by Richard Hugus, via Dissident Voice
On August 19, a week after a heavily publicized clash over a statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, an estimated 8,000 people converged on Boston Common to protest a speaking event organized by a group calling itself the Boston Free Speech Movement. Who are the Boston Free Speech Movement and what do they stand for? We’ll never know because antifascists, leftists, anti-racists, and progressives of Boston prevented them from even speaking. Some might say this was a good thing — no one wants to hear from bigots (if that’s who they were) — but, in fact, the left in all its self-righteousness was duped into an assault on the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution, which guarantees the right of free speech, for everyone. The left have been the pawns of much more powerful forces who, if they aren’t organizing these news events and provocations outright, are certainly happy to see precedents set for publicly shutting down free speech by the use of force. First it will be the speech of fascists, then it will be the speech of anybody the authorities don’t like, including leftists.
Suddenly we are being confronted with organizations who claim to know what is or is not appropriate for the rest of us to hear. Now that sides have been established — one which can decide what it is and isn’t acceptable speech, and another which is forbidden to speak on pain of attack, all that remains is for the powerful to make sure their narrative is the one that’s allowed. Isn’t this fascism? Aren’t people who claim to be anti-fascist actually doing what classic fascists do?
It’s not a coincidence that just prior to these speaking events being shut down, Google, Inc. asserted its right to decide what is and is not a legitimate news source. At the same time the US Congress is considering legislation that would make it illegal for US citizens to support boycott, divestment, or sanctions against Israel. Not surprisingly, the pro-Israel Anti Defamation League (ADL) has been brought on by Google to advise them on which news sources are legitimate and which are not. Google now has such a monopoly on information on the Internet that it is in a position to bury unapproved news sources forever. The ADL will therefore be able to effectively censor any negative news about what Israel is doing in Palestine and the middle east, just as AIPAC, through its ownership of the US Congress, will be able to censor free speech of American citizens when it comes to, once again, Israel.
In the ‘50s the ADL monitored “pinkos” for the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. In the ‘90s ADL monitored activists working to end apartheid in South Africa, in the 2000s the ADL began monitoring Arab American organizations and mosques. Today the ADL monitors pro-Palestine groups on college campuses. In each case the ADL has gone after “extremism and hate speech” in the US, as defined by Israel.
One wonders, why does Israel, a foreign country, have such a say on in what people in the US can and can’t talk about?
There is no way to censor speech without a point of view or agenda. The agenda is usually dictated by whoever has power. Thus censorship serves those in power. When we take part in it, we serve the power.
People are apparently upset about an upsurge of Nazi-ism. Why weren’t they in the streets when neocon Victoria Nuland and the US State Department organized a coup in Ukraine with the overt assistance of neo-Nazis? Why were Nazis okay during Obama’s presidency but not during Trump’s?
Where was the outrage when Hillary Clinton and the US State Department attacked and destroyed Libya? The liberal left considered this a “humanitarian intervention,” just as it did when the US decimated Yugoslavia.
Why is it that after six years of siege and murder committed by US proxy forces in Syria, the only national demonstration that could be mustered in Washington was on the issue of private remarks Trump once made about grabbing women — the famous “pussy hat” demonstration?
Why is it that the liars in the mainstream press could get away with false stories of chemical attacks in Syria being carried out by the Syrian government when it was obvious that the attacks were carried out as false flags by US proxy forces? Why are Syrians still being bombed and killed every day by US “coalition” forces with no protest?
Why is it that Iraq is no longer a concern, after 26 years of genocidal assault by Uncle Sam, with efforts now being made to Balkanize Iraq through support for “Kurdistan”? Why are US troops still there? Why are they still in Afghanistan? Where are the masses taking to the streets to shout down the liars making these policies?
Why is it the business of the US to interfere in Venezuela’s internal affairs, even to the point of military intervention? Has Venezuela harmed the US in some way? Has the left swallowed yet again the lie that the US is concerned about human rights in another country?
Why is it that Palestinians have been forgotten, as Israel, the US’s closest ally, transparently conducts genocide against them, year after year, so that today Israel can talk openly of forced transfer of the entire Arab population of Palestine. Isn’t terror also being committed when Israeli settlers routinely ram their cars into Palestinians in the street, or is it just terror when this happens in Europe?
Why is it that the US supports a state for Jewish people only that necessarily discriminates again non-Jewish Christians and Muslims? Isn’t discrimination on the basis of religion a hate crime? Isn’t the ADL in a conflict of interests when it claims to be an authority on hate crimes while representing such a state? Has the left ever repudiated its long record of blocking for Israel and Israel’s crimes?
