by Andre Vltchek
The Empire Is Obsessed with Perverse Types Of Punishment
Western culture is clearly obsessed with rules, guilt, submissiveness and punishment.
By now it is clear that the West is the least free society on Earth. In North America and Europe, almost everyone is under constant scrutiny: people are spied on, observed, their personal information is being continually extracted, and the surveillance cameras are used indiscriminately.
Life is synchronized and managed. There are hardly any surprises.
One can sleep with whomever he or she wishes (as long as it is done within the ‘allowed protocol’). Homosexuality and bisexuality are allowed. But that is about all; that is how far ‘freedom’ usually stretches.
Rebellion is not only discouraged, it is fought against, brutally. For the tiniest misdemeanors or errors, people end up behind bars. As a result, the U.S. has more prisoners per capita than any other country on Earth, except the Seychelles.
And as a further result, almost all conversations, but especially public discourses, are now being controlled by so-called ‘political correctness’ and its variants.
But back to the culture of fear and punishment.
Look at the headlines of the Western newspapers. For example, The New York Times from April 12. 2018:
“Punishment of Syria may be harsher this time”
We are so used to such perverse language used by the Empire that it hardly strikes us as twisted, bizarre, pathological.
It stinks of some sadomasochistic cartoon, or of a stereotypical image of an atrocious English teacher holding a ruler over a pupil’s extended hands, shouting, “Shall I?”
Carl Gustav Jung described Western culture, on several occasions, as a “pathology”. He did it particularly after WWII, but he mentioned that the West had been committing terrible crimes in all parts of the world, for centuries. That is most likely why the Western mainstream psychiatrists and psychologists have been glorifying the ego-centric and generally apolitical Sigmund Freud, while ignoring, even defaming, Carl Gustav Jung.
The extreme form of sadism is a medical condition; it is an illness. And the West has been clearly demonstrating disturbing and dangerous behavioral patterns for many centuries.
Let’s look at the definition of sadism, or professionally, Sadistic Personality Disorder (SPD), which both the United States and Europe could easily be diagnosed with.
This is an excerpt of a common definition of the SPD, which appears in Medigoo.com and on many other on-line sites:
…The sadistic personality disorder is characterized by a pattern of gratuitous cruelty, aggression, and demeaning behaviors which indicate the existence of deep-seated contempt for other people and an utter lack of empathy. Some sadists are “utilitarian”: they leverage their explosive violence to establish a position of unchallenged dominance within a relationship…”
It is familiar, isn’t it? The Empire’s behavior towards Indochina, China, Indonesia, Africa, Latin America, Russia, the Middle East and other parts of the world.
What about the symptoms?
…Sadistic individuals have poor behavioral controls, manifested by a short temper, irritability, low frustration tolerance, and a controlling nature. From an interpersonal standpoint, they are noted to be harsh, hostile, manipulative, lacking in empathy, cold-hearted, and abrasive to those they deem to be their inferiors. Their cognitive nature is considered rigid and prone to social intolerance, and they are fascinated by weapons, war, and infamous crimes or perpetrators of atrocities. Sadists classically are believed to seek social positions that enable them to exercise their need to control others and dole out harsh punishment or humiliation…”
Just translate “sadistic individuals” to “sadistic states”, or “sadistic culture”.
Is there any cure? Can a sadist be effectively and successfully treated?
Treating a sadistic personality disorder takes a long time…”
And many sites and publications carry a clear disclaimer:
The above information is for processing purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency…”
And humanity is right now clearly at the crossroads, facing annihilation, not only a ‘medical emergency’. The world may soon have to literally fight for its survival. It is because of the SPD of the West and its Empire.
So, what is in store for us now; for instance, for Syria?
What will the sadistic psychopath do to a country that refused to kneel, to prostitute itself, to beg for mercy, to sacrifice its people?
How horrible will the “punishment” be?
We have just witnessed 103 missiles being fired towards Damascus and Homs. But that is only what the Empire did to entertain its masses. It has been doing much more evil and cruel things to the nation which constantly refuses to glorify the Western imperialist and its neocon dogmas. For instance, the Empire’s ‘professionals’ have been manufacturing, training and arming the most atrocious terrorist groups and injecting them into the body of Syria.
The torture will, of course, continue. It clearly appears that this time the script will be based on some latter adaptation of the Marquise de Sade’s work, on his novel Juliette, not Justine. You see, in Justine, women were ‘only’ tied up, slapped and raped. In Juliette, they were cut to pieces, alive; they were burned and mutilated.
While Justine can still be read, no normal human being could go through the 700 pages of pure gore that is Juliette.
But our planet has somehow got used to the horrors that have been administered by the sick Western Empire.
People watch occurrences in places like Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq or Libya as ‘news’, not as the medical record of a severely ill psychiatric patient.
The most terrible ‘novel’ in the history of our Planet has been written, for centuries, by the appalling brutality and sadism of first Europe and then by its younger co-author – the United States.
And the human beings in many parts of our Planet have gotten so used to the carnage which surrounds them that they do not throw up anymore; they do not feel horrified, do not revolt against their fate. They just watch, as one country after another falls; is violated publicly, gets ravaged.
The mental illness of the perpetrator is undeniable. And it is contagious.
In turn, the extreme violence that has been engulfing the world has triggered various neuroses and mental conditions (masochism, extreme forms of submission, to name just two of many) among the victims.
Exposure to the constant and extreme violence ‘prescribed’ and administered by the West, has left most of the world in a neurotic lethargy.
Like a woman locked in a marriage with a brutal religious fanatic husband in some oppressive society, the world has eventually stopped resisting against the Western dictates and tyranny, and ‘accepted its fate’.
Many parts of the planet have developed ‘Stockholm Syndrome’: after being kidnapped, imprisoned, tormented, raped and humiliated, the victims have ‘fallen in love’ with their tyrant, adopting his worldview, while serving him full-heartedly and obediently.
This arrangement, of course, has nothing to do with the healthy or natural state of things!
In Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia, bizarre things are happening! People from those nations that have been robbed and devastated for centuries by the European and North American despots, have been flying happily and proudly to Paris, Berlin, London, Madrid, New York and other Western cities, in order to ‘learn’, to ‘study’ how to govern their own countries. There is usually no shame, and no stigma attached to such obvious intellectual prostitution.
Many victims are still dreaming about becoming like their victimizers, or even more so.
Many former and modern-day colonies of the West are listening, with straight faces, to the Europeans preaching to them (for a fee) about ‘good governance’, an ‘anti-corruption drive’ and ‘democracy’.
The media outlets of non-Western nations are taking news reports directly from Western press agencies. Even local political events are explained by those ‘wise’ and ‘superior’ Europeans and North Americans, not by the local thinkers. Locals are hardly ever trusted – only white faces with polished English, French or German accents are taken seriously.
Perverse? Is it perverse? Of course, it is! Many servile intellectuals from the ‘client’ states, when confronted, admit how sick the continuous global dictatorship is. Then they leave the table and continue to do what they have been doing for years and decades; the oldest profession in short.
Such a situation is truly insane. Or at least it is extremely paradoxical, bizarre, absurd. Even a mental clinic appears to make more sense than our beloved planet Earth.
However, clinical psychiatrists and psychologists are very rarely involved in analyzing the neuroses and psychological illnesses of the brutalized and colonized planet. They hardly ever ‘analyze’ the perpetrators, let alone expose them for what they really are.
Most of psychologists and psychiatrists are busy digging gold: encouraging human egotism, or even serving big corporations that are trying to ‘understand their employees better’, in order to control and to exploit them more effectively. Other ‘doctors’ go so far as to directly serve the Empire, helping to oppress and to ‘pacify’ the billions living in the colonies and new colonies of the West.
In 2015, I was invited as one of the speakers to the 14th International Symposium on the Contributions of Psychology to Peace, held in Johannesburg and Pretoria, South Africa (hosted by legendary UNISA).
During that fascinating encounter of the leading global psychologists, I spoke about the impact of wars and imperialism on the human psyche, but I also listened, attentively. And I learned many shocking things. For instance, during his chilling presentation, “Human Rights and U. S. Psychologists’ Wrongs: The Undermining of Professional Ethics in an Era of ‘Enhanced Interrogation’”, Professor Michael Wessells from Columbia University, New York, spoke about U.S. psychologists and their participation in torturing political prisoners.
Instead of diagnosing the Empire with SPD and other violent and dangerous conditions, many psychologists are actually helping to torture those who are opposing this unacceptable arrangement of the world.
Those who refuse to ‘learn from the West’, to fall in love with it, or at least to serve it faithfully, are being brutally punished.
Lashes are hitting exposed flesh. Entire nations are being destroyed, genocides distributed to all continents. East Timor, Afghanistan, Iraq: it never stops.
I follow the discourses of the US and especially British UN delegations, ‘discussing’ Syria and even Russia. What comes to my mind is Punjab in India. I recall those old, historic photos of Indian men being hanged by the Brits, pants down, and flogged in public.
They have been doing this kind of stuff, for centuries. They like it. It clearly excites them. This is their democracy, their respect for human rights and for other cultures!
If someone refuses to take his or her pants down, they catch the person, rape him or her, then do the flogging anyway.
I also recall what my Ugandan friend used to tell me:
When the Brits came to Africa, to what is now Uganda, their army would enter our villages and first thing they’d do was to select the tallest and strongest man around. They’d then tie him up, face towards the tree. Then the British commander would rape, sodomize him in front of everybody. This was how they showed the locals who is charge.”
How healthy is the culture that has been controlling our world for centuries!
One of the most frightening things about mental illnesses is that the patient usually does not realize that he or she is suffering from them.
It is about the time for the rest of the world to treat the West as a mental patient, not as the ‘leader of the free and democratic world’.
We have to think, to gather, to develop a strategy of how to deal with this unfortunate, in fact, terrible situation!
If we refuse to understand and to act, we may all end up in the most dangerous situation: as complacent servants of the perverse whims of a frustrated, extremely aggressive and truly dangerous SPD patient.
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 his tribute to “The Great October Socialist Revolution” a revolutionary novel “Aurora” and a bestselling work of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” View his other books here. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo and his film/dialogue with Noam Chomsky “On Western Terrorism”. 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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50 Shades of Red White and Blue.
Thank you Andre Vltchek.
Australia is clearly is at an advanced stage of this Sadistic Personality Disorder (SPD). The government is getting worse over there and public discourse has been so controlled that any dissent is dealt with swiftly by the Government and the barrage of mainstream media in unison.
The most vile manifestation of the Right’s Evil nature in Austfailure, in my opinion, is the vicious, never-slackening, hatred of the Indigenous. No humiliation, no cruelty, no disempowering imposition ever elicits any human empathy or compassion from the Rightist racist thugs. Indeed any public discussion of the wretched plight of the Indigenous elicits a stream of brutish racist hate speech in the Comments. It is a very reliable source of votes for the Right, year in year out.
Indeed, it was Australia’s shirt-fronting champion, disgraced former PM Tony Abbott, who famously claimed there was ‘nothing in Australia’ until the British arrived.
I think that Willie O’Keefe in JFK summed up the West’s philosophy with this:
“You don’t know shit ’cause you’ve never been fucked in the ass!”
I’d love to report some signs that sanity was breaking out,, but there was this from two days ago:
The purported author of that semi-fascist, racist, hate screed, Dannatt, was Chief of Staff of the UK Armed Forces, yet here he is, frantically agitating for war against Syria, Lebanon and Iran FOR ISRAEL. And he, in my opinion quite filthily, speaks of Hezboillah being terrorists who hide among the civilian population, ie he is arguing for Israel’s ‘right’ to deliberately target civilians, as they ALWAYS do, and as is a religious observance, a mitzvah, under Talmudic Judaic Law. The creature’s bio claims that he is a devout ‘Christian’, ‘red in tooth and claw’, just like Jesus, who Dannatt’s Talmudic friends REVILE, and imagine is in Hell, up to his neck in boiling faeces.
