Europe, fascism, latest, Ukraine, United States, USA

The story of Charlottesville was written in blood in the Ukraine

by Ajamu Baraka, August 16, 2017, via Black Agenda Report
Some of the neo-Nazis President Obama helped put in power in Ukraine carried Confederate flags. U.S. society has been moving rightward for decades — and pulling much of Europe with it.

What is the character of racist right-wing politics today?  Is it the crazed white supremacist who plows into an anti-fascist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, or can it also be the assurance by Lindsay Graham that an attack against North Korea would result in thousands of lives lost…. but those lives will be “over there”?  What about the recent unanimous resolution by both Houses of Congress in support of Israel and criticism of the United Nations for its alleged anti-Israeli bias?  Would that qualify as racist and right-wing, since it appears that the ongoing suffering of the Palestinians is of no concern?  And what about the vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to go even beyond the obscene proposal of the Trump administration to increase the military budget by $54 billion dollars and instead add a whopping $74 billion to the Pentagon budget?

What I find interesting about the current discussion around what many are referring to as the emboldening of the radical white supremacist right is how easy it is to mobilize opposition against the crude and overt white supremacists we saw in Charlottesville.  So easy, in fact, that it’s really a distraction from the more difficult and dangerous work that needs to be done to confront the real right-wing power brokers.

The white supremacy that some of us see as more insidious is not reflected in the simple, stereotypical images of the angry, Nazi-saluting alt-righter or even Donald Trump.  Instead, it is the normalized and thus invisible white supremacist ideology inculcated into cultural and educational institutions and the policies that stem from those ideas.  That process doesn’t just produce the storm troopers of the armed and crazed radical right but also such covert true believers as Robert Ruben from Goldman Sachs, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Tony Blair and Nancy Pelosi — “decent” individuals who have never questioned for a moment the superiority of Western civilization, who believe completely in the White West’s right and responsibility to determine which nations should have sovereignty and who should be the leaders of “lesser” nations.   And who believe that there is no alternative to the wonders of global capitalism even if it means that billions of human beings are consigned permanently to what Fanon called the “zone of non-being.”

This is the white supremacy that I am concerned with. And while I recognize the danger of the violent right-wing movement, I am more concerned with the right-wing policies that are being enacted into law and policy by both Democrats and Republicans at every level of government.

More than two years ago I wrote that:

“The brutal repression and dehumanization witnessed across Europe in the 1930s has not found generalized expression in the U.S. and Europe, at least not yet. Nevertheless, large sectors of the U.S. and European left appear to be unable to recognize that the U.S./NATO/EU axis that is committed to maintaining the hegemony of Western capital is resulting in dangerous collaborations with rightist forces both inside and outside of governments.”

The impetus of that article was to critique the inherent danger of the Obama administration’s cynical manipulation of right-wing elements in Ukraine to overthrow the democratically elected government of Viktor Yanukovych.  Not only was it dangerous and predictably disastrous for the Ukrainian people, but because U.S. support for a neo-fascist movement in Ukraine took place within a context in which the political right was gaining legitimacy and strength across Europe.  The political impact of the right gaining power in the Ukraine could not be isolated from the growing power of the right elsewhere.  Which meant that the Obama Admiration’s selfish, short-term objective to undermine Russia in the Ukraine had the effect of empowering the right and shifting the balance of forces toward the right throughout Europe.

But because Obama was incorrectly seen as a liberal, he was able to avoid most criticism of his policies in the Ukraine, in Europe and domestically.  In fact, liberals and the left both in the U.S. and in Europe generally supported his Ukraine policies.

However, playing footsie with right-wing elements in the Ukraine and underestimating the growing power of the right has resulted in powerful and dangerous right-wing movements on both sides of the Atlantic who have effectively exploited endemic white racism and the contradictions of neoliberal capitalist globalization.  The ascendancy of Donald Trump cannot be decontextualized from the racial, class and gender politics of this moment here and abroad.

The alt-right that showed up in Charlottesville this past weekend was mimicking the tactics of the frontline neo-fascist soldiers who orchestrated the coup in the Ukraine, yet everyone is saying this is a result of Trump.  The objective fact is that the U.S. has become a dangerous right-wing society as a result of a steady shift to the right over the past four decades.  The idea that Trump’s election somehow “created” the right cannot be taken seriously and cannot be reduced to the crude expressions of the alt-right.