Why is it that the virtuous left has nothing better to do than face off with a few obvious provocateurs with their over-the-top Nazi slogans while the US — their country, in their name — is actively supporting Saudi Arabia in its destruction of a practically defenseless Yemen?
Where has the left been in its opposition to US government and media “hate speech” and war-baiting against Russia, China, and Iran? Is World War III not a problem? Did something lead leftists to believe that life on earth was not important right now?
Is the US threat of a nuclear attack on North Korea a side issue — something to be dealt with only after facing off with the Klan?
What about the murder of millions of Arabs and Muslims since 9-11 on the basis of a false story about who did 9-11? Surely there is a case to be made here for discrimination on the basis of religion, if not serial mass murder, based on a pretext which itself was a an open crime for all the world to see. Why does the left consider discussion of this crime unimportant and passé?
That the left has mobilized to stomp on a handful of people in Charlottesville and Boston only proves its impotence. It’s like the man who has been frustrated at work all day who comes home and kicks his dog.
The worst of it all is that both the left and right have been suckered into a division which will use up all their energy and get plenty of attention from the press while the real crimes and the real criminals roll steadily along, laughing at the stupidity of everyone involved and the ease with which they were manipulated.
Update August 25: Estimates for the size of the counter-Boston Free Speech demonstration in Boston were as high as 40,000 people. There is a record of one speech from Boston Free Speech at the Boston Common bandstand.
Richard Hugus is based in Falmouth, Massachusetts. He can be reached at: [email protected] Visit Richard’s website.
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some people on this site seem to like racist nazi scum.
By constantly referring, without qualification, to the evils of the Left, You do realize, don’t you people, that we who are genuinely Left are being asked to disappear. I can ignore that and do, usually. What’s alarming is how many of us go along with it. And when our side shrinks, their’s grows.
The author, whose intentions are probably good, makes a good point though and I like his ‘handy’ list.
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. But the problem, of course, is that the fascist capitalist male domination narrative is the totality of mass media messaging already; ALWAYS absent a Noam Chomsky or Naomi Klein or Chris Hedges or Jeffrey St. Clair or Tariq Ali or Pepe Escobar or George Mombiot or Laurie Penny from the evening news or Sunday morning talk shows or on the front page of the new york times or on 60 minutes. Is pushback possible there. Pushback IS possible in public space.
But I agree, the First Amendment has to be for everyone — but I mean that to especially include the mass communications media. All this Boston and Charlottesville and Portland and taking down the Lee statues everywhere DISTRACTS DISTRACTS DISTRACTS DISTRACTS from the ABSENCE of LEFT DISCOURSE in the mass media. Starting a blog or opining on Facebook or twitter doesn’t cut it.
Somehow the fascist capitalist mass media should be targeted and forced BACK to EQUAL TIME which waas ELIMINATED by REAGAN; perhaps the WORST act of his presidency with such long-lasting horrific consequences. Yet pushback against the mass corporatist media? I can’t begin to propose how. Piddly little ad boycots of Rush Limbaugh doesn;t cut it either.
Kudos to OffG for operating under the banner of the Huey Long quote (as per my emphasis): and how prophetic was Long (writing in the 1930s)? The ‘Left’ are being doubly-duped here: duped into class-on-class violence and hate speech… fighting for Fascism in the name of anti-Fascism… in a power-cycle manufactured for; and engineered by the establishment of the so-called ‘Marxist’ Democrat Left. Cui bono???
If you were going to stir up internecine, intra and inter-ethnic, and inter-political alt-Left v alt-Right class-on-class infighting in the US: here’s how you might go about it. Through the Open Society Foundation: dedicate $10m to “protect those targeted by hateful acts”; get the Southern Poverty Law Centre to identify 1,500 Confederate memorials (including schools, colleges and military bases [Forts Bragg, Hood, and Benning]) that must be taken down as ‘Confederate monuments’ in the racist heartland (Southern states); wait for the’Unite the Right’ to organise a ‘Kristallnacht’ torchlight parade in defence of their ‘heritage’, way of life [war], and freedom of speech; when they are refused a permit, get the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to defend their First Ammendment Rights; get Virginia Governor Terry McCauliffe to personally authorise (or delegate to a subordinate – I’m speculating on this one) the National Guard and militarised Police to stand down (someone stood them down); set up a fake Holywood talking point (something like a film-stunt car crash with a couple of dodgy Dodges, some hired-in stunt people, and maybe a hired-in crowd?); use your tame media outlets to reverse-blame the indefensible neo-Nazi alt-Right (especially their racist, white-supremacist President – and move to impeach?); get Southern Poverty Law Centre to pressure monopoly control tech-giants – Google and FB – to target the alt-right (Daily Stormer, Hate-reon, Gab): forcing them onto the dark web; spin-rinse-repeat cycle; watch the intra-class infighting – all the time laughing as your net worth accumulates unhindered???