Reblogged this on circusbuoy.
The corruption of the Western mind emanates from the intergenerational embrace of a value set that stands reason and the vast majority of human communal cooperative history on it’s head. It is no more a fixed – “human nature” – that we in the West celebrate individual achievement and our own greed and narcissism than it is that most Indigenous cultures celebrate communal good and sharing as core values. What we in the West stubbornly call – “human nature”- is simply the variation of human nature that is created when a violent racist misogynist sky god cult spends hundreds of years torturing and burning alive all among them who dare think for themselves, and then following centuries of such intergenerational trauma leads generation upon generation of followers into 500+ years of murder, rape and pillage of the entire planet – all of course for noble reasons such as to save the souls of non-believers, white man’s burden, etc..
More recently yet another – “resurrection” – of sorts has occurred, with Western mythology now morphing and manifesting yet again (remember the past age of social darwinism) as greedy, dog eat dog, amoral, no social safety net, neoliberal capitalism backed by monstrous military actions which totally violate international law. Of course one can “believe” in this newer version of Western “human nature” with or without the whole vengeful sky god thing – in other words one can now quite acceptably be an unapologetic imperialist yet be quite critical of the whole religion nonsense because now one only bombs for “humanitarian” reasons due to one’s level of “enlightenment” and “sophistication.” It remains both alarming and true that 90% of people in the U.S. continue to believe in this invisible Bronze Age vengeful sky god, and most also believe in angels to boot. We in the West are a freaking armed madhouse and we have been for a good long while. After century upon century of suffering our pathology we now psychologically project our own existential bad conscience onto everything and everyone we cannot control and dominate – resulting in amazing displays of paranoia and fear among the populace, which elites eagerly and easily manipulate into yet more greed, war and mayhem. I must say I find much to appreciate in Vltcheck’s perspective. It seems spot-on.
This issue came up in the last US review by the Committee Against Torture. In the review session (and to a lesser extent in the Conclusions and Recommendations) the experts addressed the US syndrome of government officials preening about equal justice under increasingly sadistic and draconian law. What tore it for them was a fashion for criminalizing homelessness. It’s a state-imposed cultural compulsion to torment the weak.
[[ It’s a state-imposed cultural compulsion to torment the weak.]]
Do you really believe they even care enough about the weak to torment them? The impression I get from the latest slob to become Secretary of State is of callous indifference to non-American population of this planet. Their welfare is of no more significance to Pompeo and his fellow American thugs than that of insects – which can be freely trampled under his 600lb boots, without the slightest qualm. Pompeo, Bolton, Dumpy and Haley were brought up to believe that the rest of humanity isn’t worth the slightest damn. If they become an irritant or a nuisance, then build a wall to keep them out. If the wall doesn’t work, then nuke them off the face of the earth. That’s the way Mike Baboon Pompeo thinks – with his “Harvard” (Haahahahahahaha! “Harvard!”) education.
The Pompeos, Boltons, Albrights, Cheneys etc of the Western thanatopias would GLADLY exterminate all the ‘useless eaters’ in an orgy of religious devotion to their true God-Death. I am just surprised that it hasn’t happened yet, although, without untermenschen to torment, where would they get their fun?
“Once you enter the CIA, the rest of us, even school kids, are either lab rats or cannon fodder, as far as the CIA is concerned”.
Douglas Valentine, The CIA as Organised Crime.
Torture has been ‘Standard Operating Procedure’ in the USA since the 17th century. To pretend that the latest upsurge is somehow abnormal is ludicrous.
Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions to non-human entities. That’s what this article does.
True-the Western elites are definitely ‘non-human’.
“Entitlement” to identify and “punish” alleged wrongdoers has historically been inherited by white, Caucasian males in the United States of America – and their lickspittle servants. Invariably the ‘God is on our side” lie has been invoked by way of justification.
The Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Afghan War, the Iraq War, the bombing of Serbia, the attacks on Libya, the attacks on Syria… all have been instigated and carried out by Uncle Sam – in the fullest continuation of the doctrine of Manifest Destiny (since no other justification has been advanced).
Since June 1950 onwards, it’s been Kimo-Sabi versus the rest of the human race.
There have been notable critiques, in recent years, of the creeping takeover by surveillance and managerialism, as they are marketed together with ‘the deregulation of pleasure.’ I haven’t read a lot of Zygmunt Bauman, but I know him to be one. Another is the late British psychologist David Smail, who began critiquing the psychological effects of ‘the Business takeover’ in the 1980s. I am reading Thomas Klikauer’s Managerialism: A Critique of an Ideology. I recommend it (it’s written in kind of ‘German English,’ but a very supportive read for anyone who is struggling with the way life has been twisted out of shape for so many of us).
In Austfailure, during forty years of increasing business ie parasite, control of politics and the brainwashing apparatuses, under the rubric of ‘economic rationalism’ ie neo-feudal Hayekian uber-capitalism, every decent individual has been driven from the positions of power in public life. Thought Control is TOTAL and totalitarian. Opinions that deviate from the neo-liberal, neo-feudal received wisdom are completely banished from public discourse. If they surface somewhere, say in some remote corner of academia, they are immediately set upon by a rabid lynch-mob of hard Right zealots, often led by the Murdoch cancer, which then prosecutes unending vendettas against the Badthinkers, even decades post-mortem, as in the case of the eminent historian Manning Clarke.
As a result ALL collective institutions or activities eg public health, education, housing, transport etc have been greatly down-graded and denigrated or eviscerated entirely. Unions have been destroyed, hounded and persecuted with ‘anti-terrorist’ type laws, rigged Royal Commission Star Chambers and relentless hateful propaganda in the totally Rightwing fakestream media. All utilities have been privatised, and the new owners deliver worse service and higher prices, as they gouge profits, all of which is simply lied about, and ‘private sector efficiency’ is Holy Writ.
