be rich and a lot of workers want to think of themselves are busy little capitalist money-making, go-getter, can-do, Bossterist entrepreneurs because it seems to cool to own your own business.
And the Communists would call this false consciousness and their argument would be that under capitalism, most people adopt false consciousness.
I think in the US, the rich see the tide coming and the rule of the rich is going to end so they want to lock in as much of the state as possible by stacking the courts, gutting the safety net, massive tax cuts that will be impossible to get rid of, and that Constitutional Convention they are two states away from getting where they want to rewrite the whole US Constitution to lock in rule by the rich for as long as possible. The rich see the writing on the wall. That’s why they came up with the computerized elections scam, so they could steal elections as long as people kept voting against the rich.
The gerrymandering of districts now makes it almost impossible to get rid of Republican majorities on state representatives in the House and in Senators and Assemblymen in the states. It’s all locked in.
So as the rich saw the tide turning and demographics moving against them, they instituted a full court press to do all sorts of extremely anti-democratic stuff to stay in power. If the people would just vote for them anyway, they would not have to do that, but apparently most Americans have now turned away from the politics of the rich, so the rich will have to lie, cheat, and steal to stay in power from now on.
Also they elected Donald Trump, by far the most corrupt, authoritarian and even outright fascist leader this country has ever had. And this follows too. Whenever there is a popular movement against the rich and the capitalists, the rich and the capitalists always, always, always resort of fascism to stay in power. This has been proven endlessly over time, even in Europe. Trotsky had some great things to say about this. Check out “Thermidor.” Trotsky truly understood what fascism was all about. It is a desperate last ditch move by the ruling class to seize power in the face of an uprising from the Left.
The rich and the capitalists are determined to stay in power, by hook or by crook, by any means necessary, and they will lie, cheat, steal and kill as many people as they have to just to keep the Left out of power. They simply will not allow the Left to rule. They must rule and if they are out of  power, they will use any antidemocratic means to get power back.
Which is the story of the CIA, the Pentagon and 100% of US foreign policy since 1945 and even before then. Read Samuel Butler.
I mean, we on the Left generally allow the Right to take power if they do so democratically. Sure they destroy everything like they always do, but most of us are committed to the democratic means of seeking power. Even most Communist parties will not take up arms against any rightwing government, saying they prefer to seek power by peaceful means. Typically, the CP will issue a statement that the nation is not in a revolutionary situation right now. There are objective conditions under which a nation is said to be in a revolutionary situation. I’m sure you can recall a few. It is then and only then that most CP’s will go underground and issue a call to take up arms.
Frankly, almost all Left insurgencies postwar were defensive. The Left allowed the Right to take power and then the Right started running around killing people. Usually the Left sat there for a while and let themselves get killed before taking up power. I know the Viet Cong just sat there from 1954-1960 while the rightwing Vietnamese government ran amok in the countryside, murdering 80,000 Communists in six years. They kept asking the North Vietnamese for permission to take up arms, but the North kept denying it.
The Colombian, Salvadoran and Guatemalan guerrillas only took up guns after the state had been running about murdering them unarmed for years. The Salvadoran guerrillas said they got tired of sitting in their homes waiting for the rightwing state to come kill them, and they decided that if the state was going to come kill them anyway, they might as well pick up a gun and defend themselves. They also took up arms because the Right kept stealing elections by fraud.
The Right had cut off all methods of seeking power peacefully, so the Left picked up guns. The message is if you elect a leftwing government, sooner or later the Right will overthrow it and then there will be a reign of terror where many Leftists will be murdered. Knowing that, if you were a Leftist in some country, would you not be afraid to put the Left in power knowing you stood a good chance of being murdered once the inevitable rightwing coup took place?
The Colombian and Honduran governments only stay in power by killing people. Lots of people. The Greek Communists only took up arms after the government had been killing them for some time.
Also once a Left government is overthrown by the rich and the capitalists, the new Rightist government institutes a reign of terror where they slaughter the defeated Left for many years. This went on for decades after 1954 in Guatemala, and it goes on still today. After Aristide was overthrown, the rightwing government murdered 3,000 of his supporters.
After Allende was overthrown, Pinochet murdered 15,000 people over a decade and a half. A threat from the Left prompted the Indonesian government to fake a Left coup and murder 1 million Communists in a couple of months. Even before the Korean War broke out, from 1948-1950, the South Korean government killed hundreds of thousands of Communists in the South.
As they withdrew when the North attacked, the South Koreans killed South Korean Communists everywhere they went. After the fascist coup in Argentina, the government decimated the Left, murdering 30,000 mostly unarmed supporters of the Left. The same thing happened in Bolivia with the Banzer Plan when Hugo Banzer took power after the tin miners briefly sought power. The new rightwing government in Brazil is already starting to murder members of the former Left ruling party. They’re not going to stop.
After the fascist coup in Ukraine, the Communist Party was outlawed and many of its members were murdered. War was declared on labor unions. Workers in one union were chained to a heater inside the building and the building was set on fire.
The party supported by half the population (the Russian speakers and their supporters) the Party of Regions, was outlawed, a number of its deputies were murdered and there were attempts to murder the leader of the party, lastly by setting his house on fire which set his neighbor’s house on fire instead. He fled to Russia. Now half the population and all of the Russian speakers had not party to represent them, which is why they took up arms. They were locked out of power.

Should the Rich and the Reactionaries Be Given Rights?

Sisera: So what does that mean then? You believe rich people are inherently oppressors who don’t deserve rights but then White men are okay?

Most of them are oppressors, of course. Don’t you even understand class politics or the nature of capitalism at all. Those rich people who are pursuing their economic self interests in the class war, well of course they are our oppressors. The oppressors of me and mine anyway. I suppose they see us as oppressors.
Marxist theory doesn’t say that anyway. It just says that when the rich pursue their self interests in the class war, everyone who’s not rich gets fucked. You want to call that oppression? You are welcome to. If you side with the rich, you are an idiot. Why would you side with your class enemies. Most of them are oppressors, of course. Don’t you even understand class politics or the nature of capitalism at all.
Those rich people who are pursuing their economic self interests in the class war, well of course they are our oppressors. The oppressors of me and mine anyway. I suppose they see us as oppressors. Marxist theory doesn’t say that anyway. It just says that when the rich pursue their self interests in the class war, everyone who’s not rich gets fucked. You want to call that oppression? You are welcome to. If you side with the rich, you are an idiot. Why would you side with your class enemies?
The rich are our class enemies. Does that mean they oppress us? I dunno. When they’re in power, they screw us over. All of the rich hate democracy, lie like rugs, and support violence, murder, terror, genocide, coups, and dictatorships anywhere the people take power.
Personally, I think all conservatives and reactionaries are pure filth. I wish they would all drop dead tomorrow. That way they would be where they belong: in graves. They’re nothing but pure garbage. Show me a reactionary or conservative anywhere on Earth that’s actually a human and not a lying, sadistic, murderous piece of scum. There aren’t any!
In a democratic society, of course the rich get their rights, but they abuse the fuck out of them, and anytime they people take power, the rich start using violence, coups, death squads, rioting, judicial and legislative coups, etc. to get their way. We let the rich take power all the time. They won’t let us take power at all. I’m glad the Chinese Communists took away the rights of the reactionaries.
Look what would happen if they had rights? See Venezuela, Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Honduras, Haiti, Brazil, Paraguay, Colombia, Nicaragua, Indonesia, Philippines? That’s what happens when you give the rich and the reactionaries any rights at all. Right now they would be burning China to the ground like they are doing to Venezuela and Nicaragua because they are furious that a people’s government got put in.
If that’s the way they are always, always, always going to act, why give them rights? So they can destroy your country and take down any democratically elected government they don’t believe in?
They try to destroy by antidemocratic means any people’s or popular government any time it gets in.
And when they take power themselves, they usually put in a dictatorship.
This is what happens if they don’t get their way and the people elect a democratically elected people’s government:
Attempted coups by street violence: Nicaragua, Ukraine, Syria, and Thailand.
Attempted coups by economic warfare: Venezuela, North Korea, Iran, Syria, and Nicaragua.
Coups by legislative means: Paraguay and Brazil.
Attempted legislative coup: Venezuela.
Coups by judicial means: Brazil.
Coups by direct overthrow of the state: Honduras, Haiti, Venezuela, and Egypt.
Attempted coups by direct overthrow of the state: Ecuador and Bolivia.
Coup by insurgency: Haiti.
Attempted coup by insurgency: Syria.
Coups by direct invasion: Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Panama, Libya, and Grenada.
This is what happens every time they get into power, especially if they take over a people’s government: 
Right-wing death squad authoritarian regime installed: Honduras*, El Salvador, Argentina, Brazil*, Guatemala*, Chile, Philippines*, Uruguay, Bolivia, Indonesia*, and Ukraine*.
No I don’t have a problem taking away rights from reactionary fucks! Why should we give them rights? Give me one reason! One! One reason!