Call me cynical, but that’s what I see from afar. You may detect a skein of dark money sponsorship of the above: tying in the Soros-Obama-Clinton crime nexus. Anti-hate hate crimes sponsored by the ‘Left’? What was it that Huey Long said? QED???
After a slow beginning (oh, no – not another Charlottesville type comment) this excellent essay developed into a powerful series of questions. Questions that have been asked before but comprise an extraordinary list here. Though even here the author appears reluctant to let go of the illusion of the so called left.
What surprises me is the response (comments). Perhaps you have to come from a ‘West’ / NATO targeted country to see things as they are, i.e. mass psy ops. I have no doubt that there are many Americans who have reached the same conclusions as the author – and also no doubt that few of them are at these mass gatherings whose numbers are made up chiefly by the NGOs and secondly by Boston’s naive university students, thrilled as so many stated in the Women’s March, to finally take part in a ‘real’ demonstration.
What about this form of fascism? This is my main concern…
The people who petol bombed an asian family in islington, accross the road from me were nazis.
I see a nazi, i will put it in hospital.
Nazis or vicious extreme racists?
ps. I didn’t down vote your comment. I don’t know those criminals.
The family was petrol bomed front and back Simultaneously. Seig heiling fucking nazi scum. Do people on this site admire them?
if we carry on like this we’ll be stuck in this bullshit for so long … th EU like it or not is the next level politically and in terms of progressing as human kind.. even scientist will tell you that we are more likely to survive as an entire species this way as opposed to thinking like idiot imperialist brexiters do…. they have once again been victorious in being fundamentalist and wanting to go back in time to before the EU… wake the fuck up seriously the E.U has problems and there are protesters fighting the fight… however it is a better system democratically than ours… our government just stayed in power without a majority or victory in GE … nice democracy
Oh really, Eliot, you want a Greek solution (poverty, stolen property, homelessness, no access to medical care & no sovereignty) via the EU for Britain? Or maybe a brave, bold Yugoslav solution. That’s your next level: so enjoy it.
Oh, I forgot: it would be “racist” to desire anything but these outcomes…
@Eliot: ditto everything elenits said. Read this and weep: it’s the most frightening commentary on a speech I’ve ever read in my life. I agree, UK ‘democracy’ is not fit for purpose: it still beats being powerless, without national sovereignty, aboard a hyper-global neoliberal ideological vessel; with no hands on the rudder except for a supranational corporo-Fascist elitist criminal cabal. At least we have a [small] chance of waking up and taking back [some level of] control: no such chance is available in the EU. Just ask elenits.
” At least we have a [small] chance of waking up and taking back [some level of] control: no such chance is available in the EU.”
I agree completely.
Well wtf this article ./…….. has the writer of this article tried over-throwing the us establishment recently!?!?!?! and “nothing better to do” beats the fuck out of sitting in your fucking office writing to play down the only people fighting to stop the fucking cunts at the top!?!?!? use brain man ffs .. what happens us is that nazi and israel supportive for that long!? well you get nazi haters u fuckin genius and guess what they’re not going to be friendly about it either your in a country where shooting someone for walking across your lawn is legal u fucking idiot
what happens if*
You seriously think you (or they) are “fighting” to stop the people “at the top?” Wow. Impressive.
first they came for the nazis .
Both the so-called LEFT and RIGHT have long been infiltrated by pro-Israel activists.
The rally was held in response to city’s plan to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a park in Charlottesville. Lee is considered a Jewish hero for fighting to save the African slavery in America. Nearly 10,000 Jews fought under his command.
Virginia state governor Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat and Israel-First who was against the White nationalist rally, has declared a state of emergency. McAuliffe’s Republican opponent Ken Cuccinelli called him, A Jew from New York (reported by Washington Post, November 2, 2013.
Donald Trump who won the presidency mainly from White nationalists’ support – condemned the violence via tweet: “We all must be united and condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!”
In response, Trump supporter David Duke in a few tweet messages questioned why the president is attacking White Americans who put him in the presidency.
Reblogged this on Worldtruth and commented:
Manipulation takes many forms and the left and anti fascist have just been party to the very thing the neocons and neoliberals want – to close down free speech, which ultimately will also apply to themselves. It’s a lot easier for the governments to silence opposition if the opposition lays down the ground rules for doing so.
Actually Mohandeer you are giving the so called left and anti fascists a free pass here. Really, none of them are capable of thinking for themselves?