The level of culture is descending, too, as subsidies to the arts and literature are wound back, artists being one last redoubt of ‘Lefty luvvy”do-gooder’ ‘moral vanity’. Popular culture is dominated by the horror of ‘reality TV’, where the ‘reality’ is always of greed, self-assertion, enmity to others, ruthless competition and preening self-conceit.
And most horrific of all, the rapidly deepening ecological collapse is simply denied, by the Murdoch cancer, or ignored, as by the rest of the fakestream media. Meanwhile the Right work with a fanatic determination to destroy renewable energy, build new coal-burning power stations, oppose electric vehicles and public transport, steal water from our dying river systems for irrigation, continue land-clearing at the highest rates outside Brazil, and bring logging back to ‘protected’ areas and National Parks. All engaged in simply out of insatiable greed and brutish hatred of anyone who is not driven by egomania and avarice. A truly Evil society, that still preens and poses as the envy of the world, and it doesn’t look much better anywhere in the West.
Yes. I’d wondered if my comments were really relevant to the article, but clearly the same thoughts are circling in other people’s minds. “Who will be put in charge of everyone? The one who knows the least–” The managers are chosen from those who appear to have undergone a lobotomy of their humanity.
I have to say I do like Freud though.
The sole criterion for being made a Imperial apparatchik these days is total ideological loyalty to the capitalist parasite caste who rule the world. In particular one must LOVE the USA, glorious Israel and ‘Western moral values’ , be able to gibber nonsense cant like ‘the international rules based order’ (ie Pax Americana)and hiss and spit venom nicely whenever Russia, China, Iran, the Palestinians, Jeremy Corbyn, Vlad Putin etc are mentioned. These requirements tilt the ‘talent pool’ towards, not just the shallow end, but the drainage holes in the shallow end, and the detritus that collects there. Quite simply the triumph of Free Market capitalism and the blood-suckers who control it has delivered humanity into the hands of its executioners, who will achieve their bloody victory through thermo-nuclear war, ecological collapse or ‘preventative’ bio-warfare before the drones wake up.
The return ‘literally with a vengeance’ of Taylorism, or “Scientific Management” in its many contemporary guises, and with modern technology attached, is a phenomenon that many people appear to be brain-blind to. The ultra-managerialist takeover of all aspects of human existence is truly a triumph of brainwashing. In popular culture, the dominance of ‘reality shows’ which are often about people at a workplace being whipped into ‘efficient’ shape while being browbeaten with managerialist jargon, has affected the psyche of the population at large. Many people seem to be under the delusion that they are stars of their own reality show.
“By now it is clear that the West is the least free society on Earth.”
What a load of total nonsense!
The West is a lot less free than most of its citizens think but this is some awful hyperbole.
Written by someone who actually thinks the brutal Bolshevik Revolution was “great”!
“The West is a lot less free than most of its citizens think but this is some awful hyperbole.”
Basically I agree though since Skripal’s case things look much worse than they looked before, even after the Ukrainian coup in 2014.
Andre gives reasons for concluding that the revolution in Russia was great.
You simply assert that it was not only ‘brutal’ but far from being great. My guess is that you know very little about Russia or the revolution’s world wide importance. You might not like it but the Revolution and the subsequent Bolshevik regime shaped many of the more important developments of the C20th including, for example, the survival of China as an independent power, the de-colonisation of the European empires, the defeat of the Fascist states in the Second World War and the political compromises in the ‘west’ that gave rise to the welfare states..
Again none of these things may be to your taste. You may believe that Russian influence was malignant. You can hardly argue that the revolution was other than the great event of C20th history.
But then you probably don’t argue at all-you just sneer and inform of us of what is acceptable in the little bubble of opinion from which you issue your worthless judgements. Among which is the notion that nobody with any sense (or decency) thinks other than that the October revolution was brutal and unimportant.
The October Revolution was one of the most momentous events of the twentieth century. And it was brutal, not least because of the Western backed counter-revolution. And the Soviet Union did go on to exert a dialectical and meta-democratic influence on the West. But not without a cost: humanitarian and environmental. If you are going to lay out the pros: you have to lay out the cons as well. As a socio-political experiment: the Soviet Union was a failure in its own terms. The soviet councils were de-democratised and ultimately, the workers were robbed of their communal, personal and social liberation and actualisation. The state became degenerate with power accruing to a bureaucratic nomenklatura. The plight of the workers was satirised by Alexander Zinoviev as Homo Sovieticus: characterised by systemic dejection, alienation, and demotivation. Oh yeah, and there was some guy called Stalin who killed a bunch of people, but that seems to get airbrushed out of the red tinted spectacle revisionist view. That, and the environmental impact of a rapid industrialization. The co-sponsoring by Western capitalism is another aspect that seems to be epistemically challenging. Revisionistas refuse to read Sutton: because acknowledging Western technological and capital input to the Soviet experiment muddies the glorious narrative. One day we will get an objective and scientific analysis of the great East West stand-off and cross-fertilisation: free of propaganda and revisionism. Unfortunately, Zinoviev did not live long enough to write it. No one could remotely claim it was unimportant (and Victor David did not.) Nor can they claim it was wholly beneficent. The truth, as they say, is still out there.
You are, as always, doing two things characteristic of the Cliffite tendency.
Firstly you are at pains to disassociate yourself from support of the revolution by telling us how bad some of its consequences-which you, quite properly, insist be viewed in the context of massive foreign intervention both during the revolution and throughout the history of the USSR- were. This is the ‘neither Washington nor Moscow’ slogan in action.
The second thing that you do is to rehearse with relish the Robert Conquest theory of Stalinism.
As to ‘revisionistas’ refusing to credit the relationship between western capitalism and the disastrous nature of Soviet economic development I can speak only for myself and go much further- the Bolsheviks and Trotsky in particular were terribly mistaken in their industrialisation policies, particularly in their attacks on peasant production.
It was these mistakes- headlong industrialisation and the ruthless exploitation of the peasantry, rather than the Stalin who serves as a bete noire both for anti-communists and pseudo trotskyists alike- which help account for those millions killed.
