The cognitive dissonance of western “progressive liberals”

by Andre Vltchek

Most likely you have already heard that tune, ten times, or maybe one hundred, depending where you live and the circle of friends you have. But let me remind you how it goes: “I’ll never set foot in Singapore, because it is all business there.” Or: “Let others go to Gulf countries, I’d never do something like that. They have no culture and it is all showing off and glitz there, purchased with oil money… not to mention all those terrible conflicts they are fueling in the region.” Then, there is that big ugly “I” name: “Me going there? Over my dead body! It is illegitimate; it is sitting on other peoples’ land.”
So it goes…
While genuine criticism is always healthy, it is important to realize that many of those who get ignited by even hearing the names of places like Dubai or Singapore are actually living in the cities like New York, Paris or London. Some are even practicing law, or other mainstream professions that have to be defined as the true mainstays of Western regimes.
Most of those opinionated individuals regurgitating a variety of clichés are actually extremely selective in choosing the targets of their rage. They like playing it safe. Some admit that they are actually cowards, and would never openly rock the boat, never identify with any ‘radical’ (according to them, even being ‘Marxist’ or ‘revolutionary’ is ‘radical’ or ‘extreme’) labels, as they’d never march publicly under any (especially if the color is red) flag.
We are talking about ‘progressive liberals’, or ‘moderate leftists’ or ‘those who sympathize with the left, but go by particular issues’: well, liberals in short.
Some are Westerners, locally ‘produced’ (or should we say ‘mass-produced’), but others actually live in the West but even come from countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya, places thoroughly shattered by Western imperialism.
Only a few of my friends (and I respect those few very much for their proud and decisive stand) would ever say: “I’ll never go to London, because Brits murdered directly or indirectly few hundred millions of human beings, and in a way they are doing it until now.”
If you boycott Dubai or Singapore, shouldn’t New York or London actually be on the top of your list? Unless you actually live there, enjoying countless benefits financed by imperialist plunder. And if you are not so ‘pure’ yourself, then don’t be too fussy about others, and about the ‘secondary centers of evil’.

There is plenty of shouting originating from millions of comfy couches in the living rooms of the US, UK, France or Germany, but too little appetite or cojones to organize, show discipline and hard work, or to join some good old-fashioned revolution or a revolutionary movement, the only actions that could still actually make some real change in those depressing, paralyzed societies that are always living at someone else’s expense, from someone else’s sweat and blood, while continuously reserving ‘rights’ to moralize and to pass lofty judgments against others.
While mainstream ‘left-leaning liberals’ are constantly ridiculing Western pop and the mainstream (including, of course, Western media), most of their references actually come from exactly those sources! Take them to Asia, Latin America or Africa, and their ignorance would shine like that famous Cape of Good Hope lighthouse.
Outside of the realm of West-centered stereotypes, they know very little, or close to nothing, but they have always ‘their own’ opinion, about everything and about every place.
Their assessments of places like Ecuador, Philippines, China, Russia or Syria are based on thoroughly mainstream logic. Or sorry, they are actually based on the ‘liberal’ or ‘moderately progressively’ mainstream logic.
If a traditional Latin American or Asian revolutionary were to be locked, as a cruel punishment, with such person or group of people in the same room for two or three months, he or she would go insane, in the end perhaps murdering them, or committing suicide. Soft Western (or Westernized) left/mainstream left-leaning liberals and people of true revolutionary left are two opposites with absolute zero tolerance for each other (but plenty of genuine allergy).
Once I spent a long evening in a pub in Manila with my Chinese revolutionary Marxist friend, a musician, and a British human rights lawyer. The encounter was truly Kafkaesque. Although they debated in English (my friend’s English was perfect), it often appeared that they both needed an interpreter.
I recently watched with great delight a television debate (in fact a duel) between my Argentinian friend and comrade, left-wing historian Néstor Gorojovsky, and some Spanish ‘progressive’ self appointed ‘judge’ of the Presidents Assad and Putin. Their relatively polite exchange lasted for approximately 2 minutes. What followed were naked insults. It was truly delightful to watch! It just so rarely happens in the West and especially when English language is used, that such great thinker like Néstor would explode live on TV and suddenly employ fitting gutter language (the only one that he actually really wants to use on such an occasion) attacking and defining his archenemy – a ‘moderate’, mainstream, cowardly and submissive leftist. Of course the language that was used on the program was Spanish.
Oh, how scared are liberals of such explosions! How much they hate it when first Chavez and then Duterte unleashed it in front of television cameras, even at the United Nations! They hate is simply because they’d never dare to confront the establishment, the global regime, at least not publicly, not outside their pub. It is ‘too impolite’, ‘too vulgar’, isn’t it? Or is it actually just too impractical?
In London and New York, they dance like animals, like maniacs, drunk or stoned in their clubs, wagging buttocks to the most absurd and primitive rhythms, but to shout insults at the mass murderers is ‘vulgar’.
Yes, there is nothing more pathetic than ‘moderate movements’ and individuals, than ‘moderately progressive masses’. They kill the very essence of human existence, which is, of course, rebellion. No progress could ever come from intellectual or political moderation. Genius is always extreme. Courage is extreme! Only a coward could call for upholding the law or for some static, boring, despotic harmony (like that promoted by Confucius or now by Western liberalism).
In 1911, the great Czech novelist Jaroslav Hašek, launched his political party – Strana mírného pokroku v mezích zákona. Loosely translated into English it means “Party of Measured Progress, Within the Parameters of Law”. It was a joke, of course, a typical Czech intellectual piss take. Hašek knew perfectly well, that no progress could be ‘measured’, and no true change could ever be ‘legal’.