The structures of white power, that is the structures and institutions that provide the material base for Euro-American white supremacy and its ideological reproduction, should be the focus of radical opposition.  But the capitalist order and its institutions — the World Trade Organization, IMF, World Bank, and global Westernized higher education that serves as the material basis for hegemonic white supremacist power – escape critical scrutiny because popular attention is directed against a David Duke and a Donald Trump.

Trump and the alt-right have become useful diversions for white supremacist liberals and leftists who would rather fight against those superficial caricatures of racism than engage in more difficult ideological work involving real self-sacrifice — purging themselves of all racial sentimentality associated with the mythology of the place of white people, white civilization and whiteness in the world in order to pursue a course for justice that will result in the loss of white material privilege.

“The many manifestations of an entrenched right-wing ideology that cannot be conveniently and opportunistically reduced to Trump and the Republicans.”

Looking at white supremacy from this wider-angle lens, it is clear that support for the Israeli state, war on North Korea, mass black and brown incarceration, a grotesque military budget, urban gentrification, the subversion of Venezuela, the state war on black and brown people of all genders, and the war on reproductive rights are among the many manifestations of an entrenched right-wing ideology that cannot be conveniently and opportunistically reduced to Trump and the Republicans.

And when we understand that white supremacy is not just what is in someone’s head but is also a global structure with ongoing, devastating impacts on the people of the world, we will understand better why some of us have said that in order for the world to live, the 525-year-old white supremacist Pan-European, colonial/capitalist patriarchy must die.

Your choice will be clear: Either you join us as gravediggers or you surrender to class and racial privilege and join the cross-class white united front.  The alt-right is waiting, and they are taking recruits from the left who are tired of “identity politics.”


Ajamu Baraka was the 2016 candidate for vice president on the Green Party ticket. He is an editor and columnist for the Black Agenda Report and contributing columnist for Counterpunch magazine.  His latest publications include contributions to Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence (Counterpunch Books, 2014), Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA (HarperCollins, 2014) and Claim No Easy Victories: The Legacy of Amilcar Cabral ( CODESRIA, 2013). He can be reached at http://www.AjamuBaraka.com

21 Comments

  1. rehmat1 says

    On July 28, 2017, UK-based African writer and blogger Adeyinka Makinde posted an article, entitled: Post-Maidan Ukrainian Antisemitism: Another Tragic Blowback From US Interventionist Foreign Policy. Interestingly, Makinde claims that he is not Jewish even though 50% of his blog posts are about Jewish sufferings. He also admits that he delivers lectures on African Jewish heritage at synagogues and other Jewish gatherings.

    According to Makinde, the Maidan coup was overseen by Jewish Victoria Nuland in collaboration with other American Israel-First such as Sen. John McCain, Sen. Lindsey Graham, etc. but he still blame Ukrainians for hating Jews.

    “Anti-Semitism is embedded in the history of Ukraine. Ukraine composed a large geographical segment of the Pale of Settlement where Jews were largely restricted at the time of the Russian empire. Babi Yar, the ravine site of an infamous massacre of almost 34,000 Jews in 1941 is situated in Kiev,” claims Makinde.

    Ukraine is home to 450,000 Muslims, mostly Tartars expelled by Russian dictator Josef Stalin. Country’s richest person, Rinat Leonidovych Akhmetov, is a Tatar Muslim. He is a coal and steel magnate and owner of Shakhtar Dontesk soccer, and Ukraine’ English newspaper Kyiv Post. Rinat is married to Russian singer and actress Liliya Smirnova.

    Ukrainian Muslim singer Susana Jamaldinova won the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm, Sweden last year. Listen to her below:

    https://rehmat1.com/2017/08/18/lobby-ukraine-is-ruled-by-neo-nazis/

    Like

    • Paul says

      I’m not sure what point Rehat1 is making here. The fact that Ukraine was widely involved in the murder of Jews was well known and dated back to the 19thC. Perhaps the most telling account is that of the Police Chief of Odessa boasting he had himself killed thousands of a Jews as they fled the city naked and on foot in 1941. Tens of thousands were killed. The area was at the time under the occupation of Romanian forces and according to some it was on the insistence of the King and the Catholic Church that the police chief and colleagues were arrested for mass murder and imprisoned in Romania for some months. The Romanian authorities forbade anti Jewish programs. The police were later released after German pressure. It is also well known that killing of Jews in places like Lviv started in 1941 before the German Army even arrived! 30,000 Jews were massacred on that single occasion. Ukrainian Auxiliary police largely manned the Extermination Camps in Poland. The large scale of killing of Poles especially in Western Ukraine goes unremarked on today, it no doubt being a “sensitive” subject. Ukrainian Nationalists were still fighting a terrorist war against the Red Army in the 1950’s although many ended up in Canada and the US where their descendants are important politically and as can be imagined were delighted by the 2014 Kiev coup and had helped fund the Maiden “protesters”. Is it now argued Ukraine isn’t deeply anti Semitic? Phillipe Sands book East West Street gives fascinating insight into some of these events.