The idea that ‘if you are going to lay out the pros you have to lay out the cons as well’ has a seductive ring about it but it is quite impractical-leading as it does to potted paragraph summations of complex histories (Oh yeah, and there was some guy called Stalin who killed a bunch of people, but that seems to get airbrushed out of the red tinted spectacle revisionist view) – and serves only to disguise the author’s refusal to be caught out on one side of the issue or another.
Be careful B or you will end up as part of the chorus telling us that, because Russia is run by capitalists and Syria by a baathist dictator who inherited the country from his dad, we might as well allow the imperialists, who are not any worse, to reduce the country to ashes. The way they did Iraq and Libya.
Pot, kettle, black, Bevin. You picked on one word in a rather pointless comment to lay out a rather myopic assessment of Soviet history. A view which Comrade Vltchek shares. Inadequately, as is necessary in a comment, I say we need a more objective assessment: not based on partisan capitalist or communist bias and propaganda. The FSU cannot be assessed ‘in vitro’ as though it were an isolated, self-contained singularity controlled solely by its own internal dynamics. But externalised dialectics alone do not account for Stalin’s murderous totalitarianism: which cannot be dismissed as the writings of Conquest. One of Stalin’s greatest dissident critics (but also a secret admirer) was Zinoviev himself: who was there to witness first hand. The fact that the people’s authentic Bolshevik revolution deviated so quickly into Stalinist totalitarian repression has to be dealt with objectively: not ideologically leveraged or ignored.
On a broader point: your general “let the people decide” historical dialectical approach, if I am not mischaracterising your POV, is not happening. Waiting for another 1918 is like waiting for Godot. The workers are not rising: they only want a less extreme, more inclusive, version of capitalist materialism. The effects of a heirarchical authoritarian micro-managed regime – whether it be imposed by market values or planned autocracy: whether nominally capitalist or socialist in nature – both have the same net result …to effectively denature humanity to produce comfortably (or uncomfortably) numb materially-minded pale imitations of free human beings. [And you may think that did not apply to the FSU, but Zinoviev contended that a materialist envy, which was largely propaganda, was a major factor in the fall of ‘communism’. This was particularly rife among the nomenklatura, of course, who had the power, but wanted the wealth as well.]
Andre Vltchek might be a better judge than you of whether the Bolshevik Revolution was “great” or not since he was born in the Soviet Union and grew up there and in the old Czechoslovakia.
There are degrees of ‘freedom’ in the West, nearly all mediated by money power. And the moneyless poor are subjected to vicious social sadism, humiliation and disempowerment, one of the worst psychic assaults one can suffer, by the misanthropic rich. A Rothschild would find such a system praiseworthy.
Great article but I also agree with the thrust of what Binra says. If we want to evolve beyond the insanity, we have to understand and own our contribution to it. Though uniquely in each instance, each of us is a part of the system. There’s no escape from it, just as there is no escape from the self. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.
For me, a simple logical illustration of the insanity depicted in the article is the loneliness and compulsion of Might Makes Right, or bullying. To deserve respect and love, you must be the strongest. Those weaker than you do not deserver respect or love, they deserver contempt. If someone is stronger than you, you do not deserve respect or love, you deserve contempt. How can that lead to anything other than isolated insanity? And surely this psychological modality is born of fear.
Surely the only antidote is the path of love, which necessarily develops both humility and strength of character, among many other things.
Westernised imperial capitalism is a psychoses which is quickly destroying our planet. But transport capitalism away from its hereditary heartlands, and on its journey it becomes a benign tianxia; non-exploitative; non-alienating; non-extractive; sustainable and egalitarian alternative to the Western excess as it becomes Easternised? And liberal progressives laud and lionise its new virtuous non-violent incarnation as the way towards human freedom and societal actualisation? That is the reductive logic that leads to perpetuated “Stockholm Syndrome”: to think capitalism can reinvent itself by supplanting itself East. To suppose capitalism with Easternised characteristics will not develop into a monopoly totalising end phase is to assume Marx never lived. Humanity will never be freed by capitalism: Easternised or Westernised.
The Chinese intend following Marx in using capitalist methods to create the social conditions for socialism. What is more, they realise the ecological implications of capitalist productivity that Marx only hinted at in his ‘metabolic rift’ theory, he living too early to see all the implications of the destruction of the natural world and the piling up of waste as pollution. This is why the Chinese are working to create an ‘Ecological Civilization’ that can persist into the future, without destroying Life on Earth.
The scale of the Chinese extraction and consumption model is anything but “Ecological”. But lets not focus solely on China: the capitalist model is neo-universal. Step out and take the systems analysis POV: the dominant culture of capitalist materialism forms an emergent “superorganism” that is consuming the earth. As Rothschild Macron just said, with no hint of irony: “there is no planet B”. The view that the West alone consumes and destroys; the East is an ecological and economic rejuvenator disappears for what it is: a capitalist marketing ploy. As globalism – or Global Economic Governance, as BRICS term it – proceeds, there is no distinction between “American” and “Chinese” capital. Globalised capital flows are supra-national, homogeneous …and equally destructive. We only have one earth: and universally imposed (because the people don’t want it ) globalised capitalist materialism will not save it. Quite the opposite.
You just haven’t kept up with developments in China. The Chinese leadership, being technocratic and meritocratic, can read and comprehend scientific reports. There are no anthropogenic climate destabilisation denialists in the Chinese leadership. The Chinese were forced to develop rapidly, to protect themselves from the West, but more and more realised and regretted the scale of ecological damage wrought. That is why China is leading the world in renewable energy installation, production and development, electric vehicles and in ecological remediation. Whether it is enough, and not too late, and whether the rest of the world joins in, will determine the fate of Life on Earth-human life, certainly.