The problem is that Western mainstream liberals, and even their layers (¡Ay, qué horror!) actually do travel abroad. Many go far away, as far as Asia, Latin America, even Africa. And they bring with them their little, scared, conformist, indecisive and essentially cowardly world.
Their guilt from overindulging and doing nothing and challenging nothing at home, converts into a species of violently distasteful political correctness. Abroad they feel like ‘overcompensating’. They become excessively polite to hotel and airline staff, to porters and waitresses. Some even begin making their own beds in five-star hotels. They are constantly looking for ‘real people’, for ‘traditional places’ and for ‘real life’. It is pointless to show or to explain anything to them: they trust exclusively and arrogantly, their ‘own instinct’ only, which was (of course they’d passionately deny it), formed by the mainstream back in the US, UK, France, or elsewhere in the West.
Tell them the truth that a ‘real’ Thai or Vietnamese family would rather eat out in a Japanese or Korean restaurant than in traditional local eatery, and they’d spit in your face. You would trigger the same reaction, if you tried to deconstruct their preconceptions about Zimbabwe, Soviet Union, Syria, or present day Philippines.
Intellectually, their ‘good intentions’ often do more harm than Western spy agencies. The best would be to prevent them (somehow) from interacting with local intelligentsias (to avert contamination), as all they bring with them are boorish clichés, passivity, spinelessness, and yes, embarrassing ignorance!
In a way (but don’t tell them, please), they are like Obama or the Clintons. They know how to talk, but there is no substance, no true passion, no poetry, and no fire behind their perfect pronunciation. Their gutlessness morally corrupts.
They have no ideology, and no beliefs. Their passions are shallow and short-lived. Their world is surreal. It kills; their world murders all higher aspirations, it chokes dreams, it gags revolutionary shouts and blocks any courageous action!

The World according to the Western liberals is an extremely orderly place. Paradoxically, most of them ‘don’t trust any government’, and some even call themselves ‘anarchists’ (my goodness, I cannot imagine any of them breaking even the speed limit, let alone a window! What anarchy, bordel!?).
If you leave it up to them, nothing would ever change. When Fidel died, many of them were ‘heartbroken’, but the closest they ever got to him was Hotel Tropicana in Havana, or that tourist trap La Bodegita de Medio. As steamy Buena Vista Social Club (brought to the limelight in the West by a German film director Wim Wenders) is their symbol of Cuban music, Fidel and Che personify their secret ‘dark’ dreams, periodically reminding them what they lost or betrayed, what is truly human, and what they will never manage to become, anymore!
They admire science, partially because they absolutely don’t understand it, but mainly because it symbolizes some sort of opposite to the most beautiful and most powerful human instincts (which they lost many years ago): passionate and irrational belief in much better world, an unconditional and single-minded loyalty to the cause (exactly what made both Fidel and Che defeat oppressive and reactionary forces), as well as emotions and instincts that are always much more precious and human than any logic or reason!