Why the US Working Class Is Not Radicalized

Radicalized meaning having any sort of working class or class consciousness at all. Radicalized meaning pro-worker. Yes, believe it or not, the US working class is not even pro-worker. The US working class is actually anti-worker!
The problem is that we do not have a tradition of working class radicalism here as in Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina. Working class people in all of those countries are radicalized and pro-worker with a high state of class consciousness and they usually vote for pro-worker political parties.
Mexicans, however, are profoundly depoliticized.
Nevertheless, you can argue as my mother does when I asked her why the Central American revolutions were not spreading to Mexico, to which she responded that “The Mexicans already had their revolution.” And though the Left neglects to see it this way, the Mexican Revolution was definitely one of the great leftwing revolutions of the 20th Century, at least as good as the Russian Revolution and without many of the problems. Most people don’t realize how horrible feudal life was in Mexico before the Mexican Revolution. If I told you what it was like, you would quit reading and call me a liar. It was that bad.
In Latin America, your average proletarian, working class person, who, let’s face it, is not real smart, is often ideologically Leftist, as they have been politicized by powerful leftwing movements. There are no powerful leftwing movements in the US to do this, so the non-White working classes are not radicalized. They are liberalized but not radicalized.
The White working classes are actually ideologically Rightist, which makes no sense at all of course.
However, I have met many Salvadorans here. I tell them that I used to support the FMLN revolutionaries down there and that I even used to contribute to their weapons fund. It’s actually true. I would meet a guy in a sleazy Salvadoran bar in Lafayette Park and give him a check to some weird cryptic organization. They are hesitant at first but then they break into wide smiles. Even those who did not support the FMLN don’t really care that I did. That movement was radical Left but had huge support across society because Salvadoran society is very unfair.

Is There a Language That is (Nearly) Impossible to Learn to Speak Without Growing up with It?

Answer from Quora
I recently talked to a man who is learning Min Nan, which is a Sinitic language often called a dialect of Chinese. He told me that Min Nan speakers say that the tones are so hard that no one who doesn’t grow up speaking Min Nan ever seems to get it very well.
Cantonese is a similar language that is very difficult. It is much harder than Mandarin, and many native Mandarin speakers say they tried to learn Cantonese and gave up on it because it was too hard. Cantonese has nine tones.
Basque is said to be very hard to learn unless you grow up with it. There is a joke that the Devil spent seven years trying to learn Basque, and he only learned how to say Hello and Goodbye.
Navajo would also be hard. Even Navajo children struggle quite a bit learning Navajo and don’t seem to get it well until maybe age 12. When Navajo children arrive at school, they often do not speak Navajo well yet.
Korean is a surprise, but apparently it is very hard to learn well. A native Korean speaker told me that Korean is so hard that no Korean speaker ever speaks it with 100% accuracy, and everyone makes errors.
Czech is also hard. Even most Czech speakers never get Czech all the way. They have TV contests in Czechoslovakia where they try to stump native speakers with hard forms in the language. If you can last 30 minutes without making even one error, you win. I think only two men have been able to do it, but one was a non-native speaker!
Piraha, spoken in the Brazilian Amazon, is also very hard. Over the course of a few centuries, several Portuguese speaking priests had tried to learn Piraha, but they had all given up because it was too hard. And these same priests had been able to master a number of other Indian languages, but Piraha was just too much. Daniel Everett learned the language and wrote important papers on it. He is only of the only non-native speakers who was able to learn the language.
Tsez, spoken in the Caucasus, is also murderously hard. Every verb can have over 100,000’s of possible forms. I understand that even native speakers make regular errors when speaking Tsez.

A Look at the Incredible Pirahã Language

Method and Conclusion. See here.

Results. A ratings system was designed in terms of how difficult it would be for an English-language speaker to learn the language. In the case of English, English was judged according to how hard it would be for a non-English speaker to learn the language. Speaking, reading and writing were all considered.

Ratings: Languages are rated 1-6, easiest to hardest. 1 = easiest, 2 = moderately easy to average, 3 = average to moderately difficult, 4 = very difficult, 5 = extremely difficult, 6 = most difficult of all. Ratings are impressionistic.

Time needed. Time needed for an English language speaker to learn the language “reasonably well”: Level 1 languages = 3 months-1 year. Level 2 languages = 6 months-1 year. Level 3 languages = 1-2 years. Level 4 languages = 2 years. Level 5 languages = 3-4 years, but some may take longer. Level 6 languages = more than 4 years.

This post will look at the amazing Pirahã language in terms of how difficult it would be for an English speaker to learn it.

Muran

Pirahã is a language isolate spoken in the Brazilian Amazon. Recent writings by Daniel Everett indicate that not only is this one of the hardest languages on Earth to learn, but it is also one of the weirdest languages on Earth. It is monumentally complex in nearly every way imaginable. It is commonly listed on the rogue’s gallery of craziest languages and phonologies.

It has the smallest phonemic inventory of any language with only seven consonants, three vowels and either two or three tones. Everett recently wrote a paper about it after spending many years with them. Previous missionaries who had spent time with the Pirahã generally failed to learn the language because it was too hard to learn. It took Everett a very long time, but he finally learned it well.

Many of Everett’s claims about Pirahã are astounding: whistled speech, no system for counting, very few Portuguese loans (they deliberately refuse to use Portuguese loans) and evidence for both the much-maligned the Sapir-Whorf linguistic relativity hypothesis, and violation some of Noam Chomsky’s purported language universals such as embedding. It also has the t͡ʙ̥ sound – a bilabially trilled postdental affricate which is only found in two other languages, both in the Brazilian Amazon – Oro Win and Wari’.

Initially, Everett never heard the sound, but they got to know him better, they started to make it more often. Everett believes that they were ridiculed by other groups when they made the odd sound.

Pirahã has the simplest kinship system in any language – there is only word for both mother and father, and the Pirahã do not have any words for anyone other than direct biological relatives.

Pirahã may have only two numerals, or it may lack a numeral system altogether.

Pirahã does not distinguish between singular and plural person. This is highly unusual. The language may have borrowed its entire pronoun set from the Tupian languages Nheengatu and Tenarim, groups the Pirahã had formerly been in contact with. This may be one of the only attested case of the borrowing of a complete pronoun set.

There are mandatory evidentiality markers that must be used in Pirahã discourse. Speakers must say how they know something – whether they saw it themselves, it was hearsay or they inferred it circumstantially.

There are various strange moods – the desiderative (desire to perform an action) and two types of frustrative – frustration in starting an action (inchoative/incompletive) and frustration in completing an action (causative/incompletive). There are others: immediate/intentive (you are going to do something now/you intend to do it in the future)

There are many verbal aspects: perfect/imperfect (completed/incomplete) telic/atelic (reaching a goal/not reaching a goal), continuative (continuing), repetitive (iterative), and beginning an action (inchoative).

Each Pirahã verb has 262,144 possible forms, or possibly in the many millions, depending on which analysis you use.

The future tense is divided into future/somewhere and future/elsewhere. The past tense is divided into plain past and immediate past.