It seems like, perceptively, there are two China’s. One is antithetical to the other: particularly in ecological terms. The ‘Three Gorges Dam’ model of renewable energy installation and ecological remediation is anti-life. We better have a discussion about what life and liberty are, before we go on. Can I ascertain from your comment that ‘life’ is the wholesale replication and universalisation of material cultural ersatz wealth formation: the commodification of life that sustains capitalism; and the financial industrial organisation around production that sustains that commodity consumption? Because that defines ‘death’ to me. Not just the withering death of the un-actualisable spirit of humanity; but the concomitant omnicidal death of the biosphere. Maybe China can heal their own ecological metabolic rift by exporting their overcapacity for capital, debt, concrete, steel, aluminium across Asia-Pacific; and re-importing the outsourced manufactured commodities back into a burgeoning bourgeois middle class of “conspicuous consumers” …but they can’t heal the planet that way. And I say maybe, because from an outsiders view, it seems that they have already irrevocably damaged their hydrological ecology and water table (no problem, just divert another river, the Indians won’t mind). Liberation ecology is an ecology and economy that heals humanity AND the environment AT THE SAME TIME. It is the valorisation of life capital; not commodified wealth capital. The two are mutually exclusive, antithetical and imiscible. The DNA of capital valorisation is to grow, exploit, and alienate. A plenipotential humanity does not need to compete, or organise hierarchically around the production of commodities; that far from enhancing the life experience (the one actualisable sovereign ‘capital’ we all share) actually wither and destroy it. There is no need to perpetually grow the false economy quarter by quarter ad infinitum and exploit the environment to do this. If we co-own the economy and ecology (and no false dichotomy should be made between the two: one should reciprocally valorise the other); then the state can “wither away”. Does the Chinese state look as though it will wither away anytime soon?
You outline the problem succinctly, and I believe that the Chinese see it just as plainly as you do. However they plan to achieve ecological sustainability through ‘middle income’ wealth. That is, as you point out, a contradiction, but it is more likely to succeed than attempting to achieve some sort of ‘steady state’ or ‘ circular’ economy while keeping more than half of the population materially poor. One can imagine the mischief that the West and Western NGOs could play in that circumstance.
I see the Chinese as gambling on producing enough wealth to finance a scientific and technological fix for our pollution crises. It is a very long odds against wager, but at this stage what other path could stand any chance of success? In the demented West, under the boot of hard Right, cornutopian, ideologues, the recipe is ‘let the Market rip’, and the ‘Invisible Hand’ will solve all problems, magically, and, in any case, in the long term we’ll all be dead. The Chinese intend, as far as I can see, to create an economy where ecological sustainability is the paramount ambition of the State and economy, unlike the West where profit maximisation at ANY cost is God. There’ll never be a Chinese Trump, Pruitt or Lindzen, of that I’m sure.
The reason I want to look at the problem of global capitalism holistically is that Russia-China are at least are trying to employ some sort of productive economy, that I will concede. Especially compared to the ‘West’. But if you look at capital flows that cause the inequality, alienation and exploitation THERE ARE NO NATIONAL INTERESTS; ONLY CAPITAL INTERESTS. China’s productivity and expansion EMPOWERS A WESTERNISED SUPRA-SOCIETY. In fact, the Chinese are becoming ‘westernised’ at the elite level (the scions of the ‘Eight Immortals’ families; plus CPC; its Central Committee [Politburo: PSC]; that form the CPC ‘nomenklatura’). Their economists and future ideologues are Western trained and graduates of Harvard and Goldman Sachs. There is a huge capital outflow from China which is free income for the ‘West’. (All East-West; North-South; developed-undeveloped distinctions do not apply to supra-national capital flows). Not just in repatriated profit from the trans nationals (which China has tried to mitigate with favourable tax laws); but unseen dark money flows that get laundered through the City of London and end up ‘offshore’. According to the Tax Justice Network that accounts for at least $50tn in unearned, untraceable and ‘unowned’ assets. Obviously this did not all originate from Chinese productivity: it is a global phenomenon. The point is that it is someone else’s productivity: someone else’s ‘surplus value’ – that forms the unearned ‘rentier’ income; that constitutes the ‘dark imperialism’ that controls the world for the superclass ‘few’. But China is the engine of the world economy that is driving the ‘dark’ world economy too (the unproductive M-M’ fictitious, usurious ‘free’ self-maximising capital flows). This is not China’s fault, or Russia’s, or any nation state for that matter. NATION STATES DO NOT COUNT. Reports and internet conspiracy tropes that China wants to end the hegemony of this ‘Washington Consensus’ are grossly over-exaggerated. They want more say and a bigger role IN IT. There is a propaganda booklet called “American Tianxia” that outlines that the financialised ideo-cultural power remains firmly rooted in the ‘West’. My own take would be that we are living under the universal apolitical or supra-political aegis of a ‘City of London Tianxia‘. That $50tn would be handy to seed the venture capital for a truly ecological human scale bio-remedial future? That is if the cancerous cannibalisation by globalised capitalism leaves anything to remedy?
China is big. I’d like to give the example of electric buses. Clean, silent, no exhaust: what’s not to like? China decides to take a look at electric buses for public transport. So they try it out in a small place and see what happens. They take a city – Shenzhen, with between 12 and 13 million inhabitants, and replace all the city’s buses with 16,359 electric buses. (Transport for London has 73 electric buses) While they’re at it, the Chinese also swap two thirds of the city’s taxis with electric cars – 12,518 electric cars. To China, this is a small scale experiment in a single city. Yet you’re talking about more than the population of Denmark and Norway combined.
China’s plug-in electric bus stock reached 343,500 units in 2016, out of global stock of about 345,000 vehicles. (WIkipedia, Electric car use by country).
An article in Chinese press said Western politicians are managing their re-election, when they should be managing the country. The mayor of London springs to mind.
In case someone wants to read about the experiment with electric buses in Shenzhen, China: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s?__biz=MzIyMzMzNjE3NA==&mid=2247489746&idx=1&sn=a8bb0210f150a93d80718a202018d42f&chksm=e81e9b53df6912452e156066766e8b8eaf8fc9107033b46df16eed95b538609ac0b8dee55feb&mpshare=1&scene=1&srcid=1228DNpV2EJVJ81zBrr0yjzT#%23
Yes-the Chinese system works, PRECISELY because it is not ‘democratic’. In the capitalist ‘democracies’ ALL real power belongs to the capitalists, and politicians are their stooges, NOT the servants of the people. The Gilens and Page study showed that US politicians follow the lead of the rich, often in direct contradiction to popular opinion, in 97% of occasions.