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      • “I’m not sure what point Rehat1 is making here.”

        A certain tribe is evil. It is behind every single intrigue, war and destabilization currently under way anywhere in the world, exactly as it explains everything bad that has ever happened in the past.

        You now know the only thing you need to know to understand absolutely everything: one tribe, one world, one conspiracy.

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  2. Power has no color, but coincidentally. I would edit Baraka’s piece by dropping the color adjective from his analysis where inappropriate.

    For example, I take issue with this:

    The white supremacy that some of us see as more insidious is not reflected in the simple, stereotypical images of the angry, Nazi-saluting alt-righter or even Donald Trump. Instead, it is the normalized and thus invisible white supremacist ideology inculcated into cultural and educational institutions and the policies that stem from those ideas.

    Rather, to break free of the racial paradigm in order to decisively shift the narrative and come a bit closer to a better approximation to the truth, what Baraka should have written is something like this:

    The [ideological] supremacy that some of us see as more insidious is not [accurately] reflected in the simple, stereotypical images of the angry, [white supremacist] Nazi-saluting alt-righter or even Donald Trump. Instead, it is the normalized and thus invisible [fascistic] supremacist ideology [unconsciously] inculcated into cultural and educational institutions and the policies that stem from those ideas.

    In that fashion, I would amend the whole of Baraka’s piece.

    Capitalism doesn’t have or even favor a color but for purely contingent historical factors, although in its fascistic phase, in periods of crisis, of potential or actual mass rebellions, it may indeed (and does) opportunistically foment divisions along the lines of existing popular racial prejudices, as along the lines of any number of other culturally reified (or ontologized) ethnic “differences.”

    Other than that, Baraka’s piece is well worth the read and mulling over . . .

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    • Christopher Barclay says

      Thanks, white man, for editing brother Baraka’s article. Now you’ve put him in his place, I’m sure, he’ll be a good boy and submit his next article to be corrected by you before publication.

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      • Do explain the difference between a “white” man and a “black” man to me. I mean, the “essential” difference between the two.

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      • Will Christopher Barclay make good my request, I wonder, or will he be content with having merely cast his racist “white man” aspersion?

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  3. michaelk says

    Martin Jenkins in today’s Guardian warns about the obsession of the liberal left with Trump’s ‘evilness’ to the exclusion of almost all other political issues. This is because the liberal left don’t have anything else to sell but opposition to and demonisation of, Trump. Their anti-Trump and that’s about it, and that isn’t enough to win elections.

    Essentially the left, the liberals, the Democrats , the combined media, and the Republican leadership are still fighting the last election campaign, only now it’s a ‘de-election’ campaign their on, attempting to reverse the election result. Trump and the hysteria surrounding him shows a ruling elite in the advanced stages of total collapse. Apart from clining to power they have nothing really to say to the American people and they are losing their mandate to rule. The social contract between the ruled and their rulers is breaking down, which is what the electoral success of Trump really means. The people preferred a ‘fascist’ or a ‘socialist’ to the vetted and approved candidates they were presented with and allowed to chose between. The rise of both Trump and Sanders shows how willing most Americans are to reject their twin-party system and vote for a candidate that promises to ‘destroy’ the system they despise.

    I also think people forget what NAZI means. It sold itself as a national, socialist, workers party. Sometimes the emphasis was on the nationalist part, other times they dialed-up the socialist part. In Europe one can see a strong current of ‘nationalist socialism’ flowing and gaining momentum in many countries, for example Denmark. Today’s successful nationalist socialists, or nazis, have dropped the overt military trappings in favour of business suits and female leaders, but just below the surface many of the core ideas of nationalist socialism remain.

    Arguably, the ideology of the neo-conservatives, which has been embraced by both the Democrats, the Republicans, vast swathes of the liberals and the media, is far, far closer to old-school fascism than Trump is and far more dangerous, because the neo-cons have more power than Trump and have started many more wars.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nazis are suddenly convenient when establishment MSM & Co want to attack Trump. That is all this is for.