Pirahã has a closed class of only 90 verb roots, an incredibly small number. But these roots can be combined together to form compound verbs, a much larger category. Here is one example of three verbs strung together to form a compound verb:

xig ab op = “take turn go” or “bring back.” This refers to when you take something away, you turn around and you bring it back to where you got it to return it.

There are no abstract color terms in Pirahã. There are only two words for colors, one for “light” and one for “dark.” The only other languages with this restricted of a color sense are in Papua New Guinea. The other color terms are not really color terms, but are more descriptive – “red” is translated as “like blood.”

Pirahã can be whistled, hummed or encoded into music. Consonants and vowels can be omitted altogether and meaning conveyed instead via variations in stress, pitch and rhythm. Mothers teach the language to children by repeating musical patterns.

Pirahã may well be one of the hardest languages on Earth to learn.

Pirahã gets a 6 rating, hardest of all.

A Look at the Southern Nambikwara Language

Method and Conclusion. See here.

Results. A ratings system was designed in terms of how difficult it would be for an English-language speaker to learn the language. In the case of English, English was judged according to how hard it would be for a non-English speaker to learn the language. Speaking, reading and writing were all considered.

Ratings: Languages are rated 1-6, easiest to hardest. 1 = easiest, 2 = moderately easy to average, 3 = average to moderately difficult, 4 = very difficult, 5 = extremely difficult, 6 = most difficult of all. Ratings are impressionistic.

Time needed. Time needed for an English language speaker to learn the language “reasonably well”: Level 1 languages = 3 months-1 year. Level 2 languages = 6 months-1 year. Level 3 languages = 1-2 years. Level 4 languages = 2 years. Level 5 languages = 3-4 years, but some may take longer. Level 6 languages = more than 4 years.

This post will look at the Southern Nambikwaran language in terms of how difficult it would be for an English speaker to learn it.

Nambikwaran
Mamaindê

This is actually a series of closely related languages as opposed to one language, but the Southern Nambikwara language is the most well-known of the family, with 1,200 speakers in the Brazilian Amazon.

Phonology is complex. Consonants distinguish between aspirated, plain and glottalized, common in the Americas. There are strange sounds like prestopped nasals and glottalized fricatives. There are three different tones. All vowels except one have nasal, creaky-voiced and nasal-creaky counterparts, for a total of 19 vowels.

The grammar is polysynthetic with a complex evidential system.

Reportedly, Nambikwaran children do not pick up the language fully until age 10 or so, one of the latest recorded ages for full competence. Nambikwara is sometimes said to be the hardest language on Earth to learn, but it has some competition.

Southern Nambikwara definitely gets a 6 rating, hardest of all!

A Look at the Hixkaryána Language

Method and Conclusion. See here.

Results. A ratings system was designed in terms of how difficult it would be for an English-language speaker to learn the language. In the case of English, English was judged according to how hard it would be for a non-English speaker to learn the language. Speaking, reading and writing were all considered.

Ratings: Languages are rated 1-6, easiest to hardest. 1 = easiest, 2 = moderately easy to average, 3 = average to moderately difficult, 4 = very difficult, 5 = extremely difficult, 6 = most difficult of all. Ratings are impressionistic.

Time needed. Time needed for an English language speaker to learn the language “reasonably well”: Level 1 languages = 3 months-1 year. Level 2 languages = 6 months-1 year. Level 3 languages = 1-2 years. Level 4 languages = 2 years. Level 5 languages = 3-4 years, but some may take longer. Level 6 languages = more than 4 years.

This post will look at the Hixkaryána language in terms of how difficult it would be for an English speaker to learn it.

Carib
Waiwai

Hixkaryána is famous for being the only language on Earth to have basic OVS (Object-Verb-Subject) word order.

The sentence Toto yonoye kamara, or “The man ate the jaguar,” actually means “The jaguar ate the man.”

Toto yonoye kamara
Lit. “The man ate the jaguar.”
Gloss: “The jaguar ate the man.”

Grammatical suffixes attached to the end of the verb mark not only number but also aspect, mood and tense.

Hixkaryána gets a 6 rating, hardest of all.

The Last of the Kawahiva, An Uncontacted Tribe in Brazil

Here.

Amazing video of an uncontacted tribe in the Amazon.

I must say that Brazil is an awful country. They have been cutting down the rainforest and killing the Indians in their way for a long time now. They did so even under the Left government. They have another Left government now, and they won’t do anything to stop it either. I have heard that the government is too afraid to go after these wealthy loggers and ranchers because they are so powerful, and they tend to kill anyone who gets in their way.

However, the mere fact that there are so many of these blatantly illegal loggers who run private armies and murder their opponents with complete impunity implies that the Brazilian state, like Colombia, is broken at its very core. Further, it implies that there is nothing progressive about the Brazilian state no matter how many PT former guerrilla presidents they elect.

Obviously the rich and the oligarchs run the place, apparently with the gun. Even the government is afraid to get in their way for fear that that armies of the rich (death squads) will kill them.

So at the end of day, Brazil is just another banana republic, and worse than that, it’s a failed state like so many Latin American nations. When the rich own and run the country by the gun no matter who is in power, you have a failed state de facto.

I suppose some Marxists would argue that it’s always this way under this bullshit joke called “capitalist democracy,” but that’s not really true. The Swedish rich don’t run death squads who murder the state for going after their privileges.

Even worse, a cancer called Brazilian nationalism has arisen. Yes, former colonies can breed ugly nationalisms. This nationalism, reactionary like all nationalisms, argues that attempts by the world to keep Brazil from chopping down its rainforest are a plot by internationalists from other nations to keep the Brazilian nation down. It’s all down to a foreign plot by those pesky outsiders. Incredibly, a lot of Brazilians have fallen for this.

That’s pitiful right there.

I have long supported Survival International. I used to subscribe to their magazine in the 1980’s. It’s a pretty cool organization; you might want to check them out.

Although SI is certainly not sympathetic to the White nationalist position of Whites as an endangered indigenous people, I would think that White nationalist types might want to support groups like SI merely out of solidarity with the concept that indigenous peoples of any type have a right to survive as they see fit.

Prison Rape: The Aftermath

This image is very much NSFW!
A Brazilian man was arrested for beating, raping and killing his girlfriend’s 20 month old child. He was thrown in prison into a crowded cell where he was badly beaten and repeatedly raped by up to 20 men. He was sent to the infirmary where his injuries were treated and his anus was stitched up (he may have had fissures from the rape). They sent him back to the same cell again and they tore out his stitches and raped him again.

That looks pretty bad. There appears to be a lot of bleeding in the anal region.
Click to enlarge. That looks pretty bad. There appears to be a lot of bleeding in the anal region.

HIV Subtypes Around the World

Nice map shows HIV subtypes around the world.
Nice map shows HIV subtypes around the world.