Moreover the only political parties tolerated are pro-capitalist. The latest example of that is the various Green Parties, all of which sell out to the money power, with the German Greens, now hard Right, militaristic, Russophobic, Free Market fundamentalist and totally pro-Israel, the most advanced example. The brainwashing apparatus of the fakestream media, PR, advertising, think-tanks and ‘entertainment’ is completely controlled by the Right, ie the capitalists’ preference. Elections are total shams, orgies of lying, bribery, character assassination, hate and fear-mongering, where half the electorate, (often more in ‘first past the post’ systems)are ‘losers’, and even the ‘winners’ have NO real political power between elections.
Furthermore the electorate is, by definition, 50% of below median intelligence, often far below, and measures of knowledge, empathy, compassion etc would show similar distributions. And the vote of the most vicious, stupid and ignorant are of equal value with their opposites, and so you end up with societies riven by irreconcilable hatred and partisanship. Even worse, the parties do not co-operate in the interests of good governance and social welfare, but engage in endless sabotage and partisan obstruction of ‘the enemy’ never more evidenced than in the machinations of the insane Clintoristas since her well deserved defeat by the buffoon Trump.
In contrast the Chinese system, with one party of power, that any can join, and rise in according to their talents, and where policy is trialed, public opinion polled and taken into account, and the most utilitarian alternatives preferenced, plainly works far better. China’s economic rise in unparalleled in history. Its social progress is undeniable, as are its advances in science and technology. It has invaded no-one since the idiocy of attacking Vietnam, forty years ago, threatens no-one, sanctions no-one, subverts no-one, all in stark contrast to the bullying, genocidal, hyper-militaristic Death-machine that is the wondrous USA and its Western running-dogs.
Mulga: “the bullying, genocidal, hyper-militaristic Death-machine that is the wondrous USA and its Western running-dogs” is part-funded by China. They hold $1.2tn of US debt. They have only just recently relaxed the Yuan peg to the dollar by pegging it to a basket of currencies. The much vaunted petroyuan ACCEPTS dollars in and dollars out. The AIIB, NDB are dollar denominated , as is the CRA. Three of the BRICS are under IMF conditionalities: so will be borrowing their contributions from globalised commercial concerns (the evil ‘Western’ capitalist that also fund and benefit from the MIC). And they will have to get permission from the IMF to do so . The AIIB and NDP are IMF/World Bank/WTO (the ‘Bretton Woods’ Washington Consensus vehicles) compliments. Last time I looked, the AIIB had 24 infrastructure projects; 9 of which were in partnership with the World Bank, and one partnered by the EU development fund. The Chinese are buying into the European corporatocracy: their biggest asset purchase so far being the eco-friendly Syngenta. BRIC was a Baldrick “cunning plan” and invention of Jim O’Neil of Goldman Sachs, in order to advance globalism. [“In order for globalisation to advance, it had to be accepted by more people … but not by imposing the dominant American social and philosophical beliefs and structures.”]  So de-dollarisation is a myth.
China is following the American development model of moving from industrialisation to financialisation (cheered on by Goldman Sachs, HSBC and RIT Capital Partners, etc aka the vultures). They will export their manufacturing along the nodes of BRI; to export into Europe (which they will soon co-own); America and back into China. This is a form of financial imperialism: outsourcing and exploiting foreign labour for material gain at home. The way capital develops toward monopoly this can only lead to the sort of inequality we have seen in the Western model. IT CANNOT LEAD TO FULL EQUALITY EVERYWHERE; there has to be winners and losers.
And (apart from the planet: the biggest loser) the unseen losers will be in Africa and South America, where the material resources come from (China has a 14% share in the eco-terrorists Rio Tinto). Whatever they pay for their resources, the money will disappear offshore with no benefit to any ordinary African or South American.
Corruption is not strictly a Chinese problem; but this is the the way the world is set up under globalised capitalism. And Russia-China want to play a full part in ‘Global Economic Governance’; which surely you can see is a euphemism for the NWO!!!!! They want a re-balanced “rules based international order” and are fully committed to the WTO and UN. And, if, as I have pointed out before, that comes to include the SDR as reserve currency with the yuan as the primary currency within the ‘basket’ (a PBOC policy) that will be the end for socialism everywhere.
They practically do already, as we are undergoing the biggest illicit transfer of wealth in history, but the billionaire superclass of asset strippers and offshore asset hoarders will own us. Capitalism will collapse into neo-feudal debt peonage and or fascism. I seem to be the only person on this site that sees that the internet trope of an ‘alternative’ capitalist multi-polar globalist order could be far worse than US hegemony. Yes, they will curb the excesses of US imperialism. No, that will not be to the benefit of human emancipation.
The globalists are offering a Pax Capitalis: peace on their terms of conformity and implied consent. At the cost of the commodification and ownership of humanity. There are other outcomes; but they do not bear contemplation. RIT Capital Partners have been buying and holding gold; and diversifying away from the dollar (they more or less ditched sterling) and holding a basket of “other currencies” (read yuan and ruble) …but I do not see anyone placing hopium in their ‘alternative’? That’s because East or West: the superclass win. So long as the worlds development, social, and investment capital is being hoovered up by globalism and funneled offshore: we, the rest, ALL LOSE. I say, careful what you hope for! 😉
Mulga: if you ever check this page again …China has this week relaxed capital flows to allow more of the vulture Eurodollar capital in: and facilitate flight capital out …a trend that is expected to continue as the Yuan internationalises. If the theory is that they seek to undermine the dollar: why are they dancing to the globalists tune?
The underlying insanity is in the structural foundations.
Insanity can be more or less successfully repressed without truly being addressed.
The basic idea of power as justified in opposition to perceived chaos, is the USE of the mind of grievance and accusation in projection of such chaos upon the rival, and over the subjugated or powerless.