If you’d get locked in the same room with ‘them’, you’ll soon lose all your ability to create, to think imaginatively, and to struggle. If you were in the middle of writing a novel, you’d lose your plot. If you were charging, metaphorically running towards the enemy lines, you’d stumble and fall.
If you’d spend too much time in that room, you would betray. Even longer, and you’d die, at least as an independent, free thinker, and a dreamer. Your flags and your beloved labels would be dragged through dirt. Your essence would be questioned and challenged. Nothing would remain pure, nothing sacred.
The world of the Western (or Westernized) mainstream liberals is like a swamp. You should never come close to it. There is no need to be close. There is nothing there for you. One wrong step and you will die, for nothing, for absolutely nothing. Of course that ‘nothing’ is nor really ‘nothing’; it consists of passivity, of lazy cowardice (intellectual, artistic, simply human), and it could even be, to some extent, and in a perverse way, attractive. You’d be sucked in, then reshaped and reconditioned, and finally end up like the others, sharing a bed with oblivion.
Most of the world has been already sucked into this, conditioned, lobotomized and ‘pacified’.
You know it. You sense it. You saw others being destroyed. Still you and those like you, periodically make those fatal errors and follow the honey-coated voices of the ‘moderately-left-leaning-liberal’ mermaids, then ending up in a gutter, stripped of all your powers, self-respect and courage.
Three most beautiful Russian names, three symbols of existence, are exactly what that swamp is not: Love, Belief and Hope. Add to them Courage, add Loyalty, and you get Life. The essence of it is what you get. Something great and worth living and fighting for, something that has been, temporarily, wiped out from the surface of Earth, by ‘reason’ which is not real reason at all, by illogical logic, by kitschy and cheap feelings, by unsavory surrogates of love, by inability to trust, to believe, and to stand tall and proud, against all odds, against the entire world, if that is what the moment is calling for.
Only with Love, Belief and Hope, big battles for the benefit of humanity can be won. If all three were present, then two beautiful sisters – Courage and Loyalty – would definitely come and stay. Rationality and logic can make life more comfortable, sometimes, but only if there actually still is some life left.
The “outside world” is in turmoil, once again. Rebellion against the Western regime, against the Empire is brewing. These are good days; this is the era that will be remembered by future generations.
Let us keep Western mainstream liberals at bay. Let’s not allow their nihilism, their neurotic selfishness, ignorance, emotional laziness and passivity influence that great reawakening that is taking place on all continents of the world.
Let them remain on their couches and in their pubs.
And let us get to work: first constructing the barricades under our beloved and now undusted labels and flags, and then (after the victory) rebuilding the world!

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Three of his latest books are revolutionary novel “Aurora” and two bestselling works of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and “Fighting Against Western Imperialism”. View his other books here. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Al-Mayadeen. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo. After having lived in Latin America, Africa and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter.


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Categories: empire watch, Essays, latest
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Feb 9, 2017 6:55 AM

If the aim of this peice is to remind Americans what it will take to de-throne a dictator the Bravo!

Feb 7, 2017 12:52 AM

The reaction of progressives and fellow leftists to events over the last few years in Ukraine and Syria (even Libya) has totally shocked me. I feel like i’m living in a parallell universe, in some kind of perverse Mandela effect, I even find myself defending Donald Trump in dicussions FFS. People are raging about matters of etiquette and ignoring matters of life and death. WTF.

kevin morris
kevin morris
Feb 6, 2017 6:54 PM

Tend to agree. Progressives seem only to get off supporting minority causes so it is now unfashionable to support the working classes who tend to have views and outlooks that are embarrassingly unprogressive. It is a shame, but I think the days of the left might be over and frankly, we have only ourselves to blame.

Feb 7, 2017 3:54 AM
Reply to  kevin morris

Aye!…good manners is the last resort of…probably some German word for it?

Feb 6, 2017 1:57 PM

Reblogged this on EU: Ramshackle Empire.

Anna Zimmerman
Anna Zimmerman
Feb 6, 2017 11:53 AM

I know lots of people like this. London is full of them. Although I live in London, I find it an increasingly repugnant place. Going into the centre in particular has become the most depressing experience, with the decadence, ignorance, grandiosity and inhumanity glaringly obvious everywhere. Once your eyes have been opened to the violence and hypocrisy that underpins our civilization places like London become especially hard to stomach.