In the US, the Caribbean, most of South America, Europe and Australia, subtype B is predominant. This subtype is very hard to spread heterosexually from woman to man. Such a transmission is possible, but it is not very likely. For instance, even if you had sex with an HIV positive woman, you would have to have sex with her ~700 times over a ~5 year period to even have a 20% chance of getting HIV. Even then, you have an 80% chance (an overwhelming chance) of not getting it. Men in the Subtype B areas are acquiring HIV via receptive anal sex with other men or sharing needles with other IV drug users. Those are mostly the only way transmission is going to men in these regions. Women are getting it from vaginal or receptive anal sex with men and sharing needles with other IV drug users.
In the rest of the areas, the picture is much murkier.
Russia is a mixture of A, B and AB recombinant. Most spread in Russia is going via needle sharing.
In China, B, C and BC recombinant is most prevalent. Much transmission here is also going via needle sharing.
In Southeast Asia, B and CRF_o1AE are common. Much spread here is also going via needle sharing and needle-using men giving it to their wives, but there is also some going via gay male sex, and prostitutes have a high rate of being HIV positive. In addition, there has been a lot of transmission from women to men in this region, mostly prostitutes giving it to their clients. However, this seems to have been associated with vaginal bleeding on the part of the prostitutes. Once that matter is cleared up and the clients use condoms, very little transmission is occurring.
In India and East and Southern Africa, Subtype C is prevalent. Reports indicate that much transmission is occurring heterosexually, either through normal heterosexual sex with either a man or a woman or via prostitutes giving it to their clients. The role of long distance truckers acquiring it from truck stop prostitutes and then spreading around the region is important in both regions. Other than that, little is known about spread in this region, but it does look like Subtype C is being spread pretty easily heterosexually both male to female and female to male, so this subtype is looking like a scary type of HIV.
Subtype D is found in Central Africa and may well be spread heterosexually as easily as Subtype C is.
Subtype A is found in both Russia and coastal East Africa. It seems to be going heterosexually both ways in Africa, but in Russia, there seems to be little heterosexual transmission. This doesn’t really make sense, and it is a mystery that needs to be cleared up.
Brazil is home to Subtypes B and BF recombinant. The type of transmission here is little known, but male homosexual transmission seems to be very important.
In West Africa, CRF_02AG, similar to the SE Asian subtype is the main subtype. Transmission routes are not known, but it looks as if some heterosexual transmission is occurring both ways, however, the rate of heterosexual transmission seems to be much lower than with subtypes C and D.
In West Central Africa, HIV is prevalent but probably not as high as in the C and D areas. A huge variety of subtypes are found here, including subtypes F, G, H, J, K, CRF_01 and various recombinations of these subtypes. There is little information available, but heterosexual transmission both ways seems to be occurring here, higher than with CRF_02AG, but lower than with subtypes C and D.
People keep saying that other subtypes are bound to show up in the US and therefore straight men are bound to be at risk in the future, but it hasn’t really happened, although some different subtypes are occurring in gay men, who sometimes get infected with different subtypes. This is because HIV positive men figure once they are HIV positive, they can fucked all they want to, as they can’t catch HIV now as they already have it. Unfortunately, although they can’t catch HIV per se, they can catch a new strain of it. Infection with more than one strain at once makes HIV more virulent. These cases are nastier and progress more quickly. Death often comes after not too long a time has passed.
 

Player Killed, Ref Decapitated and Dismembered in Brazilian Soccer Match

Video here.
In a soccer match in the Brazilian state of Maranhão, a referee ejected a player from a game. The player and the ref got into an argument, and the ref pulled out a knife and stabbed the player to death. The players friends and relatives then stormed onto the field and beat the ref to death, later decapitating him and dismembering his body.
This video does not show the actual fights and mayhem on the field. Instead, it shows the aftermath at the hospital, with hospital stuff pulling the ref’s head off his body (it was not attached anyway). You can also see the results of the drawing and quartering. Hard to watch but it’s basically a medical scene in a hospital, nothing ER doctors don’t see.

Wikipedia Jews Attack James Petras

Repost from the old site.

James Petras is a fine man of the Left who has long been interested in Latin America and especially revolutionary movements down there. He has long supported the FARC revolutionaries in Colombia (as does this blog) and lately he has been supporting the Movement of the Landless in Brazil.

He’s a great labor organizer who goes down to Latin America and works with the people, getting his hands dirty with the workers and peasants themselves. He’s a towering intellect, and has often criticized Left movements from a Far Left perspectives, accusing them of being sellouts. For instance, he has gone after the FMLN in El Salvador lately for pursuing a half-hearted effort at reform.

I believe he was going after Evo Morales in Bolivia lately. He’s great for tearing the masks off these Latin American Leftists who the US press is screaming Commie Bloody Murder about, showing us that many of them are not even very far to the Left and the proposals they are offering are quite moderate and unlikely to seriously shake up socioeconomic relations in these places.

It’s always great to read him on anything having to do with the Latin American Left.

Lately he has sort of gone off on a bender against US Jews and particularly the Israeli Lobby and Israel. He has received some criticism for this from the Left, especially the anarchist Left (see Three Way Fight) and Maoists. Maoists and anarchists (Three Way Fight critique here) are among those on the Left who are particularly sensitive to charges of anti-Semitism and go to great lengths to avoid such.

This despite the recent rightwing Jewish – Zionist rewriting of history that shows the entire 20th Century Left as being anti-Semitic. See Why the Jews? The Reasons for Contemporary Anti-Semitism by Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin for more on that – it’s actually an excellent read and I recommend it.

The ADL has recently weighed in against Petras, accusing him of fomenting some kind of “New Anti-Semitism” (this means an anti-Semitism focused mostly on Israel). All of this crap is a rather minor sideshow to Petras’ excellent corpus and career, but as you can see in his Wikipedia entry, most of the entry is given over his tussle with the Jews.

On the discussion page, the Wikipedia Jews have gone nuts, accusing him of being an “anti-Jewish racist” and other bullshit. There’s the usual crap about Israel Shamir on there, straight from the UK Spotlight Trotskyite antifa loonie-tunes accusations – Shamir as a Swedish neo-Nazi living in Norway.

In fact, Israel Shamir, whatever one thinks of him (and he surely has his anti-Semitic moments) is a Russian Jew, son of a famous rabbi, who immigrated to Israel, fought in the Israeli military, wrote for some Israeli papers, moved to Japan where he translated Japanese haiku books, moved back to Russia where he got involved in some dubious anti-Semitic far right Russian publications, moved back to Israel, where he currently resides in Jaffa (in fact, you can probably even visit him there – lots of folks do).

It’s really sad that this “Swedish neo-Nazi” bullshit has been allowed to gain as much traction as it has. Yes, his Wikipedia page says that too. I know what you were thinking. Chip Berlet is one of the leaders of the Israel Shamir Lynch Mob. Berlet, the strange “Marxist” who is in deep with the radical right libertarians that rule Wikipedia.

Looks like the Wikipedia Jews got pretty much thwarted on this one. Maybe someone is finally starting to reign them in over there. Note that “Humus Sapiens” is one of the most notorious Wikipedia Jews, active for years now. Still at it, I guess.

Check out the article history. Real food fight.

Links to some Wikipedia nasties.

Wikipedia Jews: Jayjg, one of the worst Jewish POV-pushers on Wikipedia. Humus Sapiens, a Russian Jewish immigrant to the US. Izak, one of their sidekicks.

Slim Virgin , one of the worst ones of all. I understand that SV is not even Jewish (!); she’s just some Gentile philosemite. She’s obsessed with 1. The Jews, 2. 9-11. SV is one of the most horrible and abusive administrators on Wikipedia. She was so abusive that the Wikipedia Review undertook an investigation of her.

She was very hard to track down as she covers her tracks very well, but they eventually determined that she is a former Cambridge University graduate student named Linda Mack who was hired by investigative reporter Pierre Salinger and John K. Cooley to investigate the Lockerbie bombing.

Two Libyans were eventually convicted of the bombing, and Ghaddafi was ordered to pay a huge fine, but there is good evidence that Libya had nothing to do with the bombing. There is also evidence that UK law enforcement knew this but went after Ghaddafi anyway because they hated him and wanted to wrap up the case.

It is still not known who was behind the bombing, but the Iranian regime was probably the author of the attack. The attack was probably a payback for the US shooting down of an Iranian airliner during the Iran-Iraq War, an act that the US said was accidental. Iran refused to accept the accidental shootdown theory.

Linda Mack was instrumental in steering Salinger and Cooley towards the Libyans. Salinger and Cooley eventually decided that Mack was a spy with the UK’s notorious MI5 intelligence agency (the British CIA). Linda Mack is now reportedly living in Alberta, Canada under the name Sarah McEwan.

Antifascist, who uses the same handle and has the same obsessions as a notorious Jewish Zionist who used to stalk anti-Zionists on Indymedia, often issuing them horrible death threats. He’s obsessed with Wendy Campbell and Gilad Atzmon.

His name is Ketlan Ossowski ( blog here) and he is described as an obsessive Jew who uses Leftism and anti-fascism as a cover to promote Zionism. I strongly suspect that he is the same guy who stalked and threatened Wendy Campbell. Zeq, long-notorious, the lone Wikipedia Jew busted in the CAMERA fiasco, now banned.