‘The West’ has been hijacked, or infiltrated by parasitical intent – through the corruption of its own thinking and the institutions that embodied such ideas. This is the nature of the corruption of power in terms I wrote above.
A true appreciation of power is one of gratitude and freely willing service. For by the extension of power to you is your awareness of existing and your freedom to create or think.
The idea of narrative control in personal terms is a masking justifications that invoke ‘authorities’. But in collective terms it operates mind control – or looked at in reverse – the subjugation or sacrifice of sovereign will, to idols or images and symbols of ‘authority’ or acceptability – in order to appease the power that brings rejection, penalty and loss.
The idea of ‘control’ is a false god by which chaos increases – UNLESS that control is uncovered in a willingness to listen for and open to wholeness of being.
All who trade in guilt as if to be morally superior know not what they do. The only way to a true integrity is to face what is ours to face – so as to be reconciled in truth. Exporting hate, sin and guilt by linguistic deceits and mind-magic is merely to store up ‘trouble in hell’ instead of treasures in Heaven. For what we live from is the consciousness we grow, and embody and share in demonstration and witness.
So in many ways we give up freedom so as to be ‘free’ of responsibility – to those who can then be adulated or brought down for ‘failing us’.
And of course while there is such a demand for unconsciousness, the market to supply, manage and defend itself for your ongoing servicing of needs, grows in proportion to the LOSS of awareness of being.
The diagnosis of disorder is one of the first institutions to be corrupted and taken over by deceit – for it operates power by guile and stealth – simply by officiating over ‘disease’ as the ‘Protection’ that runs as a racket.
So I decry the resort to such linguistic magic in this article.
It is easy to point to the hateful and feel vindicated.
It is perhaps less easy to recognize in our own heart and mind, the seeds of the same errors that we ‘love to hate’ in others.
Naming so as to dehumanize, provides the basis for sadistic ‘control’ of the invalidated, and the masochistic self-sacrifice to the false protections of such systems of ‘sickness management’.
Why talk about ‘The West’ as if it is a homogenous entity?
A breakdown of communication is a Call for healing.
Running on false narrative ideas is the only recourse to those who have no sense of connection , support or belonging in truth – and are destructive to themselves and others by their ability to believe their own masking spin – not least by its attack and opposition by others. Attack (hate) feeds upon itself. Don’t feed the troll!
Perhaps Vltchek’s diagnosis is not quite perfect, but he is correct in his assertion that the world is very sick, and the disease is highly infectious and disabling. Lord Acton’s pithy thoughts on Power & Corruption spring to mind. What do we mean by “Power” e.g. power over others, or power over oneself? In the “Whitehall” study of stress in Civil Service hierarchies, it was noted that those with least power suffered the greater stress and health related illness. So being at the bottom of the heap is bad for physical and mental health. In a secular world, there is no spiritual relief (Marx’s opium for the people has been withdrawn). In a time of academic corruption (particularly of History) there is less intellectual relief, and in a time of increasing wealth division there is both physical and spiritual poverty (Bread & Circuses without the bread, and you have to pay for the circus).
Finally, if we recall the infamous perverted psychological studies like Milgram, MK-ULTRA and Stanford were all funded by the CIA (always covert). The father of “Public Relations”, Edward de Bernays (Freud’s nephew) was the supreme catalyst for advertising, capitalism and fascism. All knowledge can be corrupted: the study of the Human Psyche and Brain can be used to further control over the masses.
In a secular world, we have not got rid of god, only replaced him with other gods. GK Chesterton opined that when a man ceases to believe in God, he doesn’t believe in Nothing, he believes in Anything. The false gods like Wealth, Success, Power, Sex, Eternal Youth are nothing compared to the simple rewards of being kind, gentle, forgiving, and compassionate. The good news is that you don’t have to believe in God to fully endorse the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Amen
The Golden Rule does no apply to psychopaths. As Soros said in his banned “Forty Minutes” interview: “If I do not do it, someone else will”. So, given the possibility, he would do himself over!
I watched that interview: it was like he has a split personality, each fully conscious of the other and yet devoid of conscience. Perhaps these types really do need help and ultimately want to be loved (for want of a better word). This was the point of the film “Citizen Kane” as I recall, albeit the love object was a sledge…The pope recently spoke bout a carving in Vezelay of Judas being carried by Jesus after his own suicide i.e. we must compassion in ourselves to reach out for the Human in others. Its a very tall order, but it might be worth a try?
Or: as you do unto others, so you do unto yourself. In the version you cite, I may ignore less fortunate people entirely, as I would have them ignore me entirely. As long as I stay more fortunate, all’s well. Survival of the fittest and all that. It’s the interconnectivity implied in the version I cite that needs to somehow be felt in real time. That takes love/empathy, not intellect.
I wouldn’t support killing/denigrating psychopaths and sociopaths (tangentially referring to BigB here), but am instead for establishing systems and institutions whose composition and dynamic do not favour/reward psychopathy over time. Having any kind of a chance at this latter and lofty enterprise requires an informed citizenship that wants to take on the challenge and deeply understands its risks and greater Why. A deep sensibility for the version of the Golden Rule I cite is, I believe, a prerequisite for this.
I also think that materialism has a hard time with free will. Neither its logic nor its philosophy supports it. Without free will, the Golden Rule becomes moot.
I’ve found that the mere mention of Mr Vltchek’s name is enough to get a comment moderated by the Guardian.
Touchy little buggers, the Guardian’s censors. I mean, ”moderators.”
They are very touchy that’s for sure.
Almost every newspaper and political magazine has extremely tightly regulated comments section and that’s not even taking into account the potential that there are paid professional commentators there.
No comments? I am shocked. An excellent article, an excellent read. I completely concur to the accuracy and brutal truth. The world is in complete insanity, and it all derives from sovereignty and hierarchy. What ever other denomination it is given(capitalism, fascism, imperialism, etc) it still comes back to the primitive mind set of sovereignty and hierarchy.