    They marched/gathered well before 2017 and didn’t just appear overnight. Now suddenly…OH MY GOD….Look Nazis!!!

    Those claiming to shout down Nazis loudest would like nothing better than to embolden them. That’s what they are doing. What is it with all this statue removal hysteria – why now? As much as I think Trump is an arse, his response to the media was spot on. You couldn’t fault his argument.

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  5. bevin says

    Mateo Pimentel chooses this apposite quotation to make his poinr:
    “…Nearly a century ago, Spanish anarchist Buenaventura Durruti offered very valuable advice during an interview he gave with the Toronto Star:
    ‘No government in the world fights Fascism to the death. When the bourgeoisie sees power slipping from its grasp, it has recourse to Fascism to maintain itself. The Liberal Government of Spain could have rendered the Fascist elements powerless long ago. Instead it compromised and dallied. Even now at this moment, there are men in this Government who want to go easy on the rebels… We want revolution here in Spain, right now, not maybe after the next European war. We are giving Hitler and Mussolini far more worry with our revolution than the whole Red Army of Russia. We are setting an example to the German and Italian working class on how to deal with Fascism…”

    What Durruti didn’t understand was that fascism originated in the USA, and that the South was its womb. The US government, the media, the Academy and Public Opinion have all been stalwart promoters of fascism around the world for the past seventy years. You can’t apologise for the Buenos Aires junta, Allende, the Saud family, Synghman Rhee, Verwoerd, Franco or Netanyahu-all members of the Fascist Hall of Fame- (not to mention Al Nusra and the White Helmets) and take exception to those mimicking their behaviour in Virginia.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. An intelligent analysis which brings in behind it a confusing and vile load of anti-White, racist garbage–all, somehow, in the service of getting rid of “racism,” which is obviously in the author’s mind synonymous with “White.” Has the author never heard of “Han” racism, or Jewish racism? Black racism? There have been a lot of black “anti-fascist” racists on the streets beating up all and sundry who disagree with their take on the world. It was a step forward reading Baraka’s views on the connections between the Ukraine “revolution” and the rise of right-wing movements in the West. It was, indeed, a cynical, dangerous move, and everyone knew it at the time. But how the harangue against a “500-year-old White Patriarchy” is going to advance real progress eludes me. In Baraka’s mind, everything evil must be somehow White. This was two steps backwards. It also scares the shit out of White guys like me.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. rehmat1 says

    I’m afraid, Ajamu Baraka is confused about what happened in Ukraine. The people the US and EU put in power in Ukraine are Zionist Jews and calling them “neo-Nazis” would be “antisemitism” according to ADL and AJC.

    On March 28, 2017, Ukraine MP Nadiya Viktorivna Savchenko, said: “Jews make 2% of country’s population while 80% of the Jews are in power. These are Groysman, Valtsman, Yuliya Tymoshenko, Beryoza, Logvinskiy and so on.”

    https://rehmat1.com/2017/04/03/ukraines-joan-of-arc-jewish-yoke-must-be-fought-against/

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  8. Paul says

    It’s too easy to just blame Trump. It was our very own Baroness Ashton who was midwife to the coup in Kiev. Unelected by anybody but Tony Blair she was High Representative of EU Foreign Affairs on 21-22 February 2014 when snipers, still unidentified, began killing police and the Baroness declared the EU recognised a new government of right wing bankers and fascists most of whom had been put forward by Nuland weeks earlier. She blamed the break down in law and order, in other words the mysteriously well armed snipers. Look again at the Maiden rioters and you see the same nationalist and Nazi men as in America last weekend. Later it emerged from Ashton’s phone record that she had two middle of the night calls to the White House. It was one of the most blatant coup d’etats for years driven by deep seated Rightwing politics that aren’t confined to loony Trump but widespread in American politics, not least among Democrats.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t see black vs white. I don’t see left vs right. Etc etc. All are diversions & divisions our owners have set up to keep us fighting amongst ourselves, while they pillage the world for their one world govt, & slaughter as many as possible for their depopulation agenda 21.

    The plan for world domination was started 1st May 1776. Google that.
    May 1773, Rothschild & 12 pals were presented a plan by renegade? Jesuit Adam Weishaupt, containing 25 strategies.
    One was pursue liberal politics, another to control the media & another to ruin the youth with sex & drugs. Look around you.