Others: Roland Rance, a Jewish Marxist (Jewish first, Marxist far distant second) from London, famous from the wars over Gilad Atzmon and Mary Rizzo’s Peace Palestine blog, apparently active in the Socialist Workers Party and in with the Lenin’s Tomb crowd. I’m not going to comment on this guy much as he’s written me civilly via email.

Just another frothing Trot about sums it up though.

White Pride Latin America

Interesting comments from the comments section. First a fellow named Robert posts a comment, then a White Mexican named Rafa responds. I very much enjoyed their interchange, and I will comment at the end:

Robert: As a White Latin American, I think a lot of the information you put was wrong. At least the part about White Latin Americans disappearing. The CIA World Factbook puts Mexico White population at 9%, but I heard its really 15% to 18%. And Mexico’s White population wasn’t 40% during the colonial period it was more like close to 20%. I’ve heard that there are migrants heading to northern Mexico, but the majority of Northeast Mexico is still White.

You can talk to a lot of Latin Americans about that. They’ll tell you the same thing. My friend who goes to Mexico says the same thing. And as for Brazil, Sao Paulo is 70% non white? SAY WHAT!!!! I’m sorry, I haven’t been there yet, but that is just purely wrong. I’ve read in the census that its 70% White.

Personally I AM GLAD there are a lot of white people in Latin America. But then again, I personally think that if a person looks White, then they are obviously white. Even if they are 20% black or whatever. I may have been born and grown up in the U.S., but in the end, I guess I haven’t assimilated I guess.

I don’t mean to come off as if I am insulting you but I think at least half the information you got was wrong. At least when it came to the decline of White population. However, remember, all mestizos do not look the same. The phenotype can range from more European to more Indian. The White upper class of Mexico and Brazil may be mixed, but the non-white ancestry may not be enough to show and vice-versa.

Basically its a color continuum.

Rafa: I find it interesting that you said that if a person is 20% Black but looks White, then they are obviously White. By that standard, I would have to say that Mexico is between 33-40% White. The reason is simple. Amerindian features are more easily diluted than are Black African features.

There are even White Americans who are known to have claimed some sort of native indigenous ancestry such as Chuck Norris, the late Patrick Swayze, and Johnny Depp (this last one actually looks like a lot Mexicans I grew up with). The term Euro-Mestizo has even entered the lexicon of American English terms used to describe people according to their race, specifically light-skinned Mexicans who are predominantly White in appearance.

I don’t know about you, but I think that ever since the world got smaller through the invention of broadcast television and the internet, Latin Americans have gotten into a tendency of competing with each other to see whose country is whiter or has a larger population of Whites. What do you think?

By the way, as far as Northeastern Mexico being majority White, I would have to say that I agree with that statement. As you might have already guessed, I am in fact Mexican and from the Northeastern border city of Nuevo Laredo,Tamaulipas.

I grew up across the border in Laredo, Texas and it is basically an explicit fact that my native region is not as White as it used to be. Many people from Southern Mexico, and even some from Central America have established themselves in Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa, Matamoros, and Monterrey in neighboring Nuevo Leon state.

Most Mexican nationals who reside in Laredo, Texas are in fact White (as are most of their Mexican-American brethren in the region), and this often shocks non-Mexican Hispanics coming from the East Coast and California.

This is a sort of Latin American White Pride that I do not have a whole lot of issues with. To me, it resembles Black Pride in the US, which is generally healthy because it avoids some extremes and pitfalls. Some of the benefits vis a vis nasty US White Pride:

No emphasis on purity: If anything, in Black Pride there is an emphasis on less purity due to Black America’s obsession with light skin. That is, the less Black you have in you, the more proud you are, paradoxically. Now, that is not necessarily a good thing, but at least it gets us away from the purity poison.

Your average Black person in the US is 15% White. Most sane Blacks have not issues with this figure at all, and sane Black society does not regard US Blacks as impure or demand any kind of racial purity from them. You don’t have to be 100% Black to be Black in the US! Three cheers for that!

In contrast, US White Pride is utterly toxic in terms of racial “contamination.” If you have the tiniest bit of non-White in you, you’re automatically non-White. Even a lot of White ethnics are ruled out as Whites and described as non-Whites. Examples include Jews, Armenians, Turks, Eastern Aryans, Iranians, White Berbers, White Arabs, Georgians, the Caucasus, Albanians and Southern Europeans in general.

It’s absurd. Another thing to note is that in general, among races, the more emphasis there is on purity, the more violent, fascist and even genocidal the group is. It’s no accident that the Germans and Japanese were both genocidal and strongly emphasized purity of race. The two things go together quite well. As you get away from the purity trap, you become more loving and inclusive and less likely to engage in race-based violence, much less genocide. This is because, as a “contaminated” person yourself, you can’t much demand purity from others.

Increased love for others: Most White Latin Americans don’t hate the small amount of Indian or Black in themselves. It’s not the end of the world. They have a more relaxed attitude towards race, and they often love the non-White in themselves. If you love the Other in yourself, you are more likely to love the Other in others.

No demands for segregation. Latin American Whites don’t demand segregation. There was some segregation in Latin America, especially in Cuba and Ecuador, but it’s long gone. In Cuba, it lasted as long as the Revolution.

Let’s get real here for a second. What’s behind the demands for segregation? They are about fears of racial annihilation. This is what the fears of race-mixing and miscegenation were all about. But White Latin Americans are already somewhat mixed, so in a sense, they are already an annihilated race. There’s nothing to fear from dilution if you’re already diluted yourself, so there’s no need for segregation. Let the mixing begin!

A more relaxed attitude about race. White nationalists go on and on about colorism in Latin America, but at the end of the day, it’s not as big a deal as racism is here in the US. Colorism is simply not as virulent and nasty as White racism here in the US. It’s all a continuum, a sliding scale.

Thinking in a grey or continuum type manner is healthier than thinking in a black and white Manichean manner. Grey thinking is more relaxed and adaptive and leads to more tolerance and flexibility.

What problems there are in Latin America regarding race are ll tied up with class. Many Latin American so-called Whites don’t even look all that White. Indians are disliked due to class hatred, not necessarily racial hatred. The most hardened attitudes are found in South America, especially in the Andes.

It’s not that Latin America has overcome the race issue, but more that they have more or less transmuted it into a class issue. In a region where you can trade in your Indian clothes, stop speaking Indian, move to the city and then start wearing mestizo clothing and speaking Spanish and thereby automagically transform yourself from an Indian into a mestizo is a place were biological race is not so important anymore. It has been replaced by social race.

Less fear of miscegenation. I am not aware that Latin American Whites are zealously guarding their bloodlines anymore. If they are, let me know. You can hardly demand that others marry White if you are not pure White yourself. There are some Latin American Whites who would like it to be this way, but they are going against nature. In particular, Latin American White males are increasingly marrying and breeding with relatively light-skinned mestizas. The purists lament this, but what can you do? A man will be a man.

In addition, there  is another operative trend, and that is the widespread tendency among Latin American mestizas to try to “marry White” in an effort to move up in the world themselves and to create a better future for their offspring. This is highly adaptive female thinking, and it leads to a paradoxical “Whitening” effect among mestizos that occurs concurrently with whatever “darkening” effect is going on among Latin American Whites.

It’s the wave of the future. As the world’s population gets more mixed, the sort of White Pride seen in Latin America will become more the norm for all groups. True, pure races will slowly die out and become more rare, but that’s neither good nor bad, it just is. If US Blacks, a mixed group, can be proud, then anyone can be proud of their racial elements. The progeny of a racial stew can feel proud of all of the elements that went into that stew. The result is an ethnic pride that is more tolerant, loving and unconditional.

Chavez’s Right Turn: State Realism versus International Solidarity,” by James Petras

This is an excellent article by James Petras.