What the oligarchs fear most is the number of protesters reaching a critical mass.
That’s why the Occupy movement was stomped on.
One thing they have not planned for is the decreasing consumption that follows increasing poverty.
Capital$chi$m is eating itself.
Unfortunately, DWW, they have planned for the decreasing consumption. It involves confiscating what remains of our wealth by first confiscating our cash (though this didn’t go so well when trialed in India); introducing negative interest (ZIRP or NIRP); using the free to the elite worthless currency to buy up what’s left of our assets whilst inflating the value of their own; inflating the MOAB (Mother of All Bubbles) by increasing indebtedness and immiseration; playing the crony-casino-capitalist game of financialisation ’till the market ‘corrects’; using our meagre savings to socialize their losses and keep afloat the Structurally Important Financial Institutions – the very mega-banks that caused the crash (just as WW2 inexorably followed WW1: the next crash is the inevitable consequence of the ’08 Great Financial Crash. The system is dead but being kept alive on a life support of debt: with $120bn ‘liquidity’ injected per month from the BOJ and ECB [Keiser Report]. When that stops???); blame us for crashing the system with our excessive ‘household indebtedness’ – while we starve, live without a social safety net, working back-to-back 12hr gig-economy shifts to pay the rent on everything we used to own. As perfected in Greece.
“USA: The Efforts to Cover the Struggle for Social Justice and Peace, to cover The Class Struggle by the “Race War” concept”: https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2017/08/16/usa-the-efforts-to-cover-the-struggle-for-social-justice-and-peace-to-cover-the-class-struggle-by-the-race-war-concept/
Back in the seventies, a good friend of mine was very active in the Anti Nazi League. A few years ago his Jamaican wife stood for UKIP. I suspect it was ever thus, the idealism of the young and naieve being used for other ends. As a teacher in the 1980s I saw established practice torn apart and replaced by frankly very little of practical use and I described the processes at work as being an alliance between the cynics and the naieve. It was the same process at work and nobody should be very surprised for from the perspective of old age it seems a story as old as the hills.
Yes Kevin – I recognise that too. Plenty of good people with whom I taught in the 70’s and 80’s were seduced (I would say reduced) by the introduction of American style, corporate, mangerial practices and associated rubbish. As you say, some knew perfectly what was happening and became complicit; the best sort became disillusioned, despairing and voted with their feet. A few tough old boots hung on for a bit and blew raspberries – there was quite a lot of fun to be had at the expense of the stuffed shirts who suddenly appeared to tell (never show) you how to control a class and organise your day profitably (!)
It would have been hilarious if the up-shot of all that nonsense has not proved so bloody tragic for my grandchildren’s generation.
its a tragedy soul-ly caused by the u.s government and wall street over decades …. dont be surprised when your youth in an information age turn it into a warzone
and just so were clear that would be retaliation not terrorism … correct terminology will be remembered not lies
A very important article. The way that protest has been assimilated into the mainstream political system and redirected in impotent directions should give us all pause for thought. The same sort of assimilation has occurred in relation to environmental issues, for example, as NGOs become the public relations arm of corporations, and proposed reductions in fossil fuel production are commodified as carbon trading. And of course the political system itself presents us with the phony choice between parties that share fundamental assumptions and policies. How to protest in ways that are effective and untainted by the assumptions we’re protesting about is indeed a crucial question . . .
would be possible if they didnt have a standing army and complete control in the senate….. obama has just proven that fighting them the legal and democratic way – baring in mind they created that method….- is never going to be a success. put yourself in the shoes of a young person with no money and who is never going to be able to buy a house in their eyes because of the establishment, and the older generation who would rather be screwed over their entire lives than fight back!? well good luck with your high courts and your senate changes but guess what your playing right into their hands… How will a future generation look back on one that defeated elitism !? Has anyone watched planet of the apes!? its okay for monkeys but not for humans!? wake thew fuck up man no offence
So very well said because it is the way I feel also .
Pretty much the same litany of angry questions I would ask – and ask them also of Europe and my own especially complicit country, the UK. Why are there no public protests against an institutional EU that repeats the lies of “Russian aggression” in Ukraine, supports the illegal Poroshenko regime with large donations (200 million Euros recently) and fails to condemn the daily shelling of the DPR and LPR by the UAF? Or against a BBC that daily betrays its charter commitment to honesty and impartiality? Where is the fire that had tens or hundreds of thousands of people marching or protesting in the not-too-distant past? Has it been doused by junk food and junk entertainment – or even by mass medication, as in the worthless flu vaccines? As the saying goes: “Evil triumphs when good people do nothing.”