    The Banksters have bought the politicians: there is no longer left vs right, etc etc etc.
    Book: Pawns in the Game, William Guy Carr, 1955.
    online version: http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/pawns_inthegame/pawns_00‘htm
    Book: The Creature from Jekyll Island, G. Edward Griffin.

    John Doran.

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  10. Yonatan says

    Trump is not my President? Oh the anguish.

    Well guess what (if I was an American)
    Bush 1 was not my President.
    Clinton 1 was not my President.
    Bush 2 was not my President.
    Obama was not my President.
    Trump is not my President.
    and Clinton 2 would not have been my President.

    The US is a one party state – The War Party. All the bs against Trump stopped the moment he fired cruise missiles at Syria, actually killing innocent women and children. It restarted once the War Party realized that was it – a token strike with no war. Damn ’em all, especially those who gloss over mass murder.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. This is an excellent piece. It cuts through the many layers of propaganda and obfuscationist nonsense served up by the liberal media and calls it like it is. The actions of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton should be a clear signal to the left that the identity politics dogma that tells them women and non-white minorities are intrinsically noble and superior to pale-skinned people and men is bunk, divisive nonsense with no basis in reality.

    It simply takes the racial essentialism promoted by the racists and inverts it. This has resulted in a disturbing group think dynamic where people who happen to be female or black (or members of other non-white ethnicities) are shamed and accused of being dupes and traitors for questioning the wisdom of an ideology that lauds Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as liberal heroes.

    I have talked to very sharp and intelligent people who cling desperately to the simplistic media narrative of Trump as ultimate evil and Obama/HRC as noble heroes. I have never experienced such a deep level of denial in so many people. Pointing out that Bill Clinton is a sexual predator and possibly a rapist and that his wife Hillary the “feminist” shamed and insulted his accusers, among them a 12 year-old girl, is met with retorts like “no, I can’t believe that.” That these are uncontroversial facts backed up by evidence makes no difference. After explaining to a friend Obama’s drone assassination program and his banker bailouts and grabbing of executive power (of which Trump is now taking full advantage) he said “but I still like Obama.”

    Reality is becoming like a dystopian science fiction novel or film where a clear thinking minority of people is up against a brainwashed majority that has taken leave of its collective senses. What quirk of human psychology explains this bizarre state of affairs, I wonder?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Chrissy says

      Part of human psychology is our Basic Fear of Helplessness that is preyed upon (by disguised evil ) resulting in need for Comfort that leads to Defense Mechanisms of false beliefs ….. then used by the Authorities PTB (disguised evil) who pretend to care… then, psychologically we Respond to our environment as children. From infancy to adulthood we are never allowed to gain our our internal power to assess the environment rationally. Therefore, like Pavlov demonstrated, we respond to the stimulus that reduces discomfit and appeals to our senses. Ideal for manipulation…. never to think, reason or value ourselves…. seems only a few will overcome the pain (though many of us will try) and gain the necessary drive to seek more objectivity……its really a struggle to seek understanding, think, evaluate, discern, use logic and depend on inner strenghth to navigate this world….very hard to stay focused on finding truth……deceivors all around us. But biggest deceivor is ourselves….sorry state of human psychology…….But….trying to be Aware….human psychological need.

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    • Chrissy says

      Part of human psychology is our Basic Fear of Helplessness that is preyed upon (by disguised evil ) resulting in need for Comfort that leads to Defense Mechanisms of false beliefs ….. used by the Authorities PTB (disguised evil) who pretend to care… then, psychologically we Respond to our environment as children. From infancy to adulthood we are never allowed to gain our our internal power to assess the environment rationally. Therefore, like Pavlov demonstrated, we respond to the stimulus that reduces discomfit and appeals to our senses. Ideal for manipulation…. never to think, reason or value ourselves…. seems only a few will overcome the pain (though many of us will try) and gain the necessary drive to seek more objectivity……its really a struggle to seek understanding, think, evaluate, discern, use logic and depend on inner strenghth to navigate this world….very hard to stay focused on finding truth……deceivors all around us. But biggest deceivor is ourselves….sorry state of human psychology…….But….trying to be Aware….human psychological need.

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    • Christopher Barclay says

      An inevitable consequence of identity politics based on ethnicity was that racist whites would say, “We’ll have some of that”.

      Also worth noting is what is happening on many US campuses especially Evergreen University, where African-Americans are attempting to re-introduce formal segregation on the basis of race.

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