He shows how Hugo Chavez has turned so far to the right that he is now in some ways one of the most rightwing Presidents in Latin America. For instance, only Chavez has supported the US and Colombia in backing the Honduran coup regime. And he is becoming one of Colombia’s sole allies in the region.

Why has he done this? A few reasons. For one, he’s surrounded and threatened. Colombia keeps threatening the invade Venezuela to go after Colombian rebels that hide there, and the US under “liberal” Barack Obama has just stationed 7 new military bases in Colombia for the sole purpose of attacking the Colombian guerrillas and threatening Venezuela. Colombia built up forces on the border, repeatedly crossed the Venezuelan border, and moved Colombian death squads into Venezuela to attack the people.

The Colombian guerrillas are on the defensive and can no longer provide the buffer that they formerly provided along the border to a Colombian invasion of Venezuela.

The Obama-backed coup against Honduras, which has resulted in a wave of murders against the Honduran Left, changed things. Chavez now realized that the Obama regime was willing to use military force to get what it wanted in Latin America.

At home, the opposition has made its strongest showing in a decade, winning about 50% of the latest vote, an election in which there was extreme US intervention on the side of the opposition.

In other words, he’s boxed in with nowhere to turn. Under these circumstances, Chavez has decided that the Colombian guerrillas, who they used to support, are a liability. He has been cooperating with Colombia in handing over guerrillas who are in Venezuela. He signed a non-aggression agreement with Colombia in return for an agreement to help catch any Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela. However, he has gotten little in return for this other than that Colombia has stopped invading and threatening his territory.Colombia still maintains a deep alliance with Chavez enemy, the US. Colombian forces are still massed along Venezuela’s borders.

Chavez hope to keep Colombia from joining in the US in any joint US-Colombian military escapades inside Venezuela. He also hopes to keep Colombia from joining in any US propaganda-destabilization efforts in Venezuela.

However, the threats have escalated, and the US appears emboldened. Chavez’ moves to the Right have not earned him the tiniest bit of praise or space from the US – they hate him more than ever. US imperialism slapped an embargo on the Venezuelan oil company due to Venezuela trading with Iran. I am not sure what this embargo entails? Incredibly, the Venezuelan opposition supported this foreign embargo on Venezuela! What a bunch of traitors.

Following his new alliance with Colombia, Chavez became the only nation other than Colombia in Latin America which has recognized the coup regime in Honduras. He did this under pressure from Colombia.

Petras points out how Allende’s Chile, Mexico in the 1980’s, Cuba and Brazil have all harbored Latin American guerrillas (in Brazil’s case, an Italian guerrilla). They refused to extradite them. But Chavez is boxed in in a way that these regimes may not have been.

Petras shows how other Left regimes also cooperated with the Right at various times. Stalin cooperated with Hitler for a while in order to buy some time to move his industry east of the Urals and build up his military-industrial complex. He even sent some German Communists who were hiding in the USSR to Germany, where they were certainly tortured and killed. But Stalin was boxed in, and he needed to buy some time, so he made a deal with the devil.

In the early 1970’s, Mao entered into a new alliance with the US under Richard Nixon’s detente. Afterward, Mao supported Pinochet and the rightist rebels in Angola. They denounced any Left regime that head the slightest ties with the USSR and supported their enemies, no matter how rightwing they were. All for the benefits of a sunshine policy with the US.

In the event of a new confrontation with the US, can Chavez expect his new Colombian ally to be neutral? Dubious. Colombia will probably ally with its imperial master in the US. And can he expect any support for the radical Left in Latin America now that he has betrayed them? This also is dubious. He may well end up with no friends at all.

Chavez’s Right Turn: State Realism versus International Solidarity

Introduction

The radical “Bolivarian Socialist” government of Hugo Chavez has arrested a number of Colombian guerrilla leaders and a radical journalist with Swedish citizenship and handed them over to the right-wing regime of President Juan Manuel Santos, earning the Colombian government’s praise and gratitude.

The close on-going collaboration between a leftist President with a regime with a notorious history of human rights violations, torture and disappearance of political prisoners has led to widespread protests among civil liberty advocates, leftists and populists throughout Latin America and Europe, while pleasing the Euro-American imperial establishment.

On April 26, 2011, Venezuelan immigration officials, relying exclusively on information from the Colombian secret police (DAS), arrested a naturalized Swedish citizen and journalist (Joaquin Perez Becerra) of Colombian descent, who had just arrived in the country. Based on Colombian secret police allegations that the Swedish citizen was a ‘FARC leader’, Perez was extradited to Colombia within 48 hours.

Despite the fact that it was in violation of international diplomatic protocols and the Venezuelan constitution, this action had the personal backing of President Chavez. A month later, the Venezuelan armed forces joined their Colombian counterparts and captured a leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Guillermo Torres (with the nom de Guerra Julian Conrado) who is awaiting extradition to Colombia in a Venezuelan prison without access to an attorney.

On March 17, Venezuelan Military Intelligence (DIM) detained two alleged guerrillas from the National Liberation Army (ELN), Carlos Tirado and Carlos Perez, and turned them over to the Colombian secret police. The new public face of Chavez as a partner of the repressive Colombian regime is not so new after all.

On December 13, 2004, Rodrigo Granda, an international spokesperson for the FARC and a naturalized Venezuelan citizen, whose family resided in Caracas, was snatched by plain-clothes Venezuelan intelligence agents in downtown Caracas where he had been participating in an international conference and secretly taken to Colombia with the ‘approval’ of the Venezuelan Ambassador in Bogota.

Following several weeks of international protest, including from many conference participants, President Chavez issued a statement describing the ‘kidnapping’ as a violation of Venezuelan sovereignty and threatened to break relations with Colombia.

In more recent times, Venezuela has stepped up the extradition of revolutionary political opponents of Colombia’s narco-regime: In the first five months of 2009, Venezuela extradited 15 alleged members of the ELN and in November 2010, a FARC militant and two suspected members of the ELN were handed over to the Colombian police. In January 2011 Nilson Teran Ferreira, a suspected ELN leader, was delivered to the Colombian military.

The collaboration between Latin America’s most notorious authoritarian rightwing regime and the supposedly most radical ‘socialist’ government raises important issues about the meaning of political identities and how they relate to domestic and international politics and more specifically what principles and interests guide state policies.

Revolutionary Solidarity and State Interests

The recent ‘turn’ in Venezuela politics, from expressing sympathy and even support for revolutionary struggles and movements in Latin America to its present collaboration with pro-imperial rightwing regimes, has numerous historical precedents. It may help to examine the contexts and circumstances of these collaborations: The Bolshevik revolutionary government in Russia initially gave whole hearted support to revolutionary uprisings in Germany, Hungary, Finland and elsewhere.

With the defeats of these revolts and the consolidation of the capitalist regimes, Russian state and economic interests took prime of place among the Bolshevik leaders. Trade and investment agreements, peace treaties and diplomatic recognition between Communist Russia and the Western capitalist states defined the new politics of “co-existence”. With the rise of fascism, the Soviet Union under Stalin further subordinated communist policy in order to secure state-to-state alliances, first with the Western Allies and, failing that, with Nazi Germany.

The Hitler-Stalin pact was conceived by the Soviets as a way to prevent a German invasion and to secure its borders from a sworn rightwing enemy. As part of Stalin’s expression of good faith, he handed over to Hitler a number of leading exiled German communist leaders, who had sought asylum in Russia. Not surprisingly they were tortured and executed. This practice stopped only after Hitler invaded Russia and Stalin encouraged the now decimated ranks of German communists to re-join the ‘anti-Nazi’ underground resistance.

In the early 1970’s, as Mao’s China reconciled with Nixon’s United States and broke with the Soviet Union, Chinese foreign policy shifted toward supporting US-backed counter-revolutionaries, including Holden Roberts in Angola and Pinochet in Chile.

China denounced any leftist government and movement, which, however faintly, had ties with the USSR, and embraced their enemies, no matter how subservient they were to Euro-American imperial interests.

In Stalin’s USSR and Mao’s China, short-term ‘state interests’ trumped revolutionary solidarity. What were these ‘state interests’?