Feb 6, 2017 4:26 AM

Tell them the truth that a ‘real’ Thai or Vietnamese family would rather eat out in a Japanese or Korean restaurant than in traditional local eatery,…
As a Westerner who lives in Vietnam and who only knows ‘real’ Vietnamese people I can assure you that comment is rubbish. Not once have I set foot in a Korean restaurant and while I have been to a Japanese one, my trips to Vietnamese restaurants must outnumber it 50 to 1. When I go to Thailand where I know only ‘real’ Thai people not once have I been in either a Korean or Japanese restaurant. Perhaps my Thai and Vietnamese friends, relatives and colleagues aren’t ‘real’. When I asked my wife she said she hates Korean food as the flavours are alien to her.

Feb 6, 2017 12:40 AM

Hooray for Trump’s ‘You think our country is so innocent?’ – after O’Reilly calls Putin ‘a killer’!
Wouldn’t it be great if this started a trend of telling the truth? That would really upset the apple-cart.

Feb 5, 2017 11:13 PM

” …no progress could be ‘measured’, and no true change could ever be ‘legal’.” Well, that may be true in Czechoslovakia, but in the UK (and probably the US and the Commonwealth – which fundamentally have the same Constitution) ‘We the people’ could demand a return to the ‘Rule of Law’ – that is Common Law based on Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights 1689, as administered by Trial by Jury (under the principle that we are all equal before the law) – and as opposed to statutory law laid down by an increasingly out of control Parliament, which has declared itself sovereign, and usurped our power. As a means of revolution, no need for violence, in strict adherence to the real Constitution, just a couple of million signatures – no more than we did it to ‘protect’ the Queen from meeting Trump – we could preserve our statutory rights… Read more »

Feb 6, 2017 2:47 AM
Reply to  BigB

Yes Big B. The fly in the ointment though is that Magna Carter was more a contract between the King and the secondary layers of Kingdom..Barons, big landlords, merchants et al… “WE THE PEOPLE”…was just a bit of fine sounding lip service.

Feb 6, 2017 2:01 PM
Reply to  pavlovscat7

Absolutely correct Pav; but the law is not a static monument, it’s living and organic – there is 800 years of Common Law Justice to be laid over Magna Carta to bring its principles right up to date (even the Supreme Court has just referenced it, so it’s current.) The real problem is in convincing a few million of my fellow countrypersons that the law has been usurped by lying politicians. Then all I have to do is find “25 Barons” and I can have a “Lawful Rebellion!”

Feb 6, 2017 5:05 PM
Reply to  BigB

You’ll be lucky, any such attempts would be deemed unlawful under some new law and Hello HM prison Service. In case you haven’t noticed our laws are being stripped away to afford us less protections, many of which were protections against the government. Soon it will be illegal to offer up an opinion, much less openly denounce something and declare it wrong.
Who ever has the money can literally buy the law(police), the CPS and the constitution such as it is.
Our revolution better start soon!

Feb 8, 2017 8:25 AM
Reply to  mohandeer

Totally agree, and admit to being a little disingenuous, and suspect you may be too – after all THE Sacred Cow of the Left (Marxist or otherwise) is the glorious Revolution – what Revolution? After all, how bad does it have to get? I would say that much of the coming totalitarian state is already extant – the only reason that so few notice and much less protest – is precisely because there is (and will continue to be) so little resistance to the rolling back of civil liberties. Pav nearly got it right – “we, the sheeple” would be a better summation – much as it pains my revolutionary heart to say. Outside of present company, apparently ‘the people’ are ok with Treason May establishing our country as a tax-free playground for the already over-rich free-wealth-endowed propertied class. The Left-liberals have sold out and joined her cause. Revolutionaries and… Read more »

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig
Feb 7, 2017 3:33 PM
Reply to  BigB

Don’t be naïve. Even where there is no actual violence, in order for protests to be taken seriously, there usually has to be at least the implied threat of violence, otherwise the protests will simply be ignored.

Feb 7, 2017 6:46 PM
Reply to  Seamus Padraig

Not sure what implied threat was inherent in Ghandiji’s Salt Marches? The Brits must have been terrified into granting independence – all those people making salt.

Frank Russell
Frank Russell
Feb 5, 2017 6:37 PM


Feb 5, 2017 5:23 PM

What a breath of fresh air!