In the case of the USSR, Stalin gambled that a ‘peace pact’ with Hitler’s Germany would protect them from an imperialist Nazi invasion and partially end the encirclement of Russia.

Stalin no longer trusted in the strength of international working class solidarity to prevent war, especially in light of a series of revolutionary defeats and the generalized retreat of the Left over the previous decades (Germany, Span, Hungary and Finland) .The advance of fascism and the extreme right, unremitting Western hostility toward the USSR and the Western European policy of appeasing Hitler, convinced Stalin to seek his own peace pact with Germany.

In order to demonstrate their ‘sincerity’ toward its new ‘peace partner’, the USSR downplayed their criticism of the Nazis, urging Communist parties around the world to focus on attacking the West rather than Hitler’s Germany, and gave into Hitler’s demand to extradite German Communist “terrorists” who had found asylum in the Soviet Union.

Stalin’s pursuit of short term ‘state interests’ via pacts with the “far right” ended in a strategic catastrophe: Nazi Germany was free to first conquer Western Europe and then turned its guns on Russia, invading an unprepared USSR and occupying half the country. In the meantime the international anti-fascist solidarity movements had been weakened and temporarily disoriented by the zigzags of Stalin’s policies.

In the mid-1970’s, the Peoples Republic of China’s ‘reconciliation’ with the US, led to a turn in international policy: ‘US imperialism’ became an ally against the greater evil ‘Soviet social imperialism’.

As a result China, under Chairman Mao Tse Tung, urged its international supporters to denounce progressive regimes receiving Soviet aid (Cuba, Vietnam, Angola, etc.) and it withdrew its support for revolutionary armed resistance against pro-US client states in Southeast Asia. China’s ‘pact’ with Washington was to secure immediate ‘state interests’: Diplomatic recognition and the end of the trade embargo.

Mao’s short-term commercial and diplomatic gains were secured by sacrificing the more fundamental strategic goals of furthering socialist values at home and revolution abroad. As a result, China lost its credibility among Third World revolutionaries and anti-imperialists, in exchange for gaining the good graces of the White House and greater access to the capitalist world market.

Short-term “pragmatism’ led to long-term transformation: The Peoples Republic of China became a dynamic emerging capitalist power, with some of the greatest social inequalities in Asia and perhaps the world.

Venezuela: State Interests versus International Solidarity

The rise of radical politics in Venezuela, which is the cause and consequence of the election of President Chavez (1999), coincided with the rise of revolutionary social movements throughout Latin America from the late 1990’s to the middle of the first decade of the 21st century (1995-2005).

Neo-liberal regimes were toppled in Ecuador, Bolivia and Argentina; mass social movements challenging neo-liberal orthodoxy took hold everywhere; the Colombian guerrilla movements were advancing toward the major cities; and center-left politicians were elected to power in Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Ecuador and Uruguay. The US economic crises undermined the credibility of Washington’s ‘free trade’ agenda.

The increasing Asian demand for raw materials stimulated an economy boom in Latin America, which funded social programs and nationalizations. In the case of Venezuela, a failed US-backed military coup and ‘bosses’ boycott’ in 2002-2003, forced the Chavez government to rely on the masses and turn to the Left. Chavez proceeded to “re-nationalize” petroleum and related industries and articulate a “Bolivarian Socialist” ideology.

Chavez’ radicalization found a favorable climate in Latin America and the bountiful revenues from the rising price of oil financed his social programs. Chavez maintained a plural position of embracing governing center-left governments, backing radical social movements and supporting the Colombian guerrillas’ proposals for a negotiated settlement. Chavez called for the recognition of Colombia’s guerrillas as legitimate ‘belligerents” not “terrorists’.

Venezuela’s foreign policy was geared toward isolating its main threat emanating from Washington by promoting exclusively Latin American/Caribbean organizations, strengthening regional trade and investment links and securing regional allies in opposition to US intervention, military pacts, bases and US-backed military coups. In response to US financing of Venezuelan opposition groups (electoral and extra parliamentary), Chavez has provided moral and political support to anti-imperialist groups throughout Latin America.

After Israel and American Zionists began attacking Venezuela, Chavez extended his support to the Palestinians and broadened ties with Iran and other Arab anti-imperialist movements and regimes. Above all, Chavez strengthened his political and economic ties with Cuba, consulting with the Cuban leadership, to form a radical axis of opposition to imperialism. Washington’s effort to strangle the Cuban revolution by an economic embargo was effectively undermined by Chavez’ large-scale, long-term economic agreements with Havana.

Up until the later part of this decade, Venezuela’s foreign policy – its ‘state interests’ – coincided with the interests of the left regimes and social movements throughout Latin America. Chavez clashed diplomatically with Washington’s client states in the hemisphere, especially Colombia, headed by narco-death squad President Alvaro Uribe (2002-2010). However recent years have witnessed several external and internal changes and a gradual shift toward the center.

The revolutionary upsurge in Latin America began to ebb: The mass upheavals led to the rise of center-left regimes, which, in turn, demobilized the radical movements and adopted strategies relying on agro-mineral export strategies, all the while pursuing autonomous foreign policies independent of US-control. The Colombian guerrilla movements were in retreat and on the defensive – their capacity to buffer Venezuela from a hostile Colombian client regime waned.

Chavez adapted to these ‘new realities’, becoming an uncritical supporter of the ‘social liberal’ regimes of Lula in Brazil, Morales in Bolivia, Correa in Ecuador, Vazquez in Uruguay and Bachelet in Chile. Chavez increasingly chose immediate diplomatic support from the existing regimes over any long-term support, which might have resulted from a revival of the mass movements.

Trade ties with Brazil and Argentina and diplomatic support from its fellow Latin American states against an increasingly aggressive US became central to Venezuela’s foreign policy: The basis of Venezuelan policy was no longer the internal politics of the center-left and centrist regimes but their degree of support for an independent foreign policy. Repeated US interventions failed to generate a successful coup or to secure any electoral victories, against Chavez.

As a result Washington increasingly turned to using external threats against Chavez via its Colombian client state, the recipient of $5 billion in military aid. Colombia’s military build-up, its border crossings and infiltration of death squads into Venezuela, forced Chavez into a large-scale purchase of Russian arms and toward the formation of a regional alliance (ALBA). The US-backed military coup in Honduras precipitated a major rethink in Venezuela’s policy.

The coup had ousted a democratically elected centrist liberal, President Zelaya in Honduras, a member of ALBA and set up a repressive regime subservient to the White House. However, the coup had the effect of isolating the US throughout Latin America -not a single government supported the new regime in Tegucigalpa. Even the neo-liberal regimes of Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Panama voted to expel Honduras from the Organization of American States.

On the one hand, Venezuela viewed this ‘unity’ of the right and center-left as an opportunity toward mending fences with the conservative regimes; and on the other, it understood that the Obama Administration was ready to use the ‘military option’ to regain its dominance. The fear of a US military intervention was greatly heightened by the Obama-Uribe agreement establishing seven US strategic military bases near its border with Venezuela.

Chavez wavered in his response to this immediate threat: At one point he almost broke trade and diplomatic relations with Colombia, only to immediately reconcile with Uribe, although the latter had demonstrated no desire to sign on to a pact of co-existence.

Meanwhile, the 2010 Congressional elections In Venezuela led to a major increase in electoral support for the US-backed right (approximately 50%) and their greater representation in Congress (40%). While the Right increased their support inside Venezuela, the Left in Colombia, both the guerrillas and the electoral opposition lost ground. Chavez could not count on any immediate counter-weight to a military provocation.

Chavez faced several options: The first was to return to the earlier policy of international solidarity with radical movements; the second was to continue working with the center-left regimes while maintaining strong criticism and firm opposition to the US backed neo-liberal regimes; and the third option was to turn toward the Right, more specifically to seek rapprochement with the newly elected President of Colombia, Santos and sign a broad political, military and economic agreement where Venezuela agreed to collaborate in eliminating Colombia’s leftist adversaries in exchange for promises of ‘non-aggression’ (Colombia limiting its cross-border narco and military incursions).

Venezuela and Chavez decided that the FARC was a liability and that support from the radical Colombian mass social movements was not as important as closer diplomatic relations with President Santos. Chavez has calculated that complying with Santos political demands would provide greater security to the Venezuelan state than relying on the support of the international solidarity movements and his own radical domestic allies among the trade unions and intellectuals.

In line with this Right turn, the Chavez regime fulfilled Santos’ requests – arresting FARC/ELN guerrillas, as well as a prominent leftist journalist, and extraditing them to a state which has had the worst human rights record in the Americas for over two decades, in terms of torture and extra-judicial assassinations. This Right turn acquires an even more ominous character when one considers that Colombia holds over 7600 political prisoners, over 7000 of whom are trade unionists, peasants, Indians, students, in other words non-combatants.

In acquiescing to Santos requests, Venezuela did not even follow the established protocols of most democratic governments: It did not demand any guaranties against torture and respect for due process. Moreover, when critics have pointed out that these summary extraditions violated Venezuela’s own constitutional procedures, Chavez launched a vicious campaign slandering his critics as agents of imperialism engaged in a plot to destabilize his regime.

Chavez’s new-found ally on the Right, President Santos has not reciprocated: Colombia still maintains close military ties with Venezuela’s prime enemy in Washington. Indeed, Santos vigorously sticks to the White House agenda: He successfully pressured Chavez to recognize the illegitimate regime of Lobos in Honduras- the product of a US-backed coup in exchange for the return of ousted ex-President Zelaya.

Chavez did what no other center-left Latin American President has dared to do: He promised to support the reinstatement of the illegitimate Honduran regime into the OAS. On the basis of the Chavez-Santos agreement, Latin American opposition to Lobos collapsed and Washington’s strategic goal was realized: a puppet regime was legitimized. Chavez agreement with Santos to recognize the murderous Lobos regime betrayed the heroic struggle of the Honduran mass movement.

Not one of the Honduran officials responsible for over a hundred murders and disappearances of peasant leaders, journalists, human rights and pro-democracy activists are subject to any judicial investigation. Chavez has given his blessings to impunity and the continuation of an entire repressive apparatus, backed by the Honduran oligarchy and the US Pentagon.

In other words, to demonstrate his willingness to uphold his ‘friendship and peace pact’ with Santos, Chavez was willing to sacrifice the struggle of one of the most promising and courageous pro-democracy movements in the Americas.

And What Does Chavez Seek in His Accommodation with the Right?

Security? Chavez has received only verbal ‘promises’, and some expressions of gratitude from Santos.

But the enormous pro-US military command and US mission remain in place. In other words, there will be no dismantling of the Colombian paramilitary-military forces massed along the Venezuelan border and the US military base agreements, which threaten Venezuelan national security, will not change. According to Venezuelan diplomats, Chavez’ tactic is to ‘win over’ Santos from US tutelage.

By befriending Santos, Chavez hopes that Bogota will not join in any joint military operation with the US or cooperate in future propaganda-destabilization campaigns. In the brief time since the Santos-Chavez pact was made, an emboldened Washington announced an embargo on the Venezuelan state oil company with the support of the Venezuelan congressional opposition. Santos, for his part, has not complied with the embargo, but then not a single country in the world has followed Washington’s lead.

Clearly, President Santos is not likely to endanger the annual $10 billion dollar trade between Colombia and Venezuela in order to humor the US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s diplomatic caprices. In contrast to Chavez policy of handing over leftist and guerrilla exiles to a rightist authoritarian regime, President Allende of Chile (1970-73) joined a delegation that welcomed armed fighters fleeing persecution in Bolivia and Argentina and offered them asylum.

For many years, especially in the 1980’s, Mexico, under center-right regimes, openly recognized the rights of asylum for guerrilla and leftist refugees from Central America – El Salvador and Guatemala. Revolutionary Cuba, for decades, offered asylum and medical treatment to leftist and guerrilla refugees from Latin American dictatorships and rejected demands for their extradition.

Even as late as 2006, when the Cuban government was pursuing friendly relations with Colombia and when its then Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque expressed his deep reservations regarding the FARC in conversations with the author, Cuba refused to extradite guerrillas to their home countries where they would be tortured and abused.

One day before he left office in 2011, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva denied Italy’s request to extradite Cesare Battisti, a former Italian guerrilla. As one Brazilian judge said -and Chavez should have listened: “At stake here is national sovereignty. It is as simple as that”. No one would criticize Chavez efforts to lessen border tensions by developing better diplomatic relations with Colombia and to expand trade and investment flows between the two countries.

What is unacceptable is to describe the murderous Colombian regime as a “friend” of the Venezuela people and a partner in peace and democracy, while thousands of pro-democracy political prisoners rot in TB-infested Colombian prisons for years on trumped-up charges.

Under Santos, civilian activists continue to be murdered almost every day. The most recent killing was yesterday (June 9,2011): Ana Fabricia Cordoba, a leader of community-based displaced peasants, was murdered by the Colombian armed forces.

Chavez’ embrace of the Santos narco-presidency goes beyond the requirements for maintaining proper diplomatic and trade relations. His collaboration with the Colombian intelligence, military and secret police agencies in hunting down and deporting Leftists (without due process!) smacks of complicity in dictatorial repression and serves to alienate the most consequential supporters of the Bolivarian transformation in Venezuela.

Chavez’ role in legitimizing of the Honduran coup-regime, without any consideration for the popular movements’ demands for justice, is a clear capitulation to the Santos – Obama agenda. This line of action places Venezuela’s ‘state’ interests over the rights of the popular mass movements in Honduras.

Chavez’ collaboration with Santos on policing leftists and undermining popular struggles in Honduras raises serious questions about Venezuela’s claims of revolutionary solidarity. It certainly sows deep distrust about Chavez future relations with popular movements who might be engaged in struggle with one of Chavez’s center-right diplomatic and economic partners.

What is particularly troubling is that most democratic and even center-left regimes do not sacrifice the mass social movements on the altar of “security” when they normalize relations with an adversary.

Certainly the Right, especially the US, protects its former clients, allies, exiled right-wing oligarch and even admitted terrorists from extradition requests issued by Venezuela, Cuba and Argentina. Mass murders and bombers of civilian airplanes manage to live comfortably in Florida.

Why Venezuela submits to the Right-wing demands of the Colombians, while complaining about the US protecting terrorists guilty of crimes in Venezuela, can only be explained by Chavez ideological shift to the Right, making Venezuela more vulnerable to pressure for greater concessions in the future.

Chavez is no longer interested in the support from the radical left: his definition of state policy revolves around securing the ‘stability’ of Bolivarian socialism in one country, even if it means sacrificing Colombian militants to a police state and pro-democracy movements in Honduras to an illegitimate US-imposed regime. History provides mixed lessons.

Stalin’s deals with Hitler were a strategic disaster for the Soviet people: once the Fascists got what they wanted they turned around and invaded Russia. Chavez has so far not received any ‘reciprocal’ confidence-building concession from Santos military machine. Even in terms of narrowly defined ‘state interests’, he has sacrificed loyal allies for empty promises. The US imperial state is Santos’ primary ally and military provider.

China sacrificed international solidarity for a pact with the US, a policy that led to unregulated capitalist exploitation and deep social injustices.

When and if the next confrontation between the US and Venezuela occurs, will Chavez, at least, be able to count on the “neutrality” of Colombia? If past and present relations are any indication, Colombia will side with its client-master, mega-benefactor and ideological mentor.

When a new rupture occurs, can Chavez count on the support of the militants, who have been jailed, the mass popular movements he pushed aside and the international movements and intellectuals he has slandered? As the US moves toward new confrontations with Venezuela and intensifies its economic sanctions, domestic and international solidarity will be vital for Venezuela’s defense. Who will stand up for the Bolivarian revolution, the Santos and Lobos of this “realist world”? Or the solidarity movements in the streets of Caracas and the